Living in Hope

by Matthew Benfield

The season of Advent is a season of hope.  During Advent we read two sorts of scriptures.  We read Old Testament passages which anticipate Jesus’ first coming and we experience the expectation and hope of those former saints.  We also read passages which promise Jesus’ second coming.  In this way we live with our own hope and expectation when Jesus will come again to fully and finally put all things right.  But we celebrate Advent every year because living in hope is not limited to one season, it is to be the tone of our entire lives.

Despite odd promises by some popular preachers, we are not promised health and wealth in this life.  The lives of the saints are witnesses against that.  The lives of many at Broadway are witnesses against that.  One may live a beautifully holy life dedicated to Jesus and suffer terrible things.  But whatever suffering we experience, we live in hope and we can live in hope year round.  There is coming a day when death and pain and crying will be no more (Revelation 21:4).  There is coming a day when we, along with all of the earth, will dance and clap and shout for joy (Psalm 98:7-9; Romans 8:22-23)!  So let us not “consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing

with the glory that is to be revealed to us …

No, in all these things we are more than

conquerors through him who loved us. 

For I am sure that neither death nor life,

nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present

nor things to come, nor powers, nor

height nor depth, nor anything else in

all creation, will be able to separate us

from the love of God in Christ Jesus

our Lord” (Romans 8:18, 37-39).

Courage, dear heart. 

There is hope.  And his name is Jesus.

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