Advent: The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; appearance, emergence, dawn, birth; the coming or second coming of Christ
And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5 (NASB, emphasis mine)
Advent Musing: Hope is a tricky word. It can sound pretty noncommittal. We hope for lots of things, like sunny days for a picnic or good news from an MRI. We hope difficult family members will be nice at Christmas. We hope no one gets sick and keeps us from the Christmas Eve candlelight service. Used this way, hope is rather weak. Something might happen, and we sure hope it will, but… actually … we won’t get our hopes up about hoping. It’s way too easy to be let down. Hoping, at least the way our culture understands the word, is pretty much hit or miss.
How is biblical hope different? The hope we learn about in the Bible is linked very closely with the word faith. We hope for things that actually, truly will happen. We have a hope that does not disappoint. We are in a whole different league when we hope in God. Good parents, when they make promises, do everything in their power to make sure they keep their word. God, the parent, goes one better, because everything is in His power. If He says it will happen, it will happen.
What are we hoping for this Christmas? Jesus. We look back with awe and wonder at the first coming of Jesus that fulfilled the hopes of Israel for a Savior of the world. We look forward with hope to the time when He will return, and this sad, sick, off-balance world will be made right again. Jesus came once. He was Hope fulfilled. Just as surely, Jesus will come again. Our hope is sure. An anchor for our souls.* Rejoice! We can dare to hope, certain that we will not be disappointed, and all because of the One in whom our hope rests.
Adore: Lord, we praise You! You are our secure Hope. You will come again and restore this broken planet. You will right all wrongs, dry every tear, and show us Yourself in ways beyond our best and wildest imaginings. We believe that no eye has seen and no ear has heard what You have prepared for those who love you.** We wait this Christmas—and always—with hope. We love You, Lord! Amen.
Ask: Lord, please show me how to keep hoping in dark times. Remind me of Your faithfulness and love. As I prepare to celebrate Your first coming, give me an anchored hope in You and in Your second and certain coming. Help me to encourage those around me to put their hope in You, for You will not disappoint. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Act: Please reveal to me who needs hope today. Show me, Lord, how to give in ways that will point another to You. Help me to restore the hope of someone today with a kindness that reflects Your kindness and love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Activity for Children: Light the first candle on your advent wreath that represents Hope. Talk to your little ones—and not-so-little ones—about the sure hope we have in Jesus. Tell them we can hope it will be sunny tomorrow, but that’s up to God; He might know we need rain. But when we hope that He will be with us and one day take us to the most beautiful place ever, we can be sure. Hide a treat for the children somewhere in your home, something you know they will enjoy ... homemade cookies ... stickers ... a special video. Tell them you have hidden a fun treat just for them and that this is a “certain hope” like the one we have in Jesus. Then ask your children ... do you hope you’ll find it? Yes! On your mark, get set, go! Let them race about and find it, and when they do, remind them that even though that was a “sure hope,” hoping in God is even more sure. He never lies or disappoints. Then go and enjoy the treat together.
*Hebrews 6:19 ** 1 Corinthians 2:9
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)