When I was growing up, Christmas was by far my favorite holiday. I loved everything about it but most of all, I loved the anticipation. Anticipation is the best part of life, isn't it? What makes anticipation so good, anyway? Hope. You've heard the saying, “Where there's life there's hope.” Well, I think the opposite is true too: Where there’s no hope there’s no life. People are dying for lack of hope; in fact, many people take their own lives because of hopelessness. Advent and Christmas can be very lonely times for some. Let's listen to two passages that address why we should have hope:
…the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. (Proverbs 4:18)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3-4)
We live in a day when people are living longer. As a consequence, many of us live well past our ability to achieve all the goals we’d hoped for in our lifetime. We may slow the effects of aging with diet and exercise, but the aging process continues relentlessly and we all will experience it. But today’s passages point a different outcome and future. In Christ, death is not our endpoint! God has, through the bodily resurrection of Jesus, given us a gift that no one else could possibly give: hope for life beyond the grave. That life is not going to wear out, use up, or fade. If you are in Christ, you have been born again to a living hope, to what one writer called a “kaleidoscope of wonders, riches and delights to which the Bible gives the generic name Glory.” I like it—don’t you! Today, rejoice in the glory! You may be feeling your age; I know I am. Even so, while the light from your eyes may be growing a little dimmer, the Bible says that your path is growing brighter until, in the fullness of time, you will receive your inheritance.
Take some time today to praise God for the glorious riches He has prepared for you. He has given you something special to praise Him for today and throughout the Advent season—a living hope in Christ Jesus!