With the world in the shape it's in, it is easy to lose hope. Satan has his strongholds, his Nelson hold, if you will let me borrow that wrestling term on the world, BUT only temporarily, and that is what the believer in Jesus has to rely on. When Jesus came into the world, for the Israelis, things did seem a bit hopeless. They had longed for a messiah, they had waited for a messiah, they had prayed for a messiah. but one problem remained. When the Messiah Jesus did come, they refused to accept weHim as Messiah. Why? Because they were looking for a different type of messiah. They looked for a military leader who would help them overthrow the Roman government who controlled most of the world. Jesus did not exactly fit their image of a messiah, but He was exactly what we all needed! I'll share on! At exactly the right time, God Himself entered the world in the form of a tiny infant, and the tiny Messiah lay asleep in a cattle trough, not a palace bed. The tiny infant, worshiped only that night by a few straggly looking shepherds, the angels who brought them the good news, a few wise men, and his mother Mary and her husband Joseph. who was not Jesus' father: remember the Holy Spirit had come upon Mary and caused her to conceive the Son of God! But, you see, God Himself had His own hopes! Hopes that His creation would worship Him not only in word, but in righteous and holy lives. That had not happened, despite God's revealing Himself to the patriarchs (braham, Isaac, and David), Moses and the law, the judges, the kings and all the prophets. Yet, the Creator God knew that if He Himself stepped down to the earth in the form of His Son, there would be a great number of people who would believe and turn to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Having left the Hallowed Halls of Heaven, Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, lived that perfect life to show us the purity and holiness of the Father that He wanted to impart to us. He wanted that so much that the perfect Jesus willingly gave His perfect life, taking all of your sins and mine on Himself, so that we could have the hope of an intimate and personal relation with Him and His Father. When He died, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom, meaning that God initiated the ripping and made it possible to have such a permanent relationship that would impart the hope of eternal salvation for all who will truly receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. And that is the hope we have. Many have questioned the permanence of salvation and whether one can lose their salvation. Many a debate has raged over this subject! As I have shared in past devotions, I too, struggled with this, because as I went through college and even the first bit of seminary, the God is Dead theology was rampant and that added to my confusion. In one course, we were studying Hebrews 6. The first few verses almost make it sound like one can lose salvation. One professor explained it like this: "It is possible to lose your salvation, and if you do, you can never gain it back again," That does not exactly evoke hope in me! However, a few years ago, Dr. David Jeremiah did a series of sermons on Hebrews and was also the General Editor of our Sunday School lessons on that book. As I read further down in Hebrews 6, I struck found a hope that has anchored my faith and hope in God forever. Here are the verses: "15 And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. 17 Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this ⌊hope⌋ as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek." Heb 6:15-20 (HCSB) Unraveling these verses isn't all that difficult: God promises us the hope of eternal life, He initiated that promise through Abraham by providing the race through which He would send His Son. Jesus would become the only one worthy to be our Savior, and He did willingly give His life for all who will turn to him in repentance, obedience, and faith. My friend, we have all sinned and stand in need of a Savior. And we have Him. But if YOU had been the only person in the world who needed a Savior, Jesus would have still died on that cross just for you! Actually, He did die for you. And He rose again, for YOU. And He is coming back again to take those of us who love and trust that He died for us. That, my friend, IS our hope. Our anchor for our souls!