Spring is coming! Probably not what you expected to read for the first post of December, but my little boy just came in all excited to tell me spring is coming because he just saw green grass starting to grow. Well, we live in California and the only time we have green on our hills is in the winter. So even though I know we still have all of winter ahead of us, I think it fits in perfectly because just as we have hope that spring will come after winter, the first Sunday in Advent is focused on hope!
This hope is two-fold. We remember the longing and anticipation for a Messiah who would save the world from the sin that started with Adam and Eve, which was fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming. And we look forward to when Jesus returns in His second coming or Advent.
Hope is such a powerful thing because it can carry us through our present sufferings like nothing else can. It can lift our eyes from the problems we are struggling with right in front of us, to God and His glorious power to overcome those difficulties. It opens up possibilities where none existed before and it encourages us to take one more step in faith.
Those of us who have experienced suffering have a deeper hope. In Romans 5:3-4, the Bible says that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character hope. Just as when we light Advent candles, they push away the darkness, so hope can push away doubt and fear. Then we in turn can share the light of hope in Christ with others.
Romans 5:5 goes on to say that hope does not disappoint us, because of the love that God has poured into our hearts. Next week, the second week of Advent, focuses on this love. Until then I pray that you will be filled with hope by the Holy Spirit!
“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” Romans 5:2-5
I love Christmas music, so for each of these Advent posts I am going to be including a song. Click here to listen!