A Thrill of Hope the Weary World Rejoices
Written by: Angela Mercer
2016 for many people has been a year they can’t wait to be over. For many it has been a year full of hardship, frustration, questions, trauma, sickness, uncertainty, challenges, possibly a crisis of faith.
Where is God? What IS He doing? Is He REALLY good? And while I am so tempted to answer all those questions and defend, I know the Lion of Judah needs no defending. But, still, it pains my heart for God to be so misunderstood and life to be so painful.
Our God is not afraid of the crisis, nor is He afraid of the questions or the doubt. In fact, He welcomes it. Why? Because without these moments of “rock bottom” how do we know if our faith really works?
You hear people time and time again say that it was through the most difficult time in their lives they sensed God in a brand new way. They experienced His peace that passes ALL understanding and they felt His love so tangibly through their church community and friends. I even heard someone once say they don’t regret what happened because of the way they experienced God. Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “He is close to the broken hearted”.
I was leading worship one evening with a group of young adults and we sang “You are good, good…. You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down…” I could see the weary faces. I could see the questions and hurt upon faces as they tried to reconcile what this world looks like and what they are personally going through while singing the lyrics of this song. It was the day after the Orlando shooting.
Is He really good? Is He good to me? WHERE is He?
And I couldn’t stop myself from yelling at the top of my lungs as tears streamed down my face: “He is good… He loves you…. He sees you… and He mourns with you”. God is here. And one day we will see Him face to face and all this will pass away and until then, as Christians, we gotta get this right because there is a weary and hurting world out there in need of the comfort of a Saviour and WE have the answer! His name is JESUS. He knows what we’re going through because He experienced it all on earth as a human. We don’t have a God that is far away and unaware. He is close. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
And so, I pray that this Christmas season you feel His love so incredibly close. I pray you experience His love in a fresh and new way. I pray that even in the midst of whatever it is you are going through, you are filled with excitement knowing that Hope is here. And I pray that even in your weariness you will begin to rejoice!
Angela is passionate about Jesus, women and building community. She fully believes that women are the heartbeat of the church. Angela has been married to her favourite man, Blair, for 17 years and together they pastor Gateway Church in Komoka, Ontario. When Angela is not leading worship or running some type of women’s event, you will find her doing a DIY, reading a good book, drinking her husbands amazing coffee or planning a meal with friends. One day she hopes to make pie as good as her mom’s. Angela has two incredible kids to call her own (Isaac 13, Michaela 12) who keep her quick and on her feet and enjoying every single moment of life.