By Randy Blanton
There is much to be said for hope. Consider the seeker of Psalm 63:1-8. The sacred Scripture recorded the Psalmist’s intense desire for God in very vivid terms.
My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Note if you will the backdrop against which such personal thirst and longing was cast. In the Psalmist’s metaphor, thirst and longing were equaled and exceeded only by the lack of the desperately needed resources. If you can imagine the intensity of such natural desire, then you can comprehend the Psalmist’s powerful desire for God. The key difference; though, between the metaphor of the barren wilderness and the God of Creation is that he was available to quench the thirst and satisfy the hunger of those who sought after him (Matthew 5:6).
Perhaps you noticed the confidence with which the Psalmist professed his faith experience. He…beheld [God’s] power and…glory…my soul [is] satisfied…you are my help…your right hand upholds me (63:2, 5, 7-8).
It was his reflection upon such experiences with God that fueled his hope of future deliverance when faced with difficult times. Such was the nature of the Psalmist’s confident hope that he exclaimed, I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands…with singing lips my mouth will praise you (63:4-5). The Psalmist would attest to the persevering, renewing power of hope!
Our Christian hope is often described as an assured expectation and this Advent season begins with a renewal of this sustaining hope.
There was a certain righteous and devout man residing in Jerusalem who was described in the sacred Scripture as awaiting the consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25). This was testimony of hope at work! When Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple for fulfilling the requirements of the law, the couple encountered this man of faith and hope. This was a man who was familiar with and driven by the persevering, renewing power of hope. When he encountered the Christ Child his faith and hope became sight. He took the infant in his arms and praised God for the fulfillment of the Advent hope!
…my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
This certain hope sustained him and he found renewal in and peace from God. May the renewal of your hope this Advent satisfy and renew your soul.