• on November 28, 2016

Advent: The Coming of Hope

by Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

With four weeks until Christmas, the Christian Church enters a time referred as “Advent.”  Advent, which means “coming,” is a time of preparation and celebration as we anticipate and celebrate the coming of our Savior in the form of a child, born in a manger.  If you were in a church on Sunday, more than likely you saw the advent wreath with five candles; three purple, one pink, and the white Christ candle in the middle.  Each candle has a specific meaning and represents a different aspect of Christ’s coming. It is significant that as we celebrate the coming of the Savior, we can first look at hope.

With hope looking towards a better future, the loss of hope is a scary thing to lose.  When a person loses hope they go from living to existing.  From thriving to surviving.  What is worse is that the belief that anything could change goes away and they relegate themselves to the slump and grime of their life. For the people of Israel, they had been through a great deal of trial through their history.  They had seen exile, temple destroyed, enemies prospering, and then a time of silence where everything seemed to stand still where the voice of God seemed almost silent.  While they may have begun to accept the way of life set before them, God had different plans to reinstate the hope for the people.

And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” 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.

– Romans 15:12-13, NIV

Hope For The Gentiles

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he frequently references the prophets of the Old Testament, showing how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant.  As he quotes Isaiah 11, the idea is presented that the coming Savior will come not just to redeem the people of Israel but the people of the world.  The coming of hope would not be limited to one set of people or to one nation.  Hope would not relegate itself to a particular people but would be offered to all people. The Savior was coming and it would be poured our on all the world with the offer of salvation.

AdventLikewise, in our lives, the coming of the Messiah would not be limited to one area of our lives but would provide a full salvation.  God is no respecter of man made boundaries, whether they be geographical or sections of our life we attempt to quarter off or think that God could not be bothered.  The salvation and the healing is comprehensive filling “to the point of overflowing.”  The promise of salvation extends to our physical, emotional, and spiritual healing when we stand before God and are made new and whole. We are given a new hope and our feet are set on the firm immovable foundation of God’s sovereignty.

Put Your Hope In Jesus Christ

So we can take hope.  We can keep hope that whatever our situation that we find ourselves in, that it will not be our doom and demise.  Our hope is in a Savior who became man, to understand us as we are, and to redeem us.  There is no area our lives that hope cannot reach.  For a common temptation or predisposition that you feel you will never be free from, take hope the Savior is here.  For the family member who you feel will never turn to Christ, take hope and continue to pray, the Savior’s call bellows still. Wherever you find yourself, take hope that the Messiah saves and redeems.  Our hope is secure in a God who became man for our sake yet remained righteous, taking our sin upon Himself, and conquering even death itself.

AdventWe pray to God in hope and faith that the salvation God provides can span any man-made barrier or distance.  We have hope that whatever lowly situation we find ourselves in, by the coming of our Savior into the world, we can take hope.  For as much as I struggle and battle even my own mind, desperate for relief and questions of doubt, I can take hope.  Christ came into the world as a man to conquer the things that seeks to remove all hope and to cement the path to our salvation.  In Him, our relationship, our future, and our hope remains intact and secure despite any obstacle or challenge. Our hope is secure for our Savior is coming!

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