Christmas 2015, When Hope Was Born



Pastor George W. Black

Confession: I am a victorious believer, redeemed by the Lord, washed from my sins in the blood of Jesus my Savior, saved by grace through faith, filled with the powerful Holy Spirit, poised for God’s eternal purposes, and boldly sharing the joy of God’s love, with my world.

I am a faith walking, Word talking, over-comer in this life. I am a Victor, not a victim. I can do, all things through Christ. Today, my mind is open and alert, and my heart is good soil, for the seed of God’s Word.  I will be a diligent disciple, to apply its’ truths, for from this day forward, by the miracle of spiritual growth, I will never, ever, be the same again.


 Luke 1:26-33 NKJV  “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, {27} to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. {28} And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

{29} But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. {30} Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. {31} “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. {32} “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. {33} “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.””


  1. The birth of Jesus Christ brought real hope to a troubled world.

The coming of Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of a promise God made to the world about sending a Savior who would rescue us from sin. A promise always gives hope, and a fulfilled promise makes our hope a reality.

Mat 1:21 NKJV  “”And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.””

As God is exalted to the right place in our lives, a thousand problems are solved all at once. ~ A. W. Tozer


  1. The human spirit needs hope to survive and to thrive.

Hope is a very timely topic.  George Gallup the public opinion pollster said, “People in many nations seem to be searching with new intensity for spiritual moorings these days.  Why is that?  One of the key factors prompting this search is a need for hope in these troubled times.”  The point I want to make is that the God of the Bible is that source of hope.

One expert said, “Since my early years as a physician I learned that taking away hope is for most people like pronouncing a death sentence.  Their already hard-pressed will to live can become paralyzed and they may give up and die.

The writers of the Bible recognized this more than 2500 years ago.  King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 13:12

Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

I love how the Good News Translation interprets this:

“When hope is crushed the heart is crushed.”  GNT


  1. When some people talk about hope, they are talking about wishful thinking, blind optimism, and ambitious dreams.

In everyday conversation we use the word “hope” in various different ways that aren’t really consistent to what the Bible refers to when it’s talking about hope.

A. Wishful Thinking

Wishful thinking is when we try to hope things in or out of existence.  We blow out the candles on our birthday cake and say, “I hope I have another year of health and happiness.”

Or we turn on the TV and say, “I hope the Dallas Cowboys repeat as NFL champions this year.”

Wishful thinking is that kind of hopeful feeling that somehow, some way things are going to go the way we want them to even though we have absolutely no power over the situation.

But we don’t have any power to make it happen.

Wishful thinking is not Biblical hope, because it has no power at all.

B. Blind Optimism

I think it’s great to be an optimistic person.  I tend to be an optimistic person but some optimists are not faith-based optimists, they are blind optimists, seeing everything through rose colored glasses.  They ignore their problems as if they didn’t exist, while their debt continues to grow, or their marriage continues to fade.

Sometimes people in their blind optimism will pretend things are great when they’re not.

That’s not biblical hope.

Blind optimism has no power at all.

C. Ambitious Dreams –

These are the lofty goals we tend to set right about this time of year, these resolutions before we go into the New Year.  We set a lofty goal.  We say, “Next year I’m going to buy a new car.”  And not only do we set this goal but we go about saving money and preparing so we can actually buy the new car.

Or we say, “Next year I’m really going to improve my golf game.”  And we don’t just say it but we go out to the practice green and the putting green and we really practice to try to improve.  Or we say, “Next year I really, want my marriage to be better.”  And instead of just saying it, we invest time to really build into our spouse to improve our communication and so forth.

All of that is fine.  It’s wonderful to set ambitious goals and then to work toward achieving them.  The problem is that often we are restricted by our own limitations or by things that are outside of our control.

I can shoot baskets on our driveway.  I can do that night and day but I will never realize my ambitious dream of playing in the NBA.  Or there are thousands of people employed by a certain company.  They have lofty goals.  They want to retire with a nest egg.  They want to climb the corporate ladder of achievement.  But what can happen? They can close down, sell out to another company, or downsize. Then good people are out of a job.  It’s beyond their control.

It wasn’t because their dreams were bad.  But sometimes our own limitations or circumstances or other people can affect our dreams in such a way that we end up disappointed or worse.

Ambitious dreams do not have the power of Biblical hope.

God has a better plan.


  1. God offers a hope that is so powerful that it can transform a human being’s life and it can rewrite a person’s eternity.

Rom 15:13 NKJV  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

It’s not surprising if God created human beings with this craving for hope it would make sense that He would also serve as our ultimate hope.  In fact, in Romans 15:13 it describes God as the God of hope.

All total there are 95 references to hope in the Old Testament.  There are another 85 references in the New Testament.  This theme of hope is woven all throughout scripture.

Contrast wishful thinking and blind optimism and ambitious dreams with Biblical hope.

For most people hoping is something that they do.  But the Bible talks about hope as something we can have.  See the difference?  Hope is something you can have.  You can possess it.  You can own it.  You can grab a hold of it.  For someone who follows Jesus Christ here is the definition of hope.

Hope is the confident expectation that God is willing and able to fulfill the promises that He has made to you.

The Bible refers to this as living hope because it is always directly linked to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:4 CEB “You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you.

Through His resurrection, Jesus Christ demonstrated once and for all beyond any doubt that He is God and that He really does possess the power to fulfill the promises that He makes to us.

Promises that He’ll change our lives, promises that He’ll guide us, promises that He will walk side by side with us through the turbulence of life, promises that He can cause good to emerge from the personal problems that we face, promises that He will grant us eternal life in heaven with Him.  The resurrection is an actual physical event in history that sealed Christ’s identity as being the God who loves us and who is committed to helping us.

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul firm and secure.” 

Our hope is only as good as what it is attached to, as what it is anchored to.  Hope in and of itself has no power.  You can wish for something, you can hope for something, you might feel a little better about it.  We might fool ourselves into thinking everything’s ok.

But the only way hope has any real power is when it’s anchored in the God who has real power.  And not only real power but a real desire out of His love for you to help you.  Those who follow Jesus Christ hope in the confident expectation that God is willing and able to fulfill the promises He’s made to them.

There are two main reasons we have hope:

A. We have hope because we’re absolved of our past.

Lamentations 3:21 “This I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.”

1 Timothy 6:17 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

B. We have hope because we’re assured of our future.

Titus 3:5,7 “He saved us in His mercy – not by virtue of any moral achievement of ours…  We are acquitted by His grace, and can look forward in hope to inheriting life eternal.”


  1. YOU NEED HOPE! The Christmas gift of hope can be born in you if you will surrender your life to Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life.

Mat 1:21 NKJV  “”And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.””(Gal 4:4-5 NLT)  “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. {5} God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”


Hope is born because Christ was born, and continues to born in every heart that makes room for Him.

Merry Christmas,



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