Always Reason For Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Romans 15:13

Things have gotten rather dreary here in southeast Kentucky.  The leaves are pretty much all off the trees and you’d be hard pressed to find any wildflowers.  Everything just looks sort of drab.  I know this causes some people to get down every year, and maybe I succumb to the temptation myself periodically, but nature has shown me that this too will pass.  The earth has its own cycles and the season we are going through now is just one of them.  In a matter of months things will turn green again and we’ll be seeing color everywhere.  It is this hope that will sustain us during the late autumn and winter months.

Today happens to be the first day of Advent.  Even though a lot of people are saying we’ve now entered the Christmas season, technically the Christmas season does not begin until December 25.  It is then we begin the “twelve days of Christmas.”  Everything between now and December 24 is Advent.  During Advent we remember Christ’s coming long ago and anticipate his coming again.  Each Sunday in Advent has its own theme.  The theme for the first Sunday in Advent is hope.

The same hope I find in nature for better days to come I also find in God.  If the Bible teaches me anything it is that God is a God of hope.  With God there are no hopeless causes.  With God there is always the promise of a better day to come.  Both my faith and my experience lead me to affirm this. 

In Creation I see plenty of evidence of God’s faithfulness.  As I’ve already noted, I know that following autumn and winter spring will come.  I know that no matter how dark the night may get dawn will eventually break.  I know that tides will ebb and flow.  I know that the moon will cycle through its various phases.  There is a lot of predictability built into God’s Creation and for me this all points to a Creator who can be trusted.  It is God’s faithfulness and dependability that offer me hope every single day. 

Without hope people despair.  Without hope people give up.  Hope is that important.  Today I give thanks for the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ.  In Creation, in Scripture, and in my own life experiences I’ve learned there is always reason for hope.  Always!

–Chuck

(The top image is Log Rock at Kingdom Come State Park near Cumberland, Kentucky.)