December 24, 2022

The Thrill of Hope

For the last decade or so, Easter has been my favorite holiday. I’m a black-and-white thinker, and logically, Easter was when death was defeated. Easter was the day our destinies changed. We were rescued and our sins were forgiven. Christmas had no worth without Easter. Jesus came, sure, but without rising from the dead, we wouldn’t be reconciled to God. 

Celebrating Christmas, to me, felt premature. It was just the start of the process. The purpose of Jesus coming wasn’t to give us stories of wise men and temples. It was to die, defeat death and sin, and rise above it, defeating all evil and death for good. 

 So I’d celebrate Christmas, but I celebrated Easter just a bit more. 

BUT…

Something has changed within me. 

For me, this year has been the year of promises fulfilled. God told me He would provide the right job and He did. God told me I’d meet my husband soon, and I did (we’re getting married in March). God told me I’d get a house and I did (though not in the way I planned). After years of promises, this year, I saw them come to fruition.

And do you know what it makes me wish I did earlier? Trust Him more! I wish I trusted in the promises so completely that I enjoyed the journey without worry. I wish I knew that if God promises something, I can count on it. I wish I didn’t wait until the fulfillment to celebrate. I can celebrate when the promise is made!

And then I realized, THAT is why we celebrate Christmas. When He sent Jesus, and Jesus laid in the manger as a young baby, God’s plan was already in motion. 

Celebrating Christmas is standing on God’s promise. Sure, today, we know the end result of Easter, but to celebrate Christmas is to acknowledge that salvation was started before Easter. It started with the promise. 

I used to wait until I saw the fulfillment of the promise to celebrate. I waited for Easter to celebrate our salvation. And I waited to see results in my life to celebrate the different promises God uniquely made me. But I’m learning the joy of celebrating as soon as God makes a promise, because if He promises it, it is as good as done.   

I hope you feel the thrill of hope this season, not just because God sent His son, and His promise was as good as done. But because, if you’ve given your ‘yes’ to God, the unique promises He’s made you are as good as done as well. 

Hallelujah!

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