Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 7, 2017
By Tripp Prince
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV)
The season of Advent receives its name from the Latin adventus, of which our word “arrival” is derived. Advent is a time for Christians to prepare for the annual celebration of our Lord’s birth at Christmas. In the incarnation we see the humility and love of God on full display, entering into the chaos and brokenness of our world as a weak and vulnerable child. It is through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus that we find peace and hope, and we must embody this story so that we find our own stories within the great story God is telling over all of creation.
One of the great challenges of this season is the extreme sentimentality with which this story is frequently told. The babe in the manger is God made man, the king come to rule and reign over the nations, and yet culturally for us today this is a story for greeting cards, lawn decorations, and children’s pageants. Cute or joyful as those things may be, in times when we need it the most, they are never able to deliver genuine Christian hope.
Christians are people who cling to hope even in the depths of darkness and despair. Yet hope is so much more than warm sentiment or wishful thinking. Hope is never blind optimism but is the sure and certain trust in the never changing promises of God. As such, this season is a time to not simply look back to the first arrival of Christ in the manger, but it is a time to let our hearts fill with the hope of his second advent, the return of the king in glory.
One of the best ways to cling to hope is to set your sights on the final destination. A clear vision of the goal gives us the strength and determination to stay the course, even when it is painful and exhausting. Hope for the Christian can be an aching longing for home. As Proverbs says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).
As we journey towards the hope of Christmas, if your heart feels sick and sorrowful today, look with great longing towards the day when that hope will be fulfilled. Hope for the day when the Lord will return and make his home with us, wiping away every tear and ushering in his perfect love, joy, and peace. Come, Lord Jesus!
PrayerFather, fill us with the hope of heaven that we may live today filled with the hope of your coming kingdom. Amen.
ApplicationAre there ways that you have lost sight of our hope as Christians?
Related ReadingJeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 John 3:2
Post/Tweet todayHope is never blind optimism but is the sure and certain trust in the never changing promises of God. #wisdomhunters #clingtohope
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