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  • Chris Crosby

Thrill of Hope

As a child, we all remember finding it hard to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, knowing that tomorrow was Christmas and there were gifts to unwrap.

The anticipation often made it difficult to fall sleep. As an adult, that type of anticipation could be precipitated by a whole host of events – a wedding, new job, birth or adoption of a child, a trip, move or new home.

Anticipation is closely tied to expectancy or hope. The old hymn comes to mind, “Our Hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Hope fuels excitement as we anticipate the arrival of something. The ultimate hope is Jesus, of course. Remember the line from the famous Christmas song “O Holy Night”, “The thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices.” This Christmas as we celebrate the coming of Jesus to save us from our sin, let’s look to that hope and the assurance that He is coming back for His church.

Although we reflect more on the saving work of Jesus at Christmas and Easter, the truth remains that we have that hope each day of the year. Years ago, I read a devotion that challenged me in how I prepare for church each week. Do I go to Sunday services with the expectancy that I am meeting with Jesus? Do I arrive early, find a good seat, and enjoy His presence throughout the service? Do I look for Him in the worship time, in the message, in the prayer time? Do I look for opportunities to share His love with others?

This anticipation should be something we express each and every day. As we read God’s Word and spend time in prayer, we listen with expectancy for His voice. He longs to speak into our lives. He desires fellowship with us to direct us, encourage us, train us, and yes, even correct us.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

During this advent season, as we prepare for Christmas, I am challenged to look for Christ in the small things. Did I notice Him in the beautiful sunrise? Did I marvel in His creation as I watched the butterfly on the flowers in my backyard? What about the joy seen in the sparkle of a child’s eyes or the smile of a stranger?

Will you join me in anticipating Jesus in the small things - looking for those little gifts from our Heavenly Father sprinkled throughout our day? And while on that treasure hunt, will we allow God use us to be that gift to others?

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