Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family are enjoying the holidays together. At this season, we think of the hope that Jesus brought when He came as a little baby.
This is a devotion that I (Scott) wrote for our church's Advent book.
The woman looked at her situation; it was hopeless. Her husband was dead. The creditors were calling. She could not pay. They were going to take her two sons. She went to the prophet and told him about her hopeless situation. Elisha asked what she had in the house. “A jar of oil,” she said. I’m sure the voice was not confident, probably hopeless.
Elisha told her what to do. Gather as many empty containers as she could and begin pouring the oil. The woman obeyed. The oil continued to flow until every container was full. Then it stopped. “Go and sell it,” Elisha said. “Pay your debt. Live on the rest.” (2 Kings 4:1-7, HCSB) God provided what the woman needed in her hopeless situation.
All of us are like the woman; we are born in a hopeless situation. We have a great debt—our sin—that we cannot pay. The “creditor” is coming to take the only things we have, our lives. God provided what all mankind needs for this hopeless situation. He sent His Son to be born. Jesus lived a sinless life. He died on the cross, paying the debt we could never pay. He rose, conquering death once and for all. He fills the empty hearts that call on Him. He turns our hopelessness into eternal hope.
We can rest in this eternal hope. But what happens when we find ourselves struggling with hope day to day? Recently my wife and I have found ourselves in circumstances similar to the woman’s. Neither of us have full-time, regular jobs. But we still have expenses. God has provided. He has taken what we have and continues to help fill our containers. Our oil continues to flow and we continue to have more than we need to meet our obligations. God provides what we need.
God is the provider of our hope—hope in the deliverance from sin and eternal death and hope in our day-to-day needs. This Christmas we can celebrate the God of hope and His Son, the Savior, Jesus.
I pray the hope of God is yours now and throughout the next year.