Devotional

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” – Luke 2:25-32.

Imagine waking up on Christmas day and finding a special gift under your tree. You notice the tag has your name on it.  Beautifully wrapped and tied with a gorgeous bow, you are reluctant to open it. You slowly start to open the gift trying not to tear the beautiful wrapping paper. Once you open the box you find it is filled with the hope of Christmas. The Hope of Christmas is a precious and beautiful gift. 

Biblical hope is to look forward to something with such certainty that you believe it will come to pass. Most people believe there are few if any sure things in life. One of those sure things is God’s promises. God is the only unchanging constant and the only real source of hope. The Bible talks about two people who demonstrate the unshakable certainty of biblical hope. In Luke 2, Joseph and Mary go to Jerusalem and encounter two people, Simeon and Anna. Simeon was righteous and devout. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:25-26) When he saw Jesus as a child he said, ‘Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:27-32)

Anna, a prophetess, was advanced in years.  She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

No matter how bad your year has been, no matter what kind of problems and struggles you are facing right now, no matter what kind of season of darkness or pain you are in, never abandon hope. During the Advent season, look for hope in the birth of Jesus. Draw hope from God’s faithfulness in His long-awaited promise of the Messiah. Focus on the hope we have in Jesus. In the midst of whatever life is throwing at you, you can experience the hope of God because God is with us.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does a hope filled life look like?
  2. Through Christ, we have hope. How can that be evident in your life this week?