Advent: We Choose Hope!

We are kicking off our Advent series with a focus on hope. To fully grasp our Living Hope in Jesus, let’s apply this eternal hope to various realities and explore His Word.  While this Hope is a gift from God, we must choose and live in Hope!

To choose hope, we remember His faithfulness in the past.

O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.

Psalm 130:7

To choose hope, we acknowledge suffering.  Just this week I’ve heard of so much death, disease, illness, depression, bitterness, and poverty.  Our world in suffering.  We are suffering.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Romans 8:18-25

To choose hope, we must forget our own failures and successes, our pain and our pride.  The things of this world and want to overcome our hope.  Our waiting gets messy when we let our minds wander . . . let’s wonder in the things of Jesus.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me.

Psalm 39:6-8

To choose hope, we anticipate and expectantly wait on Christ’s return.  Just as the world waited on the coming of the Messiah, we now wait on His return.  We cling to faith and get to choose to wait in His Living Hope, having eternal hope for a day when there is not more suffering or pain or pride.

In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.

Isaiah 11:10

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

I Peter 1:3-5

To choose hope this Christmas, we share the Reason for the Season with others.  Our world needs hope!  May we burn bright with hope!

Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.

Isaiah 60:1-3

Sing a new song to the Lord!

Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!

Sing to the Lord; praise his name.

Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.

Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!

He is to be feared above all gods.

Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.

Let all the earth tremble before him.

Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

He will judge all peoples fairly.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!

Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

Let the trees of the forest sing for joy

before the Lord, for he is coming!

He is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with justice,

and the nations with his truth.

Psalm 96:1-4, 9-13

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