December 7, 2017

Clinging to Hope

Written by Tripp Prince

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!

 

Prayer

Father, fill us with the hope of heaven that we may live today filled with the hope of your coming kingdom. Amen.

Application

Are there ways that you have lost sight of our hope as Christians?

Related Reading

Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 John 3:2

Post/Tweet today

Hope is never blind optimism but is the sure and certain trust in the never changing promises of God. #wisdomhunters #clingtohope

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Comments

  1. Gayle says:

    I start my morning looking forward to the Wisdom Hunters devotional in my email box. I often save some and share some. Thank you for the insights you share. I do find one thing very distracting, references to our Lord, like “king of glory” not showing the respect due to God with capitalization of references to Him, like I just quoted from today’s message, and the he’s, him’s, etc. I was really troubled by the King of Glory being lowercase in today’s message. For me, God is held in the highest place of honor, esteem, and reverence! When I dictate spiritual text messages I feel it is important to review and capitalize every reference to God, and my audience is only one, or a few. How much more important is it to do so for a much larger audience, especially when young believers or those seeking knowledge of our faith may be among the audience? Again, I so enjoy your messages. Please do not take offense to my concern. Have a blessed day and a Merry Christmas.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Gayle,
      Thank you so much for reaching out to us. I understand you concerns and I have often had that very same thought. I would read the Bible and wonder the same thing! This is what I have learned about the choice of not capitalizing the pronouns referring to our Lord:
      In Hebrew, there is no such thing as upper and lower case. Also, I read that “When God inspired the human authors of scripture to write His word, He did not lead them to give any special attention to pronouns that refer to Him.”
      According to Bible Gateway, “Some Bibles do not capitalize certain pronouns because their translators felt that doing so was not an accurate translation of the original language. The decision to capitalize or not capitalize pronouns is a question of translation and is not a statement of disrespect.” (www.biblegateway.com)
      Gayle, all that being said, I understand what you are saying about this and appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
      We are grateful that you are a part of our Wisdom Hunter’s family. We look forward to hearing from you again.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family.
      Rejoicing in our Savior,
      Gwynne
      “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.” Luke 2:6-7


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