Our True Hope

“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” ~ Romans 5:5

When we talk about hope in connection with the season of Advent, we often confuse the things which give us true hope. I like what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:1: “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God.” This means, if you have put trust in Jesus that he lived, died, and rose from death to save you from your sin, you will have peace. We do this by faith, which is not tangible. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Then Paul mentions “this grace in which we stand.” (Romans 5:2). We have faith only by that grace, the ability God gives us to believe. When we believe, we have peace through the Holy Spirit. Then Paul points out to us that life is not always good, knowing we will have tribulations. But the grace of God gives us perseverance. Perseverance helps us to mature and to become stronger in our faith and that builds our character in a positive way.

Paul finishes this thought saying, “hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5). Why does hope not disappoint? Because God loves us unconditionally and has poured out His Holy Spirit to those who love Him. That gives us hope no matter what happens. He will never leave us or forsake us.

The season of Advent is more about Jesus’ return than it is about His birth. Christmas is not as much about the birth of a child as it is the incarnation of God into this world. We must remember without the cross of death and the resurrection to life, Jesus was just another Jewish boy. It was the cross and His sacrifice that made His birth a reason to celebrate. That is our reason for hope today. That is the reason for our hope of eternal life with Him. So yes, wish Jesus a happy birthday, and then look up: It is His return as King of Kings that is our true hope.

Note: We thank Pastor Mark Lawrence for his thoughts on today’s scripture for our Advent series.

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