Advent Devotional: Saturday, December 3

Jo Ann Rice

First Week of Advent: Hope
Saturday, December 3, 2011


A THRILL OF HOPE

“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” -  O Holy Night

We all have those special memories of Christmas morning.  We remember the excitement of coming around the corner to see the lights of the tree.  As parents, we were delighted by our children’s reactions as they first discovered that special present they were hoping to receive.  As a child, that new bike or special doll exemplified the “thrill of hope on a glorious morn”.

But the years pass and we start to put away our childish things (I Cor. 13:11).  We want more for others than we do for ourselves.  We may hope for world peace.  We may hope that the homeless have a warm, safe place to sleep.  We may hope that children don’t go hungry.  We may hope for the cure of cancer.

The modern meaning of the word “hope” is to “wish with some expectation of fulfillment”.  The archaic definition of “hope”, however, means “to have confidence; to trust”.  When Paul of Tarsus wrote his letters of encouragement to the early struggling churches, there was no doubt that the hope of these new believers would be fulfilled.

More than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born into a weary world as God’s way of telling us we can confidently trust Him to have “plans to give us hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).  God gave us the greatest gift ever!  Even when we feel weary and overwhelmed by the challenges of life, we are still assured of the hope of a better day.  It was truly the beginning of a new and glorious morn!

As for you, I hope you get to experience the thrill of being with your family as you gather around your Christmas tree.  More importantly, I pray you experience a renewed thrill of hope as you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.