Vol. 6, No. 48 – November 28, 2021
Advent 2021, Hope
2 Peter 3:15
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. –2 Peter 3:15-16.
Do you remember your very first child? Ours was Tim. We had three other sons, love them all, but the memories of the wonder of that first child, a son, is still precious in our minds. We prepared the best we knew how. Preparation for a child takes time and effort. We did not offer experience of being a parent. He actually taught us a lot over the years. God’s wondrous mysteries are bound up in our children. Praise Him for His grace and mercy as we learned to interact with our children. Today they are all adults. Three of our sons married, so we have three daughters. And then there is the 13 grandchildren. Wonder what our next season of life will bring.
When we look at the Scriptures, this year represents 2021 years since the birth of Christ. How did the preparation for the birth of Jesus go? It reflected a preparation long years in the past—may more years than we can imagine. It was not just Mary and Joseph, God Himself prepared from the beginning of what we know as time (God identifies the preparation time as centered in eternity). God was still busy in preparation back in the time of the Israelites being enslaved in Egypt (over 3420 years ago). People enslaved in the last many centuries have no understanding of the suffering, death, and disrespect of the Israelites history. Even the protesters today have little or no personal experience of the tragedies of slavery.
God, in His mercy and grace was preparing to send His Son at the right time. He told the people of all nations the Messiah was coming, that He would make the nations glad. God was the One who really cared about His creation; He was the only One who could help those in desperate need of a Savior.
After looong years the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning. –Exodus 1:23-24. God did know; He knows our troubles as well. He is never a stranger to our need. He does not wonder what to do, and He does not call committee meetings to determine what is the best strategies—He knows. So, He intervenes.
He has determined before humanity was even created, to intervene, to turn things around so that people could come to Him. That is our great God. There is none like Him. God brings great hope to a humanity that has no hope without a Savior.
How does God intervene in your life? Think back to all those times you seemed to have no hope. Who was it chasing you with mercy and grace—it was and is God.
Our focus verses not only speak of our great hope, but they also speak of the outcome for those who reject God’s great hope. Consider what you will do with hope. It is life-changing and eternally important for you.