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Held by Hope - Girlfriends in God - December 24, 2020

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December 24, 2020
Held by Hope
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19, NIV).

Friend to Friend
Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to witness the celestial celebration that took place in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born? Now, I’m a bit fussy about fashion, but I’d even consider donning a shepherd’s garb and hanging out with a few sheep for that opportunity! 

To see angels fill the sky, to hear the voice of God through the cries of a baby. 

To catch a glimpse of the brilliant Star of David, and to satisfy my curiosity as to what exactly a host of heavenly angels sounds like. 

To soak in the amazingness of it all.

Oh, and to talk to Mary!  

Wouldn’t that be incredible to hear what she was thinking as she witnessed, and took part in, the greatest miracle ever known to man? This baby she gave birth to was God-in-the-flesh… a true bundle of perfect love. "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19, NIV).

What do you think she treasured in her heart as she took it all in? 

I’m struck by this thought: As Mary held the Hope of the world, the Hope of the world held her. {Mind. Blown.}

The baby born in a stable that holy night long ago is the Hope of the world, the Grace that saves us and the Love that heals us. 

Jesus is the Hope that changes our worthless into precious, our guilty to forgiven, our hungry into satisfied, our empty into full and our broken into beautiful. 

Jesus is Emmanuel, our Lord of inescapable presence who is with us and for us. 

The psalmist David was amazed by this when he wrote to the Lord, “If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:8-10).

Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, and it's Him who “holds us fast.” 

After His resurrection and before His ascension into heaven, Jesus said to His followers, “Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).  

Emmanuel, always with us.  

Always loving us.  

Always inviting us to find comfort, refuge, joy and hope in Him. 

Ponder that! Just as it was with Mary two thousand years ago, Every believer is held by Hope today because we are held fast by Jesus, our Savior who will never leave us or forsake us. No matter the circumstances, not matter the diagnoses, no matter the financial struggle. Our faithful LORD is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and our souls can find peace knowing that in everything we're held by Hope. 

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, You are my Hope! I join the psalmist today in praying, “Sustain me according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered” (Psalm 119:116-117a). I’m leaning into Your heavenly grip today.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
What would it look like for you to allow Hope to hold you today?

NEED PRAYER? Friend, I know that as sweet as Christmas is, it will be hard for many of you this year. Pain is no respecter of persons, and loneliness can find us in a crowded room. I pray that you will find comfort in knowing that God loves and sees you. Leave a comment and we would love to pray for you.

More from the Girlfriends
girlfriends in god, gig, graceologyThere are so many voices vying for your attention it can be hard to sift through the noise and focus on what really matters during the Christmas season. The Graceologie with Gwen Smith podcast will help you move from distracted to directed.

Directed to hope. Directed to truth. Directed to clarity. Directed to grace. Directed to Jesus. Click here to listen now.

© 2020 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

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