OUR GREAT HOPE - December 3, 2022
Saturday, December 3rd
Advent Devotional #7 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
OUR GREAT HOPE
To read today: Isaiah 11:1-5
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
For children, the night before Christmas is filled with a sense of magic. There’s something in the air that every child feels. They bounce in their beds, excited and nowhere near ready to fall asleep. They know something is coming, something that surpasses their wildest dreams and imaginations—Christmas morning.
That energy that children experience the night before Christmas is hope. Hope is the anticipation of good to come. In the same way that kids anticipate Christmas morning, generations of people anticipated a day when the Messiah would come and fulfill every promise and prophecy written about him. They dreamed of the day when the Messiah would come and right the wrongs of this world.
When he came, they were convinced he would appear on the scene as a mighty warrior and overthrow the tyrannical rule of the Roman government. Yet, he didn’t come that way. No, Jesus came in human form as a tiny baby. That same baby grew into a boy that grew in stature while simultaneously growing in wisdom. Jesus, even as a young boy, had something about him that others recognized. They saw his wisdom, his understanding. Some who heard the counsel he gave and had been looking actively for the Messiah recognized him for who he was.
There were those who failed to recognize him for who he was. How? How did they miss it? What did they fail to see? They failed to see and understand what so many of us fail to see today. God working. They missed the details, the signs. They were so focused on the geo-political picture, on seeing the Messiah destroy the Roman government, that they missed the works Jesus was already doing.
Two thousand years later, we make that same mistake. If we’re not careful, we will miss what God is doing in the small details because we’re busy looking at the national or global scene. We’re waiting for God to step in in a dramatic way in our lives and our world. We’re waiting for a divine sign through a huge act – something so big no one will miss it. When that’s not how God normally works. God works in the smallest of details to shape the big picture. He works through the smallest, most insignificant moments of our lives.
This holiday season, don’t miss what God is doing in your life. Look at the details; pay close attention to where he’s working and what he’s doing, and then choose hope. Don’t lose hope that good is going to come, that God is still working in your life, and that he hasn’t given up on you. He is our GREAT HOPE!
For Today: What small way has God moved in your life recently? Get a journal and write down some of what God is doing in your life this holiday season.