Hope in Jesus…

Laura Story is a Christian author. She sent her followers a Christmas letter about her family in 2020. At the end, she shared how we have hope in Jesus no matter what our circumstances. I hope you find it as encouraging as I did. Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! 🎄

The words of Isaiah 9 still ring true and full of hope, just as much today as they did in Isaiah’s day:

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

on them has light shone.
For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;
and the government shall be uponhis shoulder,

and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6)

I’m not sure what your year has held, but for so many, it has felt like darkness. The heaviness of racial strife and rising Covid numbers is almost unbearable. In the dark, we’ve struggled to see our way, struggled to see good, and even struggled to see how God might be in the midst of such bleak hours. Yet, His Word stands true. It was our darkness that necessitated His coming, the brokenness of our world that moved His heart to rescue. And though He came in the fragile form of a baby, He reigns now as a Wonderful Counselor, for those who need guidance this very day. He reigns now as our Mighty God, stronger than hate or walls of isolation, and more powerful than even a global pandemic. He is the Everlasting Father, who sees His children in their depression and weariness, scooping them up in His arms, that they might find comfort in His embrace. Lastly, He is our Prince of Peace. This year, we are not promised a peace that comes from political resolution or our best-made plans coming to fruition. This Christmas, we may not even experience a peace that comes from intimate family gatherings or restored health, our own or of those we love. The peace God promises us is the person of Jesus. He steps into the brokenness and sits with us in the mess. The God who was willing to be born in a smelly barn and wrapped with spare cloths, this same God stays with us in our weakest moments, in our desperation, in our loneliness and in our sorrow. In the midst of my dashed plans and unmet expectations, will His presence alone be enough to bring my heart peace? 

This is my prayer for you and your family this Christmas, that God might bring you peace despite your circumstances. Even in the chaos, I hear the call of the angels in Luke 2, and of believers throughout time, bidding us to fix our eyes on Emmanuel, God with us: 

O come, all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels!
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord.

Published by Matthew, Karen, and God

Karen Guthrie, a retired Bank Manager, Vice President, and Matthew Moore, who works in construction, are members of the same church. In March 2014, they both joined the Oakdale Rescue Mission Board of Directors. They started sharing their stories with one another on how God has greatly impacted their lives.

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