“…The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.'” — Luke 2:10
Christmas is over. The shopping, baking, decorating, and wrapping are just memories now. But the message of the angels is timeless. It’s one that is desperately needed in our world, not just on December 25th, but every day of this New Year. It’s a message of Hope for the world.
If ever there was a time to offer Hope to all people, it’s now. The population has exploded, unemployment is high, bankruptcies are common, suicides are rampant, politicians lack leadership, leaders lack courage, Christians are unrighteous, and the masses are unrepentant. The list goes on. What is the world coming to? What hope is there for the future of my grandchildren, not just economically and politically, but morally? The land that we love is changing so drastically that future generations will not know the freedoms that we have enjoyed for so long.
The Hope that God offers is underscored in Luke’s Gospel, at the Transfiguration scene in chapter 9. It’s striking that Moses and Elijah, two of the greatest of the Old Testament believers who had been dead for hundreds of years, appeared with Jesus, wrapped in splendor. They were alive! They were talking to Jesus about the Cross and the Resurrection! How could that be?
The obvious conclusion is that this life is not all there is. There is Hope for tomorrow. Death is not final. The bad guys do not win. The good guys do. And the focus of history is on Jesus, the Son of God, the Hope of the ages.
Elijah, a powerful prophet, was greatly persecuted during his lifetime. He had to hide from death threats and run from his tormentors. He called down the fire, slaughtered the priests of Baal, prayed down the rain, then ran from one wicked woman. He spiraled down into suicidal depression before he was recalled into God’s service. Yet there he was, sharing in the glory of the Son of God on the Mount of Transfiguration!
And Moses! A man raised in the palaces of Egypt…a man who had such an explosive temper that he murdered an Egyptian official who was oppressing a slave…a man exiled in disgrace…a man who was ridiculed and mocked…a man who wandered in circles with God’s children, going basically nowhere, because the former slaves stubbornly refused to follow God by faith into the Promised Land. So Moses, a man raised in the palaces of Egypt, lived out his life in the dust and heat of the wilderness, caring for people who, for the most part, were obstinate and ungrateful. Subsequently, Moses pleaded with God to reveal His glory. But God only allowed him to see the “backside.” And Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Yet hundreds of years later, he was wrapped in glory as he spoke with God in Christ face to face!
If your New Year has gotten off to a rocky start.
If some of the problems from 2011 have resurfaced in 2012.
If the resolutions you made on January 1st have already been broken.
If your spouse is divorcing you,
your children disobeying you,
your friends rejecting you,
your boss humiliating you,
your church wounding you,
your life itself disappointing you…
There is Hope! Do not be afraid! This AnGeL brings you tidings of great joy! One day soon, Jesus will come back to receive you to Himself, so that where He is, you may be also. He will wipe away your tears, clothe you in a body like His, and enfold you in His arms! You will be wrapped in His glory, face to face with the One whose Word says if you suffer with Him you will share in His glory…the One who reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords! Forever!
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The Time Is Now
Delivered on May 15, 2011 at the Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem, Israel, Anne’s newest audio message from Joel 1 pinpoints the importance of knowing what time it is in human history, so that we can live accordingly. Through environmental, social, financial, national, religious and agricultural disaster, God is sounding the alarm. The time to wake up and to cry out to God in repentance and humility is now. As the signs of the end of the age and of His return are increasing in frequency and intensity, there is still time not only to embrace the hope that God promises, but to offer it to someone else.