A Time for Hope, A Time for Joy

Rom. 5:1-11

As members of the Body of Messiah — in the world today and of those who have believed during the last two thousand years — there is something special at this season of the birth of the Savior, Yeshua the Son of David.  It is similar to that specialness when Jewish people — around the world today and since the time of the Exodus from Egypt about 3450 years ago — celebrate the Passover.  It does not require either the Christian or the Jew to be a believer to anticipate these special holidays each year.  Families, relatives, and friends share together something extraordinary in their history as a people that has impacted not only their own culture, but of the whole world.  They are times of inclusion.  Because of this, these can be the saddest times of the year for many Jews and Christians who are alone, or who feel rejected and unloved.  In their souls they know that they are supposed to be a part of something bigger than themselves and to celebrate, especially with others in the family.

It is the blessing and inheritance of the believer to really celebrate these holidays.  Believers celebrate the God of these special times and events, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the focus of both these holidays.  We have joy in the Holy Spirit because we are known by our God and have our Father’s peace.  On the other hand, it is also as true today as it was in the time of Amos the sheep breeder/prophet that many of God’s own people celebrate the set times for testimony of the LORD in a manner unworthy of the Holy One of Israel.  They leave Him out of their parties and neither give Him glory or thanks.  But then, let us not go to the other extreme and “throw out the baby with the bath water”.  Even Yeshua Himself participated in the holidays in His day.  Believers in God through His Son Jesus can sanctify the Lord in their hearts and rejoice:

Joy to the world:  the Messiah has already come!  God is faithful to all that Moses and the Prophets wrote, and there is hope and joy in God the Father in Heaven.  The LORD has become my light and salvation; Yeshua is Lord and Messiah!  God knows us; He has come down to be with us on this unique planet He created.

This is not just the joy of remembering something good in our lives as we think back, and wish that we could do that again — or be there again.  No, this is the joy that kicks like John the Baptiser did in his mother’s womb when, by the Spirit of God, he acknowledged His Lord, Yeshua, in the womb of His mother.  Our joy is even greater than John’s because the Spirit of Messiah dwells in us who believe, and we rejoice in the sure and living hope that this same Lord Jesus is coming again from [the Heavenly] Zion to take His own to be glorified with Him!

All this began to take place here in Israel about 65 km (40 miles) from Beer Sheva, when the Word of God became flesh and the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven began to be revealed.  Praise the LORD that He has revealed such wondrous things to us and filled us with hope and joy in His love.  We have much to thank Him for, including for approving of a day when many of His people throughout the world through countless generations can celebrate together–from the rising of the sun to its setting down–the God of gods and Lord of lords — even Jesus, who was born to be King of the Jews, and who has already become King also to many, many gentiles!  The wise men from the east who saw the special star rejoiced in the hope of that sign in the firmament of the heavens:  the promised Ruler was born.

The enemy wants to steal the blessing and the heritage of God’s people.  As he always has, he lies and puts doubts in our mind about what God has said or about God’s intentions.  In a world filled with grief and fear and hopelessness, the God of Glory, who is Love, still proclaims and offers peace on earth and goodwill towards the children of Adam.  Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the destroyer, the devil.  Believers can celebrate as a testimony that our God is the one true living God and that Jesus is the one alone who can satisfy the need of every human being who is born into the world.  The gospel of God is going out to all the world, and the Heavens declare the glory of the LORD.  (See how many people are fascinated with that star which spoke of the birth of the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!)

God’s Word is truth:  Yeshua came in the flesh and the Man Christ Jesus will come again in the flesh from Heaven to bring fullness of joy to all whose living hope is in Him.  Jesus gives His peace from the heart of the Father to His family.  Receive it with a thankful heart.  The joy of the LORD is our strength.  It is not what people — even believers — do or not that is going to bring Spiritual unity within the Body for a testimony of who Jesus really is; but rather, it is when we confess what God has done, and when we do this in love for all who are His people — and who have become our people, the Bride of the Lamb — that will demonstrate the reality of the truth of Messiah in us.  Doesn’t the desire of true revival burn within us to recover our first love for Jesus — when Messiah was born in us at our new birth?  Our Father has shown that He wants His children to be at peace with each other, and for each to know that he or she is accepted in the Beloved Son, and to rejoice in true and spiritual worship of the One who was born to die as a sacrifice for the sin of the world, and who now lives forevermore.  He stands at the door knocking, and will gladly come in to every heart and church that repents and opens up the door for the King of Glory to come in.  Glory to God in the highest!

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