“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you…” Psalm 39:7a
This past Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is a season of expectant waiting for the Christian calendar. We wait, as we long for the coming Messiah. We wait for God’s hope to infuse this world…we wait for the joy of Christmas and the birth of the Christ child. A birth that is both a lived reality and an expectant hope.
In 2015, with a little help from a few friends, I wrote an Advent devotional for Grace. It was a fun project even though it took quite a lot of my time. There were also more than a few times when I stared at my computer screen willing the words to come…and they would come but not while I was setting at my computer screen…the words would come when I interacted with the world and experienced the hope, joy, love, and peace I found in my lived experiences. I divided the devotional into five parts. The four weeks of Advent were themed accordingly as Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. But then for the Christmas season until Epiphany, I used the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to guide my thoughts through scripture.
This week, I would like to reshare one of the devotions I wrote on Hope. (With a few edits) I hope you find it meaningful.
“I hope…how many of your sentences throughout the days, weeks and years have begun with those two little words? If we are honest with ourselves, probably quite a few. The question we should be focusing on however, hangs in how we finish the sentence. What is it wee hope for in our lives? Do we hope to win the lottery? Do we hope to have children? Do we hope for a new or better job? Do we hope for a new car? New home? What do we hope for? Or better yet Where do we place our hope?
In Psalm 39:6, the Psalmist tells us that we are but a phantom…”We bustle about, but only in vain; we heap up wealth, not knowing who will get it…” When we hope for things, we are never satisfied and instead we seem to be always seeking…always searching for something more.
However, when we put our hope in the LORD…we not only have peace but hope for the future. Hope in knowing that God is holding us in the palm of God’s hand and no matter what our circumstances we are going to be ok. How do I know this? Because scripture tells us that God is making all things new. Not brand new like we have never been taken out of the box kind of new. But new in the way God is able to soften our hearts toward those who have hurt us or who are different from us. New in the way that redeems the old and gives us a second chance to be better at this life God gave us. New…I think that is how I would finish my sentence…I hope to be made new.
HOPE. What a great gift we have been given by our creator God.