” Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Where is my hope today? Where is your hope today? Advent is a season of preparation. A season of expectation. A season of hope. In church yesterday, Pastor John invited the children up to the front of the church for the Children’s Message. He asked the children- “What do you hope for?” One little boy eagerly raised his hand and with a big smile on his face yelled out- “I hope to be rich!!” Everyone in the church chuckled, a little uncomfortably. Luckily two little girls saved the day; one wanted to rescue animals, and the other wanted to be a teacher. Pastor John was quick to point out that the little boy was only saying out loud what many of us were thinking anyway.
Many of us (myself included) put our hope in material things that will only fade away with time. We hope that our 401K will keep us safe. We get up every day and go to a job that we don’t really like because we hope that the paycheck and the health insurance will keep us safe. (Not me on that one, thank God. I adore my job- but I know many people who don’t). We hope that our marriage partner will make us happy. We hope that our elderly parents will not develop Alzheimer’s or other ailments that could force them into a nursing home. We hope that our children will succeed in life and bring us a sense of accomplishment. We hope that ISIS will be destroyed and driven from the planet. We hope that global warming and the use of fossil fuel will not destroy the earth…..
These are misplaced hopes, because some of them may happen and some may not. They are misplaced hopes, because thinking about them and dwelling on them often causes us anxiety and worry. They are misplaced hopes, because they deal with the material world, and Jesus has already told us that we will have trouble in this world. He has already told us that the anxieties and cares of the world will crush us, if we put our focus on them (John 16:33). Thankfully, Jesus has offered us a promise– that He has overcome the world, and that if we put our hope and trust in Him (and therefore in God), that we will be overcomers too. We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not grow faint.
Today, this second day of Advent, put your hope in Jesus, the God of the universe; who came to earth in the form of a lowly homeless baby; who came to rescue humanity from the cares and worries of this world. No matter what you are facing today, be glad and empowered that God is in it with you. That He will give you strength, if you place your trust in Him.
Lord Jesus, I often look to the things of this world for assurance and security, forgetting to look FIRST to You. Even after all of the years that You and I have been together, I still forget. Have mercy on me, Jesus, and give me the strength and wisdom to put my hope in You, and not in the temporary, fleeting things of this world. Give me the strength to run and not grow weary, to walk and not grow faint….Give me hope in You, only in You. Prepare my heart to receive You, Jesus, only You. Amen.