A Thrill of Hope…

Happy 2022 to all you lovely interwebians.

Well, it’s a new year. Do you feel any different?

When I woke up this morning to yet another cool, dreary, foggy day, I’ll admit it: everything felt the same as it did when I went to bed (at 9:30p) last night.

Nebulous.

If I’m honest, it’s a word that retrospectively describes most of 2021 (though especially the last three months) for me: cloudy, hazy, vague, unclear, ill-defined. Like walking through a forest on a foggy day with no path.

Chances are I’m not alone.

We, as a collective people on this orbiting sphere, have been through a lot these past two years, and while I cannot claim to know or understand the pain and loss that many have experienced, I do know how easily it has been to lose sight of hope.

After all, where is hope when each new day is as an endless night?
Where is hope when the journey winds on with no path in sight?

Over this past year, as my dreams and plans and projects and goals have been thrown in my face time and time again, it’s been easy to lose sight of hope.

This morning though, as I contemplated this past year and looked ahead to the new year dawning, these words from O Holy Night came to mind:

A thrill of hope: the weary world rejoices…

How fitting.

We, as those who were awaiting the coming Messiah, often grow weary on our journey through this life – weary of waiting, weary of hoping, weary of watching.

And yet, there is reason for rejoicing; there is reason for hope.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Y’all, in the midst of deep darkness, our morning has already broken: our Savior has already come. He is our light. He is our hope. He is our salvation.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends shared this beautiful thought:

It invokes the audacity of hope in the face of night.

Y’all, for us to have and to hold hope in the face of what often feels like an endless night is simply that – audacious. It doesn’t make sense. It is daringly bold and shows a blatant disrespect for the confines of the situations in which we find ourselves.

And yet we hope.

Because the hope to which we cling is not rooted in our circumstances. It is not found in the world around us. Rather, as Romans 5 states, our hope is in the glory of God.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

And so, here’s to 2022: the year of audacious hope.

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