Inspiration, Encouragement & Instructions
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
Advent, Week 1
Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
What is it you hope for?
If 2020 has taught us anything, I think it is that what we hope for, what we desire to see happen, can be quickly adjusted by our circumstances. For example, I hope that our kids will continue to be able to go to school face-to-face. I hope that plans won’t be cancelled again.
Prior to this year, these types of circumstances were not things I spent a lot of time placing my hope in. But with all the shaking up that 2020 has brought, it is the things that were once steady, possibly even taken for granted, that I often find myself hoping will “get back to normal.”
However, when we let ourselves rest our hope on our circumstances and expected outcomes beyond your control we will likely spend too much of our lives feeling disappointed or discouraged. And perhaps even experience a sense of hopelessness.
But when we look to the Bible to define hope, we see that hope is a gift given to us, not a product of our circumstances nor found in the fulfillment of our expectations of ourselves or others. Hope is built into our souls. God set hope in us a part of our “in his image” design. As a result, we long to experience the feeling of desiring a thing to happen.
So what is it that we can choose to desire to happen that won’t lead to disappoint or discourage?
What do we fix our eyes on to align our desires with the longings of our souls?
This is what I love about advent, it is the reminder that our hope is in Christ. That Jesus came as the hope of the world. He came once and he will come again. And when we let our full expectation of desires for the future rest in Christ’s return and God’s work on earth, our hope-calibrators become aligned with this certainty: We can trust God will keep his promises. And we can choose to use that hope to believe that whatever is coming (even amidst the tumultuous circumstances of 2020) is purposed under God’s sovereignty and goodness.
It is this kind of hope that is not shaken by the world around us. The second definition for hope in the dictionary is, a feeling of trust. And this is the hope we celebrate at advent--trust in the coming return of our king, savior and friend, Jesus. We actively wait with GREAT hope, powered by trust in God. We were built to live out of a mindset of hope. That mindset is made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Christ in your life. I pray you experience Him in abundance this advent season.
Table Talk:Prompts to talk about Hope around the table
This week, take a dinner-time one night and talk about the following at home:
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: