The news consists of alarming reports of infection rates, casualty numbers , job losses and restrictions, mixed with fleeting glimpses of the progress toward a vaccine. We can observe the many losses this pandemic has given rise to, including the restricted contact, loss of economic stability, loss of health even loss of life. There are also devastating side effects to deal with such as isolation and loneliness, financial uncertainty, deteriorating mental health, and the disruption of life events such as graduations, weddings and funerals.
Society is longing for any signs of hope, lower infection numbers, and the possibility of a vaccine to help deal with this virus. The hope they seek incorporates the notion that life will return to normal, that we can regain life as it was before. There is a desire to see the restoration of those circumstances that people put their hope in, a job, a lifestyle, or wealth. Is that hope realistic, or even possible to see fulfilled? Life can not be the same! There will be scars from this period of history as lives have been lost, businesses have closed, and events and opportunities missed that can not be “re-lived”. So where does that leave us as we look for hope this advent season??
“Life only has meaning if we have a hope that suffering and even death can not destroy” (Victor Frankl)
“Unless you get an infinite spiritual reference point, an imperishable living hope, you will not be able to handle suffering.” (Timothy Keller)
We have a hope, a living hope in Christ, the babe in the manger! Jesus, his life, death and resurrection have made a way for this hope through faith. In 1 Peter 1:3-8 we are told this living hope will never perish, spoil or fade; it is beyond the reach of the covid virus!! It is also being kept safe and sound in Heaven for you, guaranteed!!! Romans 15:13 reminds us “The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope!” We even have the power of the Holy Spirit to make it possible for us to have hope.
Therefore, if you have received salvation in Christ you have this hope! Now the question is are you living out life in light of that truth? When you listen to the news, do you worry and get caught up in the drama or do you lean into the knowledge of Gods love and care. When others around you are upset and suffering, do you become upset as well or do you have a ready answer for the hope you possess? Does the light of this hope comfort you and shine out to those around you? I must choose daily to embrace the truth in God’s word and live in hope!
Take time to renew your mind with the truth of this wonderful hope, living in the freedom of knowing nothing can take it away! Psalm 42:11, Psalm 119:114, Hebrews 10:23, Psalm 33:22, Ephesians 1:18, Psalm 31:24, Micah 7:7.
By Allison Fish