Finding Hope in This Advent Season By Rebecca Kelsall
Fix Your Eyes on Hope to Come this Advent Season
As you enter this Advent season, where will you find hope?
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
~ Romans 8:18-25 (English Standard Version)
We can all agree that 2020 has been quite a year. With a global pandemic, natural disasters and sociopolitical tension has come weariness and a widespread longing for relief.
For many, the holidays can add a layer of stress as families with fewer resources consider gift expenses and we all grapple with what social distancing means for once-jolly community events.
But we have the opportunity to remind the family of Christ what Advent is truly about — the waiting, the longing, the hope that something better is on its way. It’s about God fulfilling His promises of a better world, a new kingdom and a perfect King.
The Christmas Season and the Promise of Advent
It’s tempting to observe the Advent season by simply celebrating the modern traditions of Christmas — and there is beauty in those traditions, in the U.S. and around the world.
We delight in the nostalgia, the twinkly lights, the carols and finding the perfect treasure for loved ones to open on Christmas morning.
But the hope and expectation felt during the Christmas season are only a glimmer of what Advent promises: the greatest gift, Jesus Christ, God with us. It’s clear, perhaps this year more than ever before, that we live in a broken world of sin and sickness. We need our good God to intervene.
He did intervene that first Christmas. He began to make all things new. He continues to do so today. And He will ultimately perfect this world when Christ comes again.
Advent Past, Present and Future
People associate Advent with the coming of Christ to Earth on Christmas day. And that is an important aspect of Advent, but there are other “comings” that Advent should remind us of as well.
Throughout the Old Testament, Israel waited eagerly for the coming of their Messiah. You yourself experienced change when you received Jesus into your life for the first time. And we, the church, wait in hope for Christ to come again, ushering in His perfect kingdom where sorrow will be a thing of the past.
This season should redirect our eyes from the pain of the year and this world to the hope that came during the nativity, the hope of Christ. This hope is with us during our own dark struggles and promises to come again in fullness and perfection.
Join Us as We Wait in Joyful Hope Together
Cru has utilized diverse voices from its ministries around the world to create a four-week long online devotional entitled “The Coming of the King.” It focuses on the meaning of Advent and the joyful hope in waiting for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Readers will delve into the various comings of Christ: The anticipation of His coming in the Old Testament, His coming as an infant on Christmas day, when He came into the life of each individual believer, and His coming back again. Included are ideas on weekends of how we, even in the COVID-era, can put our faith into action and be the hands and feet of Christ.
The devotional can be received in daily email format or as a downloadable PDF. Join us, beginning Nov. 29, as we study God’s Word and prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day, knowing a greater celebration is yet to come. Sign up for our devotional, “The Coming of the King” here.
Rebecca Kelsall is a full time writer for Cru®, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, in Orlando, FL. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in journalism and multimedia, her passions include sharing the gospel in every story and helping others find Christ in theirs.
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