category: Advent

2023 Advent Devotion: Day 4

Advent 2023 cover

Wednesday, December 6

Micah 5:1-5a; Luke 21:34-38

First Peter 3:15 says we are to “be ready always to give an answer to every person that asks you for a reason for the HOPE that is within you.” This is sound advice from the apostle; it seems to speak to our general position as believers in Christ and the assurance we have of our eternal destination. Some folks interpret Alexander Pope’s famous quote in An Essay on Man, “hope springs eternal in the human breast,” as a reference to a belief in life after death. But does hope always spring eternal in the here and now, during the daily grind that we experience because of our sinful nature and the reality of finding ourselves smack dab in the midst of living in a fallen world? Because of the trials that so often and easily beset us, are we consistently able to testify enthusiastically about the hope we have as Christians?

We cling to hope at various points in time during our earthly sojourn because the pain of hopelessness is unbearable. We hold out hope for the restored health of loved ones who are suffering even when the diagnosis is bleak. We hope for better days financially when our resources have been depleted. We hope, sometimes unrealistically, that relationships that have been fractured will eventually correct themselves. We must hold out hope because once it fades, and sometimes disappears, we find ourselves lost in a barren land with no direction or purpose.

Of course, merely hoping is not enough to move the needle in any life situation if the Lord is not in the mix. He is the source of our hope, and he promises those who suffer, who are persecuted, who are abandoned that He will restore them and deliver them to a better place. It may not be according to our desired timetable, but it will happen according to His timing.

The promise, the hope, of a Savior was foretold by the prophet Micah in today’s scripture reading. No force would ever be able to overcome the strength, the majesty, or the greatness that this ruler would impart. All of the hardships that Israel had endured would be made right, not immediately, but in the future and for all eternity. Even in times of trial and affliction, He will be our peace (Micah 5:5). Even when human frailty causes our hope to fade, He will be our strength and our refuge.

We are cautioned in Luke 21 not to be so consumed with life’s events that we miss the intervention of the Lord. We often pray intensely for His intervention in areas of concern (health, finances, relationships). And when He offers grace when answering our requests, do we thank Him with the same conviction as during the ask? Or, do we move on with our life and risk missing the bigger picture He is attempting to paint for us and calling for us to see?

It is my HOPE these thoughts will minister to you during this Advent season.

Jeff Tubbs
VP for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 3

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 5

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