Hope in His Appearing

Text: Luke 2:1-7

The miracle of Christ’s birth reminds us our hope in God is secure. The Incarnation – Jesus coming to earth – reminds us that we have a God who is faithful in the lives of His children. He is the source of all our hope. And in Him our hope is secure.

First, our hope is secure in God and His plan for us, because…

1.  God’s Plan was Foretold in History

These seven little verses in Luke 2 are actually the result of thousands of years of prophecy and promises and countless numbers of details that God Himself fulfilled. God did exactly what He said He would. God chose prophets and spoke to them the details of this plan, so that God’s people would be encouraged.

-The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

-The Messiah would be wounded, but not defeated. Instead, He would defeat the devil (Genesis 3:14-15).

-The Messiah would be born to a virgin, and He would be “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14).

-The Messiah would suffer to give us peace. He will reign forever (Isaiah 9:6-7).

The Messiah that the Old Testament foretold would come as a child – a son – the son God promised back in the garden. He will come from the lineage of David. He will reign as King over all, and He will rule forever.

God gave us all these details, hundreds of years before He ever fulfilled them, to show us that God is in control and He is faithful. He took the time to tell us what would happen, so that when it did happen, we would look back and see God as faithful.

2.  God’s Plan Unfolds in Reality

God is present and active in the ugly details of our lives, of our reality. The story of the Nativity is one of those times when we look at the details and ask, “God, why did you do it that way?”

For instance, God chose a strange time in Israel’s history to bring the long- awaited Messiah. This was not a happy time for the Jews. They had not heard from God in those 400 years of silence between the OT and the NT. Not only that, but their nation was occupied and oppressed by the Romans. From their perspective, it would have been easy to believe that God had abandoned them. And yet, in their dark reality, God was working His plan.

Sometimes it’s difficult to trust God because God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. But everything He does is perfect and is perfectly planned for our good and His glory. In difficult times we ask, “Where is all this headed? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? What is the real reason all this is happening?”

Jesus was not born into a perfect situation. But He was born into a situation perfectly ordered by God. It’s the same in your life. Our circumstances will never be perfect, but God is perfectly ordering every detail. His perfect plan unfolds in our imperfect reality. Because of a child born 2,000 years ago to a humble couple in a smelly barn, we can know for sure that God is faithful.

3.  God’s plan promises a glorious future.

The Nativity teaches us that even in the worst of times, God is right on time. God is faithful in all He says and does – which also means God will be faithful in all He has promised to do. Because Christ came just as the Father promised, because every detail was fulfilled just as the Father intended, because Christ lived, died for our sins and rose from the dead just as the Father planned, our hope is secure if our hope is in Christ alone.

And that hope is not just in the past or in this life right now. Our hope is secure because God’s plan points us to eternity and promises a glorious future. And in that, there is one promise yet to be fulfilled – the Second Advent, the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And His Second Coming will not be like the first. He will not come as a baby in a manger, but as the Victorious King and Conqueror. He will not come to die, but to make all things new, to put a final end to evil and sin, and to be reunited with His Church forever and without end.

Right now, this life is messy. It’s temporary. It’s limited. But one day, that will all change. Are you eagerly waiting for Him? He is faithful. He is trustworthy. May God’s faithfulness in the Christmas story remind us that our hope in Him is secure. Our King came at Christmas. And He has promised to come again, so that where He is, we will be with Him forever.

 

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