Posted by: everynation | December 16, 2008

Waiting with Hope

frank-christie1by Frank Christie

Christians believe that the season of Advent serves as a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure as they await the second coming of Christ!

About a quarter of the Bible was prophetic at the time it was written, and many of those prophecies were specifically indicating that Jesus was the Messiah.

This period of time waiting for Christmas should be marked by a spirit of expectation, anticipation, preparation and longing. We live in a microwave society and we generally don’t embrace the implications of waiting. This is not supposed to be a boring passive waiting period, but rather a time of preparation where we look forward to a blessed hope and glorious appearing.

This hope which is one of the three spiritual virtues is a gift from God! Instead of hope carrying the connotation of a spiritual truth, it is drowned out by the pandemonium that has become our Christmas holiday.It is buried under the sounds of cash registers and the peels of holiday music pumped through the stores and malls.

The Christian life can be a glorious, hopeful existence even though the individual may face war, famine, illness, and other perils common to human existence. We do not, necessarily, hope for God to bless us with earthly riches, nor do we expect Him to redeem His promises to us with earthly blessing. Our hope rests in the promise of an everlasting life near to God when Christ comes again.
These hopes are well stated by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8: 31-39: 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is this hope we are grasping? It is not money or things or a country. Hebrews 11 says we are looking forward to a heavenly city and a heavenly country.

Our anchor of hope is Jesus himself, who died for our sins and was raised for our justification. The author says, “We have this hope”; it is in the present tense, meaning we have it now, continuously. When we face our university examinations, we have it; when we go to the doctor and hear our disease is terminal, we have it; at the hour of our death, we have it; when our spouse is sick or when our child dies, we have it.

George Herbert said “He who lives in hope dances without music”

This is a time of celebration! It’s okay to celebrate the glorious appearing! It does not matter that it has not happened yet – it will!

Titus 2:13
while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Frank Christie is the senior pastor of Every Nation Somerset West, the founder of Thembalitsha and the author of Being Frank.

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