Hope… As we enter into the season of Advent and begin preparing our hearts to meet the baby born in the manger that brings light to the world, we are greeted with HOPE, a feeling of expectation and desire for something to happen.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind when I first begin thinking about hope. In the Old Testament God promised to bring the scattered Jewish exiles out of Babylon and back into their homeland. He was willing to listen to their prayers and allowed them to call on him. It took 70 years for this to happen but the good news was He had prosperous plans for His people. And the same is true today.
Just like the Jewish exiles waiting for the time to re-enter their homeland, today we enter into Advent, the season of waiting and preparing our hearts for the good news. When I enter into Advent, I reflect on where I am in my relationship with God. Am I walking hand in hand with him dwelling in me or have I left Him out of the journey? Am I calling on him faithfully or randomly? Is my heart dimly lit like a smoldering piece of coal or am I shining bright like a star with His love? Where do I see hope?
This Advent season let’s enter the time of darkness together, examining our hearts and the anticipation of the birth of the baby that will bring us light and give us hope.
But, in a crazy busy hurried world how do we prepare our hearts during Advent? We begin by reaching out to God…asking him to guide us on this journey to His star. This could be by reading the Bible, participating in a daily devotion, through prayer, sitting quietly listening to hear his voice, attending worship and carving out daily time with Him. He is shining bright and waiting patiently for us to reach out to him.
The good news is He is faithful and has promised restoration to you and me. His plan may not be what we think it should look like or at the time we feel is correct, we may have to wait just like the Jewish exiles, but what is true is His plan is perfect and to prosper me. Fortunately, it is here in this time of Advent we can be healed and made whole. It is here we can be forgiven and find hope. And it is here our light will shine bright.
How will you begin the season of Advent? Where do you see hope?
May God’s love and light shine bright in you!
Prayer: Dear Lord, During this Advent season bless the times I am choosing to sit and be still in your presence; listening and looking for you; rekindling my passion and love for You reminding me that it is a precious gift to sit in your presence. When I search my heart show me the places I need to entrust into Your care so I will be renewed and refreshed. And may Your love and light shine brightly in and through me so others will know your love.
– Susan Crews, 2017