During the Thanksgiving holiday, I made a culinary blunder which cost time and resources. Something so simple, something I have done correctly so many times before, but this year I royally missed it. I’m not going to tell you what it was. Though if I did, I’m sure you would probably say something like, “Oh yes I’ve done that too” or “I hate when I do that!”
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12, ESV).
Everyday life reveals our human-ness. The common denominator of the human experience: failures, shortcomings, worries; mess-ups which can spiral us into self-loathing & drum up our insecurities. Even when life is firing on all cylinders and we’re feeling on top of things, we can experience let-down because we were never intended to be the answer. Living life on our own human strength sets us up for repeat disappointment and frustration.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, ESV).
At the time of writing this, the season of Advent is starting. Advent means “arrival” and signifies the start of an event or the arrival of a person. In Christian communities around the world, Advent refers to a four-week season of remembering and celebrating the arrival of Jesus on Earth–a time to reflect and hopefully choose to renew our commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and the only hope to guide our lives.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13, ESV).
The first week of the Advent season leads us to reflect on hope. Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and you put your trust in that promise. Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass. How do we build our hope in God? We need to believe and accept Him as the Savior of humankind. We need to intentionally relinquish control over our lives and allow Him to lead and guide us. We need to feed on His Word to build ourselves up so we are strong to help others in His name.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4, ESV).
God’s Word directs us to be filled and covered with hope that transforms. It’s a battle in the world we live in, but we have God’s armor. We can love others and we can bring life to others, even in the midst of chaos. The hope we have can be freely and generously given to others who are struggling, moving through a difficult time, or in despair.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (I Thessalonians 5:8-11, ESV).
During this Advent season, my prayer is that we would, like children, experience the wonder and hope found in Jesus; that this Christmas season would be more than a temporary feel-good experience; that we would daily remain and thrive in our Hope now and through the year.