Good morning! Our advent devotional for this last day of November comes to us from Henry Haas. Henry is a senior majoring in music from Dallas, TX, and he serves this year as the President of RUF (Reformed University Fellowship). In addition to his exceptional musical talents, Henry is also a warm and thoughtful person who is passionate about his faith. I trust you will find his words for us today to be a good opportunity for reflection as we continue through this first week of advent where we focus on the light of the HOPE candle. Blessings on the day ahead…
“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.”
Hope as we understand it is a feeling of expectation. It is the desire that something will happen, the feeling of want that things will go our way. God’s definition of hope, however, differs in several important ways, three of which we will explore today.
Hope is Foundational
Hope as it is presented to us biblically boasts God as its source, and this has been the case
since the beginning. Faith as we understand it is the “confidence in what we hope for and
assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Where hope for earthly change is
uncertain, loose, and vague, hope through God is assured, steady; placed firmly in our
Hope is Sustained
Think about the following verses: “Through him (Jesus) we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearths through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:2-5
How does that make you feel about hope? Knowing that biblical hope is not only for our times of happiness, but also great trials and tribulations. We are called as Christians to accept the gift of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Called to understanding that no matter what we may have to deal with in our lives today, there is hope everlasting in Him, our Father. How can you apply this in your life? What hardships have you taken on this week? How might you pray for His sustaining hope?
Hope is a Gift
Finally, it is important to understand that hope is a gift from God. It is not something that is up to us to muster, but rather deposited to us by the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah lays this out for us perfectly: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Hope in God is truly a wonderful and precious gift. It demonstrates that even death is nothing
compared to the eternal plan in heaven that God has laid out for us. This is because “…the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11).
A Prayer for Hope
Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that You have granted me the gift of undying and eternal
hope. Help me this advent season to see that You are with me, through times of great joy, and
great sorrow. Nothing is too difficult, too hard, too strong, or too weak for You Lord. You are with me in all things, and in that faith there is great hope. Help me to have hope in You when I am uncertain and unwell, but also to remember that times of joy are also thanks to You, and my hope in Your unending love. You gave us the gift of hope through Your son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and it is in His name that I pray, Amen.