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The Holidays – A Time For Hope, Not Despair


I am, admittedly, a hopeful romantic – not hopeless!  I like to see the good in people; in life, in the way circumstances should resolve to be.  That said, I have lived enough years to know things don’t always turn out the way I want them, but it doesn’t mean I can’t hope for the best.

I still enjoy sitting with my wife of twenty years and dreaming and talking about the future; otherwise, what else is there, but to simply grind out each day in a seemingly endless string of days without end, left wondering, “is this all there is to life?”

I love talking with my kids about what they’re doing, watching them grow and being a part of the changes in their lives.  Without stopping to acknowledge these things, life passes us by and all-of-a-sudden, we find ourselves feeling robbed of our years, wondering what happened to the little kids who used to live here, running down the hall with a make-shift cape and a light-sabre, determined to save the world!

Hope is a good thing.  I am that guy who looks forward to Christmas for months and doesn’t mind reminding people that it’s coming!  I figure, it’s coming! we may as well just accept it.  Having said that, I am also aware that many people struggle around the holidays, either due to the reminder of the loss of a loved one or a tragic event in their lives and I have great compassion for them.

I believe Jesus came to restore hope to our lives.  Next month we will celebrate the most hopeful event mankind has ever known – the day God clothed Himself in humanity, stooped down to earth and made a commitment to live as a human being.

Think about it. If God really wanted to, He could have arrived on any given day, arranged to be put to death, die on the Cross, be resurrected and ascend back to Heaven; quick, clean and easy – no muss, no fuss! His plan was much bigger.

His plan was about restoration, it was about healing, it was about bringing hope to the hopeless and peace to the tormented.  Jesus’ life of 33 years was, among other things, to show us how to live in fellowship with God and allow His presence to impact our lives and those around us powerfully!

“The thief (the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV, brackets mine). More abundantly means, “to the full, till it overflows” (John 10:10, AMP).  God did not design us to live strictly in our own, but powerfully through fellowship with Him.

When Jesus walked the earth, He could do nothing in His own power as a man.  He had stripped Himself of all deity.  On this earth, He could not fulfill His assignment on His own, He had to depend on His Father.  Look at what He was able to do!  The stories are in the Gospels. If we will live the same way, we can live a life of power; of breakthrough, of peace and yes, a life filled with hope!

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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Dr., San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.

  The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.

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