Advent 4: Hope – Cheryl Krueger

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

The Advent season, not an end in itself of celebrating the Christ-child who came to us, is the anticipation for what that child will bring to us. Yes, we bring gifts to the child, but he himself is the gift he brings to us. What is this anticipation?.

This child is a symbol of hope. Hope because he is not yet mature and we wonder who he will be and what he will do as the promised Saviour of the world. How is that going to work out? There is much anticipation. There is much hope.

Romans 15:13 enlightens God as the God of hope. He is the source of hope, the master of hope, the perfection of hope. He is the ultimate hope. There is no being who hopes as much as God does. God hopes? Yes, I believe he does. If God had no hope, he would not do the risky business of sending his son to the world and to the likes of me and you. If God had no hope there would be no Christmas.

God has hope for this world. His hope does not wear thin or dwindle or leak out or get shaky.  Even though this world seems to teeter and totter, his hope never does. God’s hope is so confident that he came in the form of a dependant baby in the arms of an inexperienced, teenage mother. His hope is so sure that he even died for us based on that hope.  There is no greater hope than God’s hope. He truly is the God of hope.

Scripture explains that as we trust this God of hope, he will fill us with joy and peace. That’s what hope does. Then as we are filled with joy and peace, the result is that we flow over with hope. Of course that hope just creates more joy and peace which inspires that lavish hope even more. It’s an ongoing, multiplying, eternal kind of hope.

The more we have hope, the more we are like God.

As far as my hope goes, I hope that this Christmas Christ-child is formed in me.  I hope that he will increasingly live in me and I in him. He himself is my Christmas gift. There is certainly anticipation.

And the hope of God does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).

And the Christ-child does not disappoint.


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