Advent Devotions

Week Four: Our Sure Hope

Sunday (December 19, 2021)

Today we light the fourth candle of Advent–the Candle of Hope. Our hope is being fulfilled. The circle of candles is completely lit. For weeks we have been planning and preparing for Christmas week. Anticipation is high.

With the birth of Jesus the hope of the ages was fulfilled. The salvation that God had promised was here. God Himself– Immanuel–had come to live among us.       

But that was only the beginning. We have a promise for our day, too. Just before His crucifixion, Jesus said, . . . I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:3).

The last words of Jesus recorded in Scripture repeat this promise.

Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end….
Surely I am coming soon…     Revelation 22:12-13, 20

Just as God fulfilled His promises of old, Jesus will fulfill His promise to come again. As we are busy getting ready to welcome Jesus at His birth, let us also be preparing to welcome Jesus at His coronation as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Prayer    Even so, come Lord Jesus.


As we meditate on the birth of Jesus, let us also rejoice in the hope that can be ours when we are born anew through Christ Jesus.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…    1 Peter 1:3

 New birth in Christ gives us a living hope. Ephesians 2:12 tells us that those without God are without hope. Hope is essential to life. It enables us to go on when life is at its most difficult.
Romans 5:5 tells us that God’s love gives us a hope which will not disappoint us. In life there are many times when hope goes unfulfilled. When you go to a ball game, you have hope that your team will win. But, as the game progresses and you get farther and farther behind, that hope dies.
God gives us a living hope–a hope that will not die–a hope that will never let us down or disappoint us.
In the Bible, hope is the expectation of a sure thing, a firm conviction; not just wishful thinking. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure (Heb. 6:19-NIV). Therefore, let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23-NIV).

    I remember my affliction and my wandering . . .
    I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
    Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
        for his compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
        therefore I will wait for him.”      Lamentations 3:19-24 (NIV)

Prayer     Thank you, Jesus, for giving us a living hope.


For many, Christmas is the most wonderful, hopeful time of year; but, for some, it is the most difficult. When you are suffering  it is hard to enter into the joy of the season. You may even feel abandoned by God.
God does not send suffering into our lives to destroy us; rather, He desires to refine us and make us like pure gold (1 Peter 1:7).

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose….to be conformed to the image of his Son…   Romans 8:28, 29

God’s good purpose for our lives is that we grow to be like Jesus. He is preparing us for an eternity in His presence!

For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison… 2 Corinthians 4:17

Suffering is meant to give us hope–not destroy it.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Let this sure promise of God be your hope.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11

Prayer     Thank you Lord, for giving us hope even in our darkest hours.


In his gospel, Luke tells us of two people who were waiting with eager anticipation for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.

One was Simeon. God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. Simeon was in the temple when Mary and Joseph came to have their newborn son circumcised. When he saw the baby Jesus, Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying:

Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel (Luke 2:29-32).

Luke also tells us of the prophetess Anna. She was now very old and had been a widow since she was a young woman. Anna spent her life in the temple worshiping, fasting, and praying. When she saw the baby Jesus she was overcome with joy and recognized Him as the one who would bring salvation (Luke 2:36-38).

These were difficult times for Jewish people. Rome ruled with an iron grip. The only hope these people had was that Messiah would come and deliver them. But it had been many long years since the promises had been given. Most had quit looking for Him. Yet, here were two people who believed God and were privileged to see their hope fulfilled.

Let us, too, live in eager anticipation of the coming of Christ.

Prayer     Dear God, please give us faith to keep believing even when the wait is long.


Christmas Eve is almost here! The weeks  of Advent have been busy times of preparation for this special day. One day it will be the eve of our meeting the Lord face to face. This is our great hope! Will you be ready?

For the grace of God . . . teaches us . . . to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.   Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)

As believers, we are the bride of Christ. No bride rushes off to her wedding dirty and bedraggled from a busy day of activity. Rather, with meticulous care she adorns herself as beautifully as possible. Should we do less as we prepare to meet our Lord?

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out


For our Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory,
for the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”–

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”    Revelation 19:6-9  

 Prayer    Lord, may we be ready and eagerly awaiting that day when we will see You face to face.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has come–that most silent, holy night. Tonight we light all the candles on the Advent wreath. We light the candles of Promise, Light, Love, and Hope. Then, in the center, we light the Christ Candle.           

Christ is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises. He is the light of the whole world and the light for our lives. Christ is the love of God made visible to us. He is the hope of the world.

Without Christ at the center of our lives we are lost and out of balance. When the excitement of Christmas is over and nothing is left but piles of torn paper, empty boxes and dirty dishes, what, then, will be our hope, our joy?

When Christ indwells us, when He is the center of our heart’s affections, then Christmas is truly only the beginning. His light and love can shine out from our lives all year long. The hope of His coming can fill all our days with meaning and joy.

Paul tells us of a wonderful mystery–Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27b).

Jesus came the first Christmas to dwell among us and one day we will dwell with him in heaven forever. If we repent of our sins and believe in Him, He will dwell in our hearts by His Spirit and the joy of His presence can be ours all year long!

…Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.    Luke 2:10, 11 (KJV)

Prayer     Dear Lord Jesus, please dwell in the very center of my life this Christmas and all year long.