Advent: Hope in Dark Days (1 Tim 4:10)

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The sun does not stop shining when dark clouds pass in front of it; it just becomes harder to see. Dark clouds of despair can make it harder for us to see Jesus, but His steadfast love never ceases. Set your hope in Jesus and you will come safely through all the storms of this life. Over the next four weeks we will observe Advent. Advent means arrival and we use it to remember Jesus’ arrival over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. On the first Sunday in Advent, we shall consider the hope that Jesus Christ brings us.

  1. Hope is not Wishful Thinking. The Bible does not speak of hope the same way we usually do. For example, when we say, “I hope you have a good day” or “I hope you find what you are looking for”, we express a desire/wish. These statements are friendly and well-wishing, but are based on uncertainty. Wishful thinking is nice, but does not sustain you during the dark days. When we are going through trials, we need something to base our hope upon. This is why the Bible speaks of hope differently; the Bible presents hope as confidence in God.
  2. Hope is Confident Expectation. Biblical hope is the confident expectation that God is faithful to keep His promises. Notice that our confidence is not based on ourselves, but upon God. True hope does not disappoint because it is revealed by God’s love (Rom 5:5). True hope is tightly bound up in faith. We must have faithful trust that God will deliver us and provide for us. True hope produces joy because we believe that God loves us and is working good out of all of our life. While we may feel helpless; Christians are never hopeless. Christians believe that Jesus is the only Savior and Lord and that He is working and interceding for them (Heb 7:25). Christians also long for the day when Jesus will return. The Second Advent is coming at the appointed hour and we confidently wait. Our confidence is demonstrated in thoughts, words, and our actions.
  3. Hope in Jesus Christ. Paul told Timothy, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Tim 4:10). Paul’s hope is set on Jesus. Where is your hope set? Is your hope resting in a bank account/car/boat/house, etc.? If so, beware; money can disappear, physical objects can break or be stolen. Is your hope resting on a particular person? If so, beware; people can disappoint and hurt. Is your hope resting on Jesus Christ? If it is, you are blessed. Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb 13:5). If we set our hope on the living God we can have true and lasting hope. Jesus is our blessed hope that satisfies our every need.

Dark clouds should not cause us to doubt the goodness of the sun. It is the dark skies that help us better appreciate the clear ones. When dark days pass over you, don’t doubt the goodness of the Son. Biblical hope that is based on faith in Jesus will deliver you through every trial and help you draw closer to Christ. Hope in God. Have confidence that Jesus is faithful to keep all his promises and that He loves you. This Christmas do not forget that Christ brings hope.

Important Verses on Hope

  • “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)
  • “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)
  • “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)
  • “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
  • “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7)
  • “Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13)
  • “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
  • “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
  • “The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
  • “Behold, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:12)
  • “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
  • “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
  • “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)