Written by Jaclyn Fertig
The hope that we experience as believers is different than the hope talked about by the world. Hope in the worldly sense is uncertain. It is the desire for a particular event to take place. For example, one may say, “I sure hope it warms up today.” The person saying this has no guarantee that it will get warm. There is no security in the outcome. Contrast this with what we see in scripture regarding hope. Biblical hope is an anticipation of what will happen. It is therefore the opposite of uncertainty. It isn’t simply our desire to see something occur; it is our expectation that it will.
The definition of advent is the arrival or coming of one which is awaited. What better time to reflect on the meaning of hope than advent. All throughout the Old Testament we see God’s promise of the coming Messiah revealed, God’s ultimate plan for reconciliation. We see it foretold by the prophets “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. We see lives lived in light of the future promises of God. It is said of Moses “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” David said “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
These men did not live to see what had been promised; however, we have the privilege of coming after the birth, death, and resurrection of the Savior. Yet, the story of hope is not over. We still have hope in Christ’s 2nd coming. We have the hope of eternal life and our future glory in Christ.
The men and women that foretold of God’s plan of salvation lived like it was a certainty even though they didn’t see the promise realized. We have seen God’s word fulfilled in the coming of Christ. We have received the Holy Spirit, a deposit of our future inheritance. Are we living in light of this? Are we living in joyful expectancy or do we live like the world in uncertainty and doubt?