Advent is the time of waiting for the coming of Jesus. The Jews of old waited on the Hope of Israel to send the long-promised Messiah. When the time was right, He came. Not a day too soon, nor a day too late.
Our wait is much easier. We count the days until the annual celebration of that blessed arrival two thousand years ago. Meanwhile, we eagerly anticipate Him coming again.
Waiting connotes hoping, with a hope that’s certain, not an irrational wish that we don’t really expect to come true. Waiting means trust. Faith. As my dear friend Ney Bailey defines it, “Faith is simply taking God at his word.”
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
The candle for the first Sunday of Advent (which was December 1 this year) is a purple one and it represents the essence of our waiting. It stands for hope. The Candle of Hope symbolizes our faith in God who is faithful to keep his promises.
We hope, fully assured of the outcome because we are confident in the object of our hope.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Romans 8:24-25)
Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:45)
We have hope! ALL of God’s promises came to pass. He proved Himself faithful in the past. He continues to be faithful today. And we can trust – with certainty – that the same will be true in the future.