Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Come O Come Emmanuel"1 (Lyrics)
Today is the beginning of Advent, which is a preparation for our Christmas season. In many churches, candles will be lit to celebrate different themes: hope, love, joy, and peace. Today, my mind went to the hope that we have as Christians.
One of the technological wonders that we enjoy these days is FaceTime, an app on some smartphones. It enables us to talk to people face-to-face. Happy faces crowd the screen telling of the newest game or toy that they have. Even a tour through a cleaned bedroom could be on the agenda. At the bottom of the screen is a little symbol that turns the camera in the opposite direction. Many times, little fingers have interrupted my struggling, saying, "This button, Grandma." Indeed, the camera was focused outward. Oh, it was wonderful for viewing new Christmas decorations, an updated view of Illinois weather, including snowdrifts, or the ten-foot-tall corn outside our door — an amazing thing to say the least.
What we focus on is important. Sometimes, we Christians can direct too much focus on the world outside, with its sin that steals and destroys lives. Unfortunately, if we tarry there too long, it can change our whole perspective on life. We turn the camera of our eyes to the hopelessness of the world, which can lead to a joyless heart, instead of to the hope of God. We can forget the promises that are ours who believe on the Lord Jesus. The world does not give us hope, but usually just the opposite. I love this verse:
Psalm 42:11 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)
My favourite verse on hope has sustained our family through difficult times:
Romans 15:13 – 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. (NIV)
Jesus Himself told us that we would have trouble in this life, but by no means should we live in hopelessness. He is our hope!
As hearts hope this Christmas for all kinds of things, including peace on earth and no more hurt or sorrow, may we all be filled with the joy that only hope in Jesus brings!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as this beautiful Christmas season begins, may we never forget our Saviour, Your Son Jesus Christ. That night, hope was laid in a manger, so may we sing with the angels, "Glory to God in the highest heaven." Amen.