“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:24-25 ESV)
This morning I woke up with great hopes of accomplishing everything for Christmas and more. Since I have finished with school stuff, I was gearing up to dive into the Christmas rush. I almost fell for that trap, but instead I retreated to the quiet of my couch to read the devotionals scattered on the coffee table, asking God for a word. A word to keep me focused on Advent. I opened Jesus Calling and read words of hope:
Your longing for heaven is good, because it is an extension of your yearning for Me. The hope of heaven is meant to strengthen you, filling you with wondrous Joy . . . the phrase hope of heaven highlights the benefits you can enjoy even while remaining on earth. This hope keeps you spiritually alive during the dark times of adversity; it brightens your path and heightens your awareness of My Presence. (Young 366)
Then I picked up God’s Love Letters to You, and the theme continued:
If you could see right now what is happening in the unseen world, you would be filled with hope. . . The hope I provide anchors a weary, empty, troubled soul . . . Beneath difficult feelings, hope encourages by giving you reason to persevere with the joy of anticipation. Happiness depends on present blessing, which I do not guarantee. Joy depends on future hope, which I do guarantee. Do not expect to feel good. You may. You may not. My work of hope reaches into the center of your soul to strengthen your character and deepen your resolve in any circumstance of life. (Crabb 56)
Rich thoughts to chew on. I want my life to be more and more marked by hope, rather than despairing about what I think I don’t have. I will still get caught up in the moment, but I want to do it with an eye to the future planned by Jesus. That future where we all get to live with Him forever in heaven, no longer prisoners of this temporal world. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, Come!