This is one of my favorite days of the year – Halloween and its ugliness are behind us and what lies ahead is Thanksgiving and the hope found in the Christmas season. Thanksgiving and hope. It is a dark world indeed if we have nothing for which to be thankful. And without hope, we are simply lost.
Two things I have learned in life. One, that thanksgiving … giving thanks in all circumstances … is to be celebrated daily. It is not reserved for one particular Thursday in November. It is to be an attitude that permeates every part of life, what we consider good and what we consider bad. We have no idea when we are in the middle of situations what good God will produce from them. We simply trust that our God can work all things out to our good and we are thankful that He can!
Two, I’ve learned that Christmas hope is also to be celebrated daily. It is not reserved for December 25. It is more than celebrating Jesus’ birthday. To me it doesn’t matter what day Jesus was actually born, the hope that derives from His birth transcends a “date.”
The hope I find in Christmas leads to the cross. The cross leads to the resurrection. The resurrection leads to His ascension to the Right Hand of God and His exaltation as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And in that hope, I find my salvation. My sin is gone. I have been made alive in Christ Jesus. I have been filled with His righteousness. I sit in the heavenly realms in Him now and will be with Him for all eternity. That’s everyday hope that carries me through life and into eternity.
Thanksgiving for each day. Hope for each day. Christ Jesus for each day. The love of the Father for each day. The power of the Holy Spirit for each day. That’s the way to live each day.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Rom 15:13]