Advent Reflections: Hope
Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.Psalm 39:6-7 ESV
From this week we will start our advent blog series following Bible Project’s daily reflections and videos on hope, peace, joy, and love. Every Monday, we will share the weekly video then on Wednesdays we will post our blog reflecting on the video and daily devotional/questions.
This week we’ll be focusing on hope – you can watch the video here.
Hope is much needed at the moment. At the beginning of this week, the government upped restrictions – depending who you talk to, it is too much to be wearing masks indoors, and for others it is simply not enough. Whichever camp you fall in, hope is definitely crucial right now. Hope that things will get better and back to normal. Hope that we will be able to spend Christmas with our loved ones as we wish. Hope that the festive season this year will be a signal for a brighter 2022 with less fear and restrictions. Generally all the hope as we learn to live with Covid-19 (and all its variants) and get back to a new normal.
“Hope” is commonly used to mean a wish and its strength is the strength of the person’s desire. But in the Bible hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness. This weeks video shows that God’s past faithfulness motivates hope for the future because we can remember God is consistent and trustworthy. Hope can exist in the darkest seasons when we look to Him.
Today’s reflection by the Bible Project asks us to read Psalm 39:6-7 and then ask the following questions:
- When the Psalmist looks at the world around him what does he notice?
- How does the Psalmist look to God and express his hope?
I’ll share my thoughts on these questions and it’d be great to hear your thoughts/comments/questions too.
What Does The Psalmist Notice:
Similar to our blog series on The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry the writer here has realised the majority of people busy themselves to earn as much as they can for material things in this world. Without the regard of their soul and relationship with God. Therefore they go about as a shadow, living a life without any real substance. Instead then, we should be making more room in our lives for God, allowing Him to fill us up with the Holy Spirit. It is from here that we will be strengthened by Him, to get through our darkest days, our most cynical phases, our most confusing times. How can we trust this is the case? Because He sent His only son so that we can live forever and be forgiven of all our sins. He has not only told us to trust in Him and put our hope in Him, but there are a plethora of examples where we can see it to be true.
How Does The Psalmist Look To God:
He has realised that rather than looking within himself to improve the situation or looking towards others, only God can make things better. He expresses his hope by talking to God, by telling Him that he is putting his faith in the Lord.
My hope is in You: “That is life, in which desire and expectation are centered in God. Such life is of an entirely different quality from that in which desire and expectation are centered in self, in circumstances, or in men.”Morgan – Enduring World
Therefore at this time of uncertainty, with a new Covid variant, with all the anxiety of Christmas (hosting, present buying, having to be around family etc), look to God. Put your faith in Him that he will answer your prayers of hope and deliver a better Christmas and a better 2022.
I pray that you, your family and friends have the best end to what has been another crazy year, and that 2022 starts as we mean it to go on; with joy, peace and love surrounding us all. Amen.