I love the Christmas season. Hope, joy, love and excitement seem to naturally fill our hearts. Maybe it’s all the feel-good songs we’re surrounded by, or maybe it’s the expectation of a hallmark-style family gathering. Perhaps even the treats we give ourselves permission to indulge in, or maybe it’s the appreciation we have that God sent His son for us. Whatever it may be, I’m grateful for it all.
But… what about when January comes? Do we still carry a spirit of celebration wherever we go? Maybe if our birthday lands at the beginning of the year… but typically not so much, am I right?
Now the question is… can we be just as excited after Christmas as we are the days leading up to it? My answer is yes! What’s your answer?
I think it’s up to each of us to live a life filled with hope, joy and love any given day of the year – it’s a choice.
How do we do that? Maybe it’s finding help in outside sources, like surrounding ourselves with songs that are positive, or going out of our way to show kindness to someone, which in turn will bring us joy.
But ultimately, I believe it comes with getting to know God, and knowing that He is good!
The bible speaks a lot about hope, so let’s take a closer look at what it is.
If we define the word, it means “A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Just like how we look forward to Christmas. Sometimes we use the term loosely, like how we might hope to win the lottery, or hope to have a baby someday, or whatever it is we’d like to see happen. But as we look at it on a deeper level, is there a way to feel hopeful everyday?
Let’s start at Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The Lord wants good for us! We have a purpose in our lives – each of us with our very own. Yours will look different than mine, and what God will accomplish through our saying “Yes” to Him, should keep us feeling excited for what’s to come. Remember, God is good and He wants good things for His children.
Let’s check out Psalm 62:5 where it says “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” It can be easy to allow the hardships of life to bring us down, but if we pause for a moment and set our eyes on Him, it’s amazing how quickly peace can fill us back up. Truly, if we live for Him and remember who He made us to be, hope will find its way back into our hearts.
It says in Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Doesn’t that sound like a great way to live?
I understand that being a believer doesn’t mean our lives will be problem-free, but when we turn our lives over to God and keep our faith in Him, nothing can separate us from His love. Life filled with hope is more worth living than one without, don’t ya think?
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Sometimes even when we know God is good and we know He will never fail us, we feel hopeless. Sometimes, even in these hopeless times, we need to make a choice – we can either stay downcast, or we can worship through it all whether we feel like it or not. When we make that sacrifice to Him, He takes notice. He will meet you in that place and will reward you for sticking by Him and choosing hope.
And I think it’s as simple as that. If we live a life apart from God, is there purpose? (and I mean deep purpose that makes your heart happy and your soul well nourished – not the skin-deep purpose or goals we might have, like becoming rich and famous). When we live for God and allow Him to speak to us and bring identity to us, we can live each day filled with joy, hope and excitement, knowing that His promises are true and He is incredibly good.