I am so thankful for the hope that I have found in Jesus.
Both for the world when King Jesus one day returns in power to put all things right. And for myself, that because of his promise to me, I can know for certain that my best days are always ahead of me. I will suffer in this life, but this suffering is preparing me for an “eternal weight of glory” on the other side.
I am so thankful for the peace that I have found in Jesus.
Both the peace of knowing that I am no longer God’s enemy through my hateful thoughts and actions toward him, but that he has reconciled me to himself through the cross of Christ. I deserved so much worse. God gave me so much better. He is not against me now, rather he is 100% for me. Peace, precious peace.
I am so thankful for the joy of the Lord in my life.
The status of peace that he has freely given me in Jesus brings me a deep and lasting happiness in Christ. I can rest in him now. I can take a deep breath knowing I am at peace with the Father. That the Father is at peace with me. And this brings me indestructible joy, even when I am suffering or struggling mightily. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
I am so thankful for the love of Christ.
Why did he choose to descend from Heaven and enter this world of hatred? Why did he come into a world that he knew would hate him and seek to destroy him? Love. The Father loved this twisted world. The Son loved his Father and was delighted to obey him. So he came. And the Son also felt a pulsing compassion for his enemies and sought to save them. This is love. True love. I am so thankful that this saving love found me, precisely when I was completely undeserving and unmoved. Precisely when I was hard as a rock, this love of Christ melted me. Opened my heart to the love of Christ. I’ll never be the same.
To sum all of this up: I am so thankful for Christ.
The Messiah, the promised one of ancient Israel came to rescue all who would look to him in full trust, total dependence. He came as a humble baby. He has proven that he loves and cares for sinners like me. He will come again, as the glorious king and judge to make all things right. And to make me finally right. I am thankful for God’s plan to rescue all who turn to him in true faith and repentance. CHRIST. The Christ. The only one who can bring us eternal love, joy, peace and complete our hopes.
I have found all of these realities in Jesus Christ, as have countless others down through the centuries. If you don’t yet have a church home to call your own, I invite you to join us this holiday season to seek and find the hope, peace, joy, and love of God with us. We at Lakeside Baptist Church would love to seek Him with you and share together in the hope, peace, joy and love that he brings into our lives. Each Sunday, we will be learning about the beautiful realities mentioned above. Services are at 10:30 am. We would be thrilled to meet you.
A very merry Christmas to you.
Pastor Tom Beetham