“Be encouraged. This world is full of trouble. But I have overcome this world.”
It is a season of waiting. Advent means arrival, appearance. It is a season where we celebrate what has been already – the coming of Christ, and a reminder of His second coming. We are all waiting … for something. What are you waiting for? What are you longing for?
I’ve been convicted in the past about what my hopes and expectations are in. I wanted to be married. I wanted a better career. I wanted nicer stuff. I wanted prestige and applause. I have hoped for a lot of things in my life, but I realized a few years ago that even in getting all these things, they were mere echoes of the ultimate hope – for all things to be made right. For all sad things to come untrue. For all peoples of every tribe and nation to be at peace, real peace. For God Himself to restore all things and redeem what we have lost.
Any other hope is lesser. They aren’t bad hopes. Don’t get me wrong. There are many wonderful, beautiful, glorious things that we should hope for and long for. It is right to want children. It is right and good to long for a spouse. There is nothing wrong with wanting meaningful, fulfilling work and establishing a good reputation among peers. But these are lesser hopes. I had to see that, admit it, repent of it, and put the right hope back in its place. The ONE HOPE, like the One Ring, must rule all other hopes. ALL our hope is in Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of Faith, the First and Last, the Redeemer King, who came and conquered. Our hope must be in Him alone and in His power and might; He has overcome all our earthly woes and has begun to set all thing aright. We have the privilege of working toward that end, for the good of His kingdom. We have the HOPE and the knowledge of the final outcome to guide us like a star.
And every time we gather, we must claim this hope and the promises we have been given, throughout Advent and all year. We must remind each other of the Hope we have in all seasons of life, from the darkest hours to the highlights of celebrations. We need the Spirit to come down and fill us with a new hope, a renewed sense of purpose and a realigned longing for the One Thing we truly need. We pray daily, “Fill our souls now.” We wait…