The Gift of Glorious Hope



"The Gift of Glorious Hope"

TEXT: Luke 2:1-21

TONE: Encouragement

TARGET: Believers

TASK: Exploring the hope that Christmas brings through the birth of Jesus.

TEACH: Imagine a weary traveler, walking through a vast desert. The scorching sun beats down upon him, sapping his strength and draining his spirit. With every step, he battles against the shifting sands that seem determined to pull him down.


But in the distance, he spots an oasis. It appears like a mirage at first, but as he draws closer, hope begins to flicker within his heart. He knows that at this oasis, there will be refreshing water to quench his thirst, shade to shield him from the relentless sun, and provision to sustain him on his journey.


With each difficult step, the traveler clings to this hope. He endures the blazing heat, the exhaustion, and the uncertainty because he believes steadfastly that the oasis is real and that it will deliver on its promise.


Finally, after what feels like an eternity, the traveler arrives. His weary body collapses onto the cool, refreshing ground. His parched lips touch the life-giving water, and his weary soul is rejuvenated. In this oasis, he finds not only physical relief but also a renewed sense of purpose and the strength to continue his journey.


In this illustration, the desert represents the challenges and trials that we face in life. The oasis symbolizes the hope we have in God's promises. Just like the weary traveler, we may encounter difficulty and struggles along the way. But it is through clinging to the hope we have in God that we can overcome, find strength, and ultimately reach the fulfillment of His promises.


In order to understand hope, we first must seek to define it. The Bible states, ‘that faith is the substance of things hoped for...” Thus, we see a salvific connection between faith and hope. However, there are significant differences between the two. I believe Bunyan can help the best here:


         1. Faith comes by hearing; hope by experience.

         2. Faith believes the truth; hope waits for its fulfilling.

3. Faith looks to Christ, as dead, buried, resurrected, ascended, whereas hope looks to His second coming.

4. Faith looks to Christ for justification; hope looks to glory.

5. Faith saves by laying hold of God through Christ; hope saves by persevering/prevailing with the soul to suffer all troubles, afflictions, and adversities. -John Bunyan vol.1/578


Illustration: There was a king that adopted a little boy and clothed him the attire of the child of the King, and promised him, that if he would fight his father’s battles and walk in his father’s ways, he should share in his father’s kingdom. He received adoption, and the kings robe, but not yet his part in the kingdom, but now, hope of the share will make him fight.


It is a firm expectation of all promised good in Christ. Andrew Fuller wrote, “Hope- God has not put this Jewel into your hand to be made light of it. He would have you understand it and prize it.” -Andrew Fuller Vol.3/308


TRUTH: The birth of Jesus offers hope for humanity, showing us that God's promises are fulfilled and that a Savior has come to bring salvation and eternal life.


I. Hopes Glorious Revelation


A. The Prophetic Promise

   1. Jesus' birth was foretold throughout the Old Testament.

   2. Scriptures spoke of a Messiah who would bring salvation to mankind.

   3. Luke 2:11 signifies the fulfillment of these prophecies.


B. The Miraculous Announcement

   1. The heavenly host appearing to humble shepherds.

   2. The proclamation of "good tidings of great joy."

   3. The angel affirming the birth of the long-awaited Savior.


C. The Heavenly Celebration

   1. The chorus of angels praising God for His marvelous plan.

   2. The significance of this praise and adoration.

   3. The connection between the heavenly rejoicing and the glorious gift of Jesus Christ.


Transition: Having explored the glorious revelation, let us shift our focus to the arrival of Jesus, the Son of God.


II. Hopes Glorious Arrival


A. The Humble Circumstances

   1. The choice of a lowly stable in Bethlehem.

   2. The juxtaposition of Jesus' divine nature in a humanly vulnerable state.

   3. Teachings on humility and the vital lessons we can glean from Jesus' birthplace.


B. The Divine Identity

   1. The significance of Jesus' name and its meaning.

   2. The reality of Jesus' dual nature: fully God and fully man.

   3. The implications of Jesus' divine identity for our faith and salvation.


C. The Eternal Purpose

   1. God's intention to bridge the gap between humanity and Himself.

   2. The manifestation of God's unconditional love for humankind.

   3. Jesus' birth as a divine rescue plan for all of humanity.


Transition: Finally, let us focus on the glorious purpose behind Jesus' arrival and what it means for our lives today.


III. Hopes Glorious Purpose


A. The Incarnate Savior

   1. Jesus' role as the Son of God and the promised Messiah.

   2. He came to reconcile us with our loving Heavenly Father.

   3. Jesus' birth as the starting point of our faith journey.


B. The Redeemer of All

   1. Jesus' purpose to save humanity from sin and eternal separation from God.

   2. The power of His sacrifice on the cross, extending forgiveness to all who believe.

   3. Our opportunity to experience redemption through a personal relationship with Jesus.


C. The Hope of Humanity

   1. The hope offered through Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection.

   2. Jesus as the ultimate source of hope and fulfillment in our lives.

   3. The invitation to accept Jesus as our Savior and experience a transformed life.


Hope is a constant unwavering belief in God. Hope is dedicated expectation concerning the promises of God. Hope is a virtue of the children of God. A peace that allows one to believe that God is working all things out for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.


Theologically hope is……..


I. Grounded in Faith (draw from Scripture)

   A. Trusting in God's Promises

   B. Believing in His Sovereignty

   C. Having Confidence in His Faithfulness


II. Anchored in Christ (entirely in Christ)

   A. Placing Hope in Jesus' Sacrifice

   B. Relying on His Resurrection Power

   C. Abiding in His Unchanging Love


III. Activated by Resilience (felt inwardly)

   A. Enduring Trials and Tribulations

   B. Learning from Past Experiences

   C. Adopting a Growth Mindset



IV. Extended in Service (manifested outwardly)

   A. Sharing the Gift of Hope with Others

   B. Leading a Life of Love and Compassion

   C. Investing in Building God's Kingdom


Beware any hope that does not sanctify.


(1) USE ALL MEANS TO CULTIVATE HOPE: Read holy scripture; pray secretly and openly; let your conversation be that of heaven. (2) SIN IS HOPES WORST ENEMY: Beware of it. (3) HOLY SPIRIT IS HOPE’S BEST FRIEND: see you don’t grieve Him. (4) TRIBULATIONS IN THE END CHERISH IT: though now they seem to destroy.


TIE-UP: Remember, hope is not just a wish or a fleeting desire. It is a confident expectation, firmly rooted in God's faithfulness and the unchanging nature of His promises. So let us hold fast to the hope we have, knowing that God is with us in the desert and that He will lead us to the oasis of His provision, refreshing our weary souls along the way.


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