The Thrill of Hope
BY: MEGAN GILMORE
Y’all it is December!
Can you believe we have made it to the end of 2020? As I lay here on my couch with my Christmas lights twinkling I feel the weight of 2020. I have now gone past tired and become weary and worn down. You may have noticed it has been a little bit since I have been able to write. Life picked up speed and I have been trying to keep up and now find myself weary.
I know that it has been a challenging year for us all. I am sure we can all relate to the emotions I am feeling. But now...I am laying here in the quiet feeling weary. As I am in the stillness of this moment the Holy Spirit begins to sing in my soul. I close my eyes and start to sing along.
“Oh 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, the weary world rejoices”
That last sentence stopped my singing immediately. “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices” the word weary stuck out to me like never before! Weary was connected to hope and because of that hope the world rejoices. We do not often link weary and hope together.
Y’all...I feel like our world is weary. It has been a year of difficulty from the pandemic, to racial tensions, and political turmoil...just to name a few of the challenges we have faced. I sense we have all grown weary and some of it has caused division. There has been a feeling of isolation caused by this year, but I want you to know that you are not alone! You are not alone in feeling weary.
What I love so much about this phrase in the song is that the hope of Jesus is causing the weary world to rejoice! Because in Jesus we have hope!
We have hope!
This world needs hope and we have the answer to that! Jesus is hope!
He is the reason we can live in the weariness of this world and not lose heart. The longer I laid on my couch with the Christmas lights shining God began to flood my mind with verses about hope.
God has a plan for our lives...good plans. We can have hope that He has it in His hands. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11
We can have confidence in our hope we will make it through the difficult times. “ Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12
Our faith shows us where our hope lies. I think of Hebrews 11:1 often when I think of hope. “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
There is an earthly hope that shows our faith is in things of this world and there is a hope that is of Jesus. When we hope in Jesus our faith is strengthened and we can handle the hard times because Jesus is not changing. This world is difficult...this world changes...do not hope for things of this world or you will live in disappointment.
I let each verse wash over my heart and mind as the Holy Spirit gave them to me.
I had to stop and check my heart. Where was I placing my hope? I think that over this past year my hope has gone to new depths. 2020 has been a year of God asking me, “Megan, do you trust me? I mean really trust me?” I have had to wrestle with this and respond. 2020 has taught me to respond with “Yes! I trust you!” With my response has come a newfound hope. Hope that God is in control and my life is unfolding just as He desires. Hope that the troubles I face will soon pass. Hope that Jesus is my anchor. Hope that I am never alone! My hope is overflowing in my life.
I come back to the song, “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices” and a tear falls down my face. I feel the rejoicing welling up inside of me. I am weary, but my hope is strong. My hope in Jesus is filling me and from that place comes great rejoicing.
Maybe you are having a hard time finding hope right now. 2020 has brought challenges you never thought you would face and you’re struggling with hope. My beautiful friend, I wish I could hug you! It is ok to struggle and wrestle because on this other side is a beautiful hope that Jesus is waiting to give you!
As I wrap up my thoughts I want to leave you with this prayer.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Hebrews 15:13
May God fill you with hope!