30 Nov A Thrill of Hope
It’s December! Christmas is around the corner and before you know it we will be heading into a new year! You may be ready to take on the world in 2019 or you may be a little weary and in need of encouragement.
One of my favorite Christmas songs is O Holy Night!
O Holy Night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared, and the soul felt it’s worth
A thrill of HOPE, a weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…
The birth of Jesus was a THRILL of HOPE for a weary world; a breakthrough following a long period of silence.
There was a 400-year gap between the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, and the first of the New Testament, Matthew where the story of the birth of Jesus is told. Whereas previously, the Israelites had a succession of prophets speaking on behalf of God, there suddenly came a large chunk of time when there was no prophet saying, “Thus saith the Lord.” It appeared that God had gone silent.
God may not have been speaking during that time but there were many strategic things happening in the world during that silent period: The rise and fall of empires, political and religious changes and the infrastructure of roads. Those roads that were created during that time made way for the wide adoption of the Greek language –all of it, preparation for the spreading of the gospel that was coming.
During the silence God was at work to ready the world for the birth of the Messiah and the spreading of His message of hope and redemption.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when God has seemingly gone radio silent?
Over twenty years ago, I remember clearly hearing in my spirit that we were to adopt a baby girl from China. I knew it as surely as if I had seen a line show up on a pregnancy test that God was preparing my heart for a baby. I saw signs everywhere and it was confirmed over and over again.
Then, without warning everything came to a screeching halt.
We encountered roadblocks that stopped the progress of the adoption and I felt like God had gone silent for a little over a year.
During that time when it looked like the dream was lost, there were times I wished I had never heard the promise, so that I wouldn’t be so confused and frustrated at the lack of fulfillment.
I imagine that is how the Israelites must have felt awaiting the Messiah.
Silence can be deafening.
But then, a thrill of HOPE! The Savior was born, and the weary world had a reason to rejoice.
God was making roadways in preparation for the promise back then just as He does today in your life and mine.
If God had answered my desperate cries during the year of silence during our adoption process I would not have my daughter because she had not even been born yet! Anyone who knows our family knows that she is and was always meant to be ours!! During the silence He was making roadways for the completion of our family.
If you are in that place today where you are not hearing anything, hang in there. It can be so frustrating but be encouraged today that even in the silence God is making roadways that you cannot see to take you where He has called you to go!