“Behold,” he wrote, “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,

and shall call his name Immanuel”

Isaiah 7:14

A few days ago, we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means arrival or coming and refers to the coming of Christ. The first candle lit on the advent wreath is the candle of hope.

This past week as I was trying to come up with a way to explain hope that the children would understand (I teach Sunday School) I was coming up with little more than frustration. But then I saw hope that I could explain to them.

I was cooking and my two dogs were sitting in the doorway watching my every move. They never took their eyes off of me. If I walked to the refrigerator, the turned their heads in unison to keep me in their vision. When I walked back to the sink, once again, their heads turned and followed my movement.

I am sure you know they were anticipating some goodies to come their way. A bowl to lick or a pan to clean or the occasional tidbit I tossed them. This was not wishful thinking on their part. We have “cooked” together for years. They know there will be a payoff. I have proven that to them over time. This was a picture of hope.

Hope has been defined as the confident expectation of what God has promised and hope’s strength is in His faithfulness. My dogs hoped for treats because they knew me, I had proven myself to them over the years. God has proven Himself to us over the years in countless ways.

Long before Jesus was born, God told His people through the prophets that a Messiah was coming. One who would save us from our sins. He would be called Immanuel – God with us.

The people waited and hoped.

And waited and hoped.

And waited and hoped some more.

Little did they know that it would be hundreds of years between the giving of the promise and the fulfilling of the promise. But one day, in a manger, the promise was birthed. Jesus entered the world and He brought hope.

Hope that comes from knowing God is with us.

Hope that comes from knowing God keeps His promises.

Hope that the way for forgiveness of our sins has been provided.

And the ultimate hope that we will spend eternity with God in our forever home called heaven.

Long after the tree comes down and the decorations have been put away, the hope Jesus gave us that Christmas morning will remain.

If you are waiting on a promise of God to be fulfilled in your life, may I suggest that like my dogs, you keep your eyes on the One who made the promise and has proven Himself to be faithful.

Father, thank You for hope in form of Jesus. You have proven Yourself faithful and worthy of our hope. Forgive me for the times I lose heart in the waiting. Help me to remember that Your word is my anchor. You said it, I believe it. Help me in my times of unbelief and thank You for the beautiful promise of eternity with you. In Jesus’s name, amen.

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.

pic credit: faith-christian.org

This is reposted from last year, but I think it bears repeating.

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