On the First Sunday of Advent, a purple, or blue candle is lit to celebrate Hope.
Romans 15:13 Easy-to-Read Version
I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope. ~Author Unknown
Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; an aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; a feeling of trust; to want something to happen or be the case.
- I hope I live a long healthy life.
- I hope I travel and see much more of God’s Glorious Creation.
- I hope I can look back over my life and see that I did make a difference.
- I hope someday I’ll lose that twenty pounds I’ve tried to lose for years.
- I hope to see my deceased loved ones again.
- I hope I will age gracefully.
- I hope Peace can begin with me.
Wishing upon a star, blowing out a candle, crossing your fingers, finding a four-leaf clover, are all examples of hoping through some inane action. We’ve all done some or all of the above. Yet, do we really think what we wish for will be granted?
In the Bible, hope has strength, confidence, and certainty attached to its meaning. Hope is certain knowledge, belief, and faith, that God’s Word is true.
But doesn’t hope also require something of us? I think to be certain God’s Word is true, necessitates knowledge of His Word, and a personal relationship with God.
God, You know I’ve not always studied Your Word. Yes, as a child I grew up in Sunday School, listening to all the Bible Stories. Yes, when I was little, there was no place for children to go during the sermon. We learned to stay in the pew, follow the traditional order of the service, and pretend to listen as best we could to the preacher speaking on and on about what I was never sure. But I tried to understand.
It has been only in the last ten years or so that I have truly studied scripture and am just beginning to discern some of what You want me to know, Lord, through Your Word. I have much, so much more to learn. But, I am trying.
As a child I always said my prayers every night, the Now I Lay Me, variety. I chanted a list of all my relatives to bless, and every night ended with, “I hope the Communists don’t get us!” [I was a child during the late fifties to the early sixties.]
In the last ten years I have developed a truly personal relationship with You, Lord. I always knew You were there. Looking back I see how intricately You were involved in my life, whether I was aware of it or not. I thank You for being there. Amen
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