Happy December 1st! Today officially marks that the Christmas Season has begun! As Children tear into their chocolate Advent Calendars, parents begin wrapping gifts, and trees are being lit up all over the country, the spirit of anticipation is at an all time high!
With the ushering in of the Christmas Season, we also usher in the season of Advent, meaning “arrival.” During these next few weeks, as wreaths are hung and cookies are baked, we prepare to celebrate the birth of our savior and all that it represents.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“Hope” is the theme represented during the first week of Advent, and I have always thought it was the most perfect beginning to the season. When December begins, hope seems like it’s at an all time high! Hope that the perfect Christmas gift will make it under the tree. Hope for a calm, no-stress family gathering to celebrate. Hope that as this year ends and a new one begins things will change and get better.
And for the Israelites, the hope that would come out of 400 years of silence. The candle that represents the first week of Advent is referred to as “the prophecy candle” and is a reminder that God will do what He says He will. That He is trustworthy to stand on His promises. We are reminded that despite 400 years of waiting, the people of God knew that He would fulfill his promise to send the Messiah.
The problem with putting our hope in things that are of this world is that they will always let us down eventually. The perfect gift will eventually be donated. The perfect family gathering will eventually have drama. The perfect start to the new year will eventually give way to old habits.
BUT, because of the hope that we have in Jesus, we can be assured that when He begins to move, things happen.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
The Christmas season has the potential to run us so ragged that we become resentful and frustrated by this time of year rather than joyful and reverent. But, the hope that we have in Jesus so far surpases how the enemy wants to steal the joy of this season.
I want to encourage you to fix your eyes on the hope that only Jesus can provide. Let it saturate every day of this Holiday. Just like the Isrealites, so hopeful that God heard their cries and was going to send a savior, let us be so fervently hopeful in all of the incredible things that God has for us.
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