The royal birth of King Jesus was filled with themes of joy and hope. Mary and Joseph had been told by angelic messengers that this baby would be the long-awaited Messiah, and the shepherds had heard that this royal baby promised salvation, peace and good will to all.

But soon all these hopeful themes were dashed in the chaos of wailing of mothers in Bethlehem whose babies had been ripped away from them in the slaughter of the innocents. And this child, whose royal charter was to bring hope to the hopeless and joy and peace to all, was now a refugee in exile in Egypt. I can imagine that Mary and Joseph must have often thought, “I didn’t think it would turn out like this!”

Which is what we are often tempted to say when, in spite of God’s promises, our lives are lost in the despairing chaos of unexpected pain and sorrow. And in the midst of it, we may wonder about Christ’s claim to be a conquering King. Especially when all that is wrong seems to prevail.

If all we have is this moment, then indeed we will despair and feel like all these promises embodied in the baby King Jesus are to no avail. But that is just the point: we have more than just this moment! King Jesus, who seemingly had ultimately lost the battle as He was entombed by his enemies, rose from the dead, validating His promise that the day was coming when He would indeed once and for all conquer all that is wrong, sorrowful and despairing in our lives.

I love the assurance of Revelation 20-21 that assures us that Satan will be eternally terminated in the lake of fire, and that our Conquering King will, “wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death will be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, for the former things have passed away” and “behold I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:4-5).

It’s just a matter of time … all of our disappointments are but temporary setbacks in the scheme of eternity where joy, peace and undiminished happiness will be ours … forever!