As the Advent season begins, the first candle lit symbolizes either hope or expectation and sometimes is called the Prophet’s Candle. To me, hope and expectation are tied together. Generally when we have expectations, we are hoping for good. Biblical hope is the confident expectation of God’s promises. Given the state of the world, we could all use some hope and expectation for good.
Pathway to Hope
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.Romans 5:3-5
The pathway to hope is more of a hike, so think of it as an adventure. Romans chapter five tells us that tribulation creates patience as we learn to deal with the troubles of this world. Patience grows with experience because when we follow Christ, we witness His faithfulness to us. The more experience we have, the more we have hope that God will do what He says. As a matter of fact, we expect Him to do what He says.
Expectations of Hope
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.Jeremiah 29:11
What can we expect from God? Jeremiah tells us that God has plans for us, plans on an eternal scale. The things that happen on earth are just preparations for what is to come in eternity. But, it’s not just expectations for the hereafter; it is also expectations for a life of peace here. How can we have peace in this world? We can have the peace God gives that is not tied to what is going on around us, but is an expression of His presence in our lives.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:31
Because of His presence and his peace, we can expect to be renewed daily. When you team up with God, He does the heavy lifting. You don’t have to do it alone or in your own strength. You can expect help and never be disappointed.
Results of Hope
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.Psalms 130:5
When we hope in God, we are never disappointed. Hope by definition usually requires a waiting period. The world had to wait a long time in earth years for the coming of the Messiah, but in eternal time it was just a drop in the bucket. Now we patiently hope for Christ’s return. In the meantime, we have the promise of God, and in the season of Advent we are reminded that God fulfilled the words of the prophets regarding the coming of the Messiah.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.Proverbs 13:12
So, light the Prophet’s Candle and have hope for a brighter tomorrow because Emmanuel has come.