Advent Hope from Hopelessness
Advent 2015 – Day 2
When you realize you’ve made a mistake you plan to correct it. Hopelessness comes when something or someone interferes in your plan. Adam and Eve messed up. Then God offered hope through her seed to crush the serpent’s head. A hope that things could be restored. They had a son, Cain. Then they had a second son, Abel. The plan was on track until Cain killed Abel. Epic fail. Advent of hopelessness – hopelessness came on them and they realized life, knowing good and evil, is rough!
Everything was great before they ate the fruit. Everything changed immediately after. The first evidence of the change was fear. Fear is at the root of hopelessness. Abel is dead. Cain was cursed to wander. Time is now tracking their distance from the garden, not their progress toward it.
God’s Aching Heart
Life after Eden didn’t get better and God had regrets. He planned to destroy everything. But Noah was righteous, found favor in God’s eye and called blameless. Genesis chapter 6 is not preserved to show us God’s limit but to reveal God’s mercy. God was unwilling to destroy Noah. Even when things appear hopeless, good can prevail. Not only did God preserve Noah and his family but every creature.
Genesis 6:18-22 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. (ESV, Biblegateway.com)
Evil ruled the heart of man and God expressed His regret and grieving heart. Then God saw Noah, saved Noah, and made a covenant with Him. This is the first reference to covenant in the Bible. In our hopelessness God is faithful.
Noah wasn’t just hanging out waiting on God. Noah was actively behaving from good intentions, dealing honorably with evil men, and producing evidence of righteousness.
With advent of hopelessness, trust God and His faithfulness.
Advent Hopelessness or Advent Hope?
Holidays are the best of times and the worst of times. Holidays stir up old hurt, unsettled scores, and a sense of hopelessness. It’s easy to respond tit-for-tat and excuse behavior with self-justification. My hope doesn’t depend on the actions, attitudes, or approval of men. My hope is not subject to fear. God is my hope and my salvation. Sometimes waiting on God is painfully, frustratingly, irritatingly slow and uncomfortable. Sometimes hopelessness comes when all seems lost, but God. God is my hope and my salvation, who can I fear?
I was reminded of a song and the story behind it this week. Few of us will be directly challenged to choose to Christ or life. Yet challenges in life, loving difficult people, being the only Bible some will ever read can be daunting. Sometimes we have to choose who we believe and in whom we trust then live it till He changes our heart.
I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back. Though none go with me, still I will follow. The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back.
The holidays are more like a gauntlet than a celebration. Waiting is hard. I wait for You to come again. But I remember I was once so far away from You. Thank You for loving me in all my broken ugliness. Loving is hard. Holding onto Your promise is hard. I am weak and weary, I need Your help. Revive a spark of hope within my spirit. Holy Spirit comfort my heart and encourage me. Help me be loving and forgiving to those You put in my life. Thank You for the opportunity to be Your hands and feet to those who don’t yet know You. Fill me with peace and hope. Give me eyes to see like You see. Make Your presence and power go before me, follow behind me, and expand from the right to the left so that everyone I encounter, has first encountered You. I trust You Father with this holiday season. Direct my path and use me to spread hope to the hopeless.
In Jesus name, Amen
It’s your turn. Have you felt hopeless? Has the holiday season felt overwhelming and without hope? How has God sent you hope, revived you faith? Do you need prayer for this holiday season? Share you can help others or I can join you in prayer.
©2015 Elayne Cross