Monday, December 11, 2006

Hope In God

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God."
Psalm 42:11

For some reason I'm still in that slump. I have absolutely nothing to be depressed about, and yet, here I sit. So, rather than focus on the disquiet in my soul that I cannot comprehend - because, believe me, I've tried to figure out the source and there just isn't one - I'm going to focus on scripture. I heard someone say once that we need to wallpaper our minds with God's Word. I like that. Instead of moping, think biblically. So in light of the fact that Christmas is coming, I'm thinking about the story of Simeon.

Luke 2:25-35
“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

'Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel

And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, 'Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'"

I've always loved this passage and this faithful old man who was trusting God for the Consolation of Israel. This consolation encompasses the very deliverance from sin and separation from God. The time was right for Him to appear - when you read Daniel, you see that he prophesied the time that Messiah would come. And Simeon was in the Temple, and God granted him the eyes to see His salvation. What a blessing! Simeon demonstrated his hope in God by his devout life and with the wonderful blessing he spoke. And I especially like that Jesus is a light to the Gentiles. Praise His name - that includes me! He is truly the glory of God.

And I think, too, of Mary, pondering all these things in her heart, as Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul also. And yet, His suffering bought her deliverance as well. I love the line in the song "Mary, Did You Know" that says, "This Child that You delivered will soon deliver you." I'm so thankful that Christmas doesn't end at the manger, but continues all the way to the Cross. Jesus is the Light of the world, and in Him is life. Because of His grace, I can hope in God. Even when struggling with feelings I don't understand.

No comments: