Advent Week One: The Promise of Hope

More than 400 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah shared the promise in todays Bible reading: a Messiah was coming for the people of Israel! He would be their Savior full of authority, wisdom, power, love, and peace. At the time of this prophecy, the Israelites had been living under harsh circumstances for many years. They were a people without a homeland–exiles and wanderers. They longed for a place to call home, a place where they could belong. So, the promise of a Savior was a promise of great hope.

But hundreds of years passed before Jesus came. The Israelites who first heard the promise of a Messiah (and a great number who followed after) died without seeing that promise fulfilled.

For us today, there is a different story: We live in a time in history after Jesus came. Rather than having to look forward in faith to the birth of our Savior, we get to look back in retrospect and believe with confidence in the Savior who has already come. We get to see that God made good on His promise to the Israelites. God did, in fact, bring a Messiah into the world–One who not only lived for us but also died for us and offers us eternal life.

Because of Jesus birth, death, and resurrection, we have hope. Peter says:

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, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:35 (emphasis added)

How gracious! What a sweet gift we have, to have a hope that is always living, no matter how many deaths we experience on earth. For, on Earth, we are called to die to our fleshly nature, and we also experience many deaths of dreams, loved ones, earthly comforts, and much more. We can all attest to that truth. But through Jesus, we have an eternal hope: One day, our bodies will be completely redeemed, the world will be renewed, and we will have a forever home. Praise God that we have a safe and certain hope that can never perish, spoil, or fade!

This is a priceless promise for us as we continue to live in a broken world. As we face all kinds of trials and suffering in this life, we have the hope of an eternal life to come. This world is not our home, and Jesus is even now preparing a place for us (John 14:3). We can live with our eyes fixed on the life to come with confident hope, just as the forefathers of our faith did:

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own–.[T]hey desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.Hebrews 11:1314, 16

We are still living in the waiting, just as God’s chosen people of the Old Testament did. We don’t know when Jesus will come back to fulfill all His promises to us. But we can wait with confidence and a hope that will never disappoint because we can look back at Jesus’ birth and know that He will come once again.

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:2425

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If you would like to know more about this promise of hope, we would love to talk with you. Just text the name JESUS to 901901.

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