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Beautiful Words Blog | First Sunday of Advent "Hope" by Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian

The First Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on December 3rd , brings to our mind the idea of hope. “Hope” is one of those words we use all the time, but not necessarily as the Bible uses them. When we say “we hope” it can be followed with anything from “I hope I get a new fishing rod for Christmas” to “I hope it is sunny and warm tomorrow.” The way “hope” is used in those two sentences is really quite different.

In these two examples, there is a difference in the focus of the hope. In the first it is a tangible, physical object. In the second it is an atmospheric phenomenon. In the first it is personal, based on the actions of a person, likely someone close to me. In the second it is absolutely impersonal; if it happens it will have nothing to do with me. In the first there may be reasonable expectation of it happening, like my wife will read this and get the hint. In the second it may be reasonable, say I’m in Arizona when I say it. In the second it may be wholly unreasonable, as if I am in Fairbanks and it is Christmas Day.

There is something in common in these two statements however, and this is where we find the essence of hope. “I hope I get a new fishing rod” and “I hope it’s sunny and warm tomorrow” are both focused on the future. Both statements assume that I have a future. I will be there to get, or to not get, what I hoped for.

This explains why the word “hope” is found in the Bible in the places where it is. Most of the places in the Bible that express hope are in difficult, hard places. In the Book of Psalms, which has more occurrences of the word than any Book of the Bible, we find it in places like Psalm 42:5:

Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him

For the help of His presence.

And then again in Ps 71:14:

But as for me, I will hope continually,

And will praise You yet more and more.

This second verse is especially important as it is set in a moment of great challenge. The psalmist had just spoken of his enemies’ desires to consume him, of his fear of God’s abandonment, of his despair. But he has hope.

This is the essence of hope. We do have a future. Proverbs 23.18 points this out:

Surely there is a future,

And your hope will not be cut off.

This is the great assurance that the follower of Christ enjoys. Christ’s coming, first at Christmas, then to the church by His Spirit, and again in His promised return in glory, is our guarantee that we have a future, and that it will be glorious. The great blessing of hope is that we can start enjoying that assurance right now.


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