Here we are together again to learn something more about HOPE in this Advent series of devotionals.
A friend of mine had to spend Christmas in jail last year. At the time, I couldn’t imagine how difficult that was for him. To have been condemned in a public court of law, to be far from family, to suffer in isolation, to feel humiliated. And then came COVID, and with it our own isolation and separation from family members. I, at least, was able to “suffer” in the comfort of my own home.
Paul was on trial in Acts 26:6-8. He stood before the king and said, “I am on trial because I am looking to the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors . . . Yet, O king, [my accusers] say it is wrong for me to have this hope! Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead?”
All of us will one day stand on trial in God’s courtroom of judgment. None of us looks forward to that fearsome Day of Judgment, certainly not as it is described in the book of Joel. As Joel 3:16 says, “The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. The Lord will be a hope for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel.” When we stand there with our knees shaking, our hope in Christ will become real: We will not be condemned or humiliated. And instead of being separated from family and being sentenced to isolation, we will walk into the most amazing family reunion of all, including all nations!
Each of us have family members who have preceded us to Heaven. Take a moment today and thank God for their lives. Then listen for about 3 minutes to the following link
And then give thanks for your own hope!