We are now halfway through Advent! Are you ready for another devotional thought about HOPE?
Hope can be a very abstract concept. It is all very well to hope for something that will occur far in the future and even have faith that one day it might come to pass, but what about the situations we face right now? How does having hope impact our life today in 2020?
Imagine, for example, that, despite our hope, we had to wait until we got to Heaven to know for sure that we have been forgiven. What a heavy burden to carry guilt day after day. But we don’t have to wait that long. We who have hope of redemption can know we have forgiveness right now.
Psalm 130:4,7,8 tells us, “There is forgiveness with you, Lord. . . .O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows. He himself will free Israel from every kind of sin.” Did you notice the grammatical tenses there? Hope speaks of a future when, yes, he will free Israel from every kind of sin, but the psalmist, along with hope, speaks of forgiveness in the present, and redemption is something that overflows in us right now!
Have you exploded in impatience this season, taking things out on those you love most? Are you weighed down thinking about all the times you have failed God, times you have disappointed him? An old Christmas carol says, “Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee.”
Our hope of redemption is not reserved for some vague time in the future. We do not have to carry that heavy burden of guilt with us until we the day we die and finally enter heaven’s gates. We don’t even have to wait until December 25th to open this gift from Jesus! We can experience the full joy of Christmas today because along with our hope comes the ever-present promise of God’s forgiveness. Now, whom can you forgive?
I immediately think “ I have forgiven …,” but before I answered this question the Lord had already shown me people who have recently disappointed me.
Lord I forgive them. Who am I to judge another man’s servant.