Read Genesis 17:1-8.
Genesis records the incredible faith journey of Abraham. He lived years of faith in God, and trusted in promises he couldn’t see. He camped where God was leading, he waited 25 years for a family heir, a treasured nation and a promised land. He grounded his faith in anticipating hope even though he faced seemingly impossible circumstances, and there were no objective reasons for hope. Romans 4:18 says, in hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”
God promised and Abraham waited. In the meantime he obeyed God and kept the covenant. It is difficult to wait. Life keeps rumbling on and throwing noise at us. We go through ups and downs. We white knuckle sharp curves. Anticipating hope does not mean the absence of troubles but an assurance in the midst of experiencing them. Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised he was also able to do.
We can be fully persuaded with anticipating hope too. The Advent season is designed to reflect on this confident expectation in God. We also might be in a season of waiting; for a job, a spouse, a baby, a resolution, better health, etc. We can hope because God is God to us, the covenant maker and keeper. This advent, let’s focus on Him who fulfills His promises. Galatians 3:8 says, ” And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Spend some time praying for God to give you anticipating hope. Start a list of ways God is doing this and continue the list into the coming new year. Sing the carol, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. You can find the lyric video below.
By Donna Burns