At Awaken Church, as we prepare our hearts for Christmas, we are covering the four topics of Advent: hope, peace, joy, and love. You can access teachings as well as our reading plan and discussion questions at awaken.church/advent.
HOPE sounds positive, but it comes prepackaged with something we’ve grown to dread: waiting. Our culture of instant gratification has poisoned the wait, but thankfully God can redeem it. That’s what hope is all about. As you wait for God to fulfill His promises, here are a couple things to remember…
Hope is found when we hear from God.
Often times we get frustrated that we’re not hearing from God, while we are simultaneously drowning out His voice with our incessant busyness. Luke 2 gives us the examples of Simeon and Anna, who waited with anticipation for the fulfillment of God’s promise of the Messiah. When we make room to hear from God, we make room for hope.
Nothing can defeat God-given hope unless you let it.
Simeon waited most of his life waiting for an unfulfilled promise. Anna spent 64 years as a widow, trusting God through her devastating circumstances. Their lives and unending hope remind us that age, loss, pain, or tragedy do not have the ability or permission to defeat our hope unless we give them permission. The brokenness of our world does not have to break your hope.
Hope in God cannot be contained.
Simeon and Anna weren’t passively loitering around the temple – they were actively listening. And when the moment finally arrived to meet the Savior (still in infant form), they couldn’t keep their joy to themselves. They both, like the shepherds a few weeks prior, burst into praise and prophecy. Wherever we go and whatever we do, the thrill of God’s hope compels us to speak up and live it out!
Upon meeting the Messiah, the first words out of Simeon’s mouth were him praising God that Simeon could now die in peace. Never forget: your only hope in living with purpose and dying in peace is to know the Prince of Peace, Jesus!
K E V I N • M I L L E R
There’s more where that came from! Click below to watch the entire message called “A Thrill of Hope” from our series, With Bated Breath.
Access the whole series as well as hundreds of other messages from Awaken Church at awaken.church/teachings.
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