Following Hope in a New Year

Christmas has just passed but this single scripture from the Christmas story still rings in my ears for the new year.

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” Matthew 2:10

The men who followed the star are often referred to as “wise men.” It would seem that to follow a star would make them appear to be unwise.

These men were magi; priests responsible for upholding cultic traditions and practices in their homeland, but one star caused these gentiles to break their established traditions, relationships and lives. They were not even related to the children of Israel, yet they risked everything to follow. They forgot their status in society and even their most valuable treasures. All they had went with them. They once lived in darkness, but have now seen a great light. New hope was on the horizon.

Every time a person sees a star in the sky, they are reminded that there is something more in the universe besides themselves. There is something more which is unknown and must be discovered. These brave men must have felt the same. It is what prompted them to take such courageous action. So they left their past behind because they knew that this star marked the dawn of a new day. A new day where God’s promises would change everything. A new day where the presence of the past would be replaced with the presence of God.

That star brought hope as well as direction. The wise men likely came from different places, lives and life situations. They had all made different mistakes and decisions in their own lives. But now they find each other and travel together because of a star. Even if they had gotten lost on the way, that star would once again shine and light their way, directing their path. With that star always shining, they could never be hopeless. Never lost.

Once they saw the star, they were filled with joy! Nothing else had value. Nothing else could satisfy. The star was everything to them. It was their joy; the priority of these brave pioneers.

You and I are called by god. Out of the darkness, God causes His light to shine into our lives. Jesus calls. He is the God of hope. Not of hopelessness. He gives hope and expects that we will follow. If we have gotten lost along the way, we can still look to Him and navigate our way back into His arms. There is no excuse for being lost while His light is shining. There will always be problems, but only “a life fixated on Christ will fix everything else.”

Tell me. “What was it that led you to Christ?”

“Are you still following?”

See the star. Be like these wise men and become faith-pioneers, filled with joy in 2010.

Walk, no …run in His light.

About the Author Jason Betler

Jason communicates for transformed lives. He is the founding evangelist for The Nations Hope and lead pastor of Life Tree Church in San Jose, California.

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