Merry Christmas, from my family to you and yours. I pray this season has been joy-filled and adoration-inducing. However, with the year we have had I am sure there are many stories of suffering, heartache, loss, and defeat. If that is you and your experience, know that I grieve with you. However, I want you to know there is a way to grief with hope and joy.

Hope is not immune to suffering. On the contrary, hope comes because of suffering. The Christmas story is one where hope enters into suffering. Where hope takes on the form of suffering. A story where hope seems defeated by suffering, but only for a moment. The Christmas story is a testament of the love of our Creator God who sent His only Son into our sin cursed, suffering world, as hope incarnate. The story reminds us that suffering is real, sin is the cause, and hope can be found.

Hope has a name – Jesus!

The hope of the world is not in the presents under the tree, nor the family around the tree, and especially not in Santa who “delivered” the gifts. Hope can be found in the King of the world, who humbled Himself, was born as a baby in a dirty manger, to suffer in our world, be cursed, spit at, ridiculed, mocked and killed. Hope can be found in that suffering servant who hung on a cross over 2,000 years ago. Hope is found in the risen Savior. Hope has a name – Jesus! And He offers Himself to you this Christmas season.

So whatever you are enjoying about this season, remember our ultimate fulfilling hope is Jesus. Whatever you may have or be suffering or grieving, Hope has come and He is with you. So again, have a very Merry Christmas – one that I pray is Hope filled and focused!

Merry Christmas!