The Advent season just began this past Sunday, and with the lighting of the first candle of the Advent wreath we are reminded of our eternal hope in God’s unshakable promises. We are reminded that He has come, that He will come, and that even now He is here with us through His Holy Spirit, and through this, is great hope.
But what when the reality of this hope isn’t tangible? What when everything around us points to a dim future? It’s no secret that our world has witnessed disaster after disaster with no indication that the pattern will end. Everyday we hear a new tragedy, many of us experiencing these tragedies first hand. Our world is facing death, natural disasters, murder, cancer, terrorism, and so much more at a increasing rate. How do these things coexist with hope?
It’s hard. But that is exactly what hope is. Hope is the expectation of that which has not arrived. We have yet to receive the peace of the Heavenly realms, where disease and violence finally cease to exist. For now, we remain here, where sin is alive and active, bearing with it growing consequences. Yet, while we wait on the returning of Christ which will bring about this peace, we have the Spirit with us here and now. The Spirit is our gift to live in this season of waiting and anticipation with hope. We may still experience pain and confusion while in expectation, but we have the peace and strength of the Spirit to teach us that pain and hope can coexist, that they have to.
It’s not about having the answers, the solutions, or the reasons why. That is beyond us. Our hope is in God, and God’s promises remain even when everything else fades. Jesus Christ has come, and He will come again. And in the waiting, His people will remain confident in hope, for even now His Spirit is with us.
“I will remain confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.” Psalms 27:13-14