I shall make this post short, bold, and to the point to accommodate my bloggery Christmas decorations. Speaking of which, how often I have wished to be short, bold, and to the point, in a literal, physical sense, and yet I am fairly tall, rarely bold, and seldom to the point.
Hope is often the theme in the first week of Advent, and hope is not wishing, it is not happenstance. So often we use “hope” in a negative context, hope I don’t get sick, hope the car makes it, hope the check doesn’t bounce. That’s called happenstance hope.
Self reliance is another form of hope that is almost comical to ponder as I get older and wiser. I spent most of my life afflicted by self-reliance, not always a bad thing, it is just that, “I’ll do it myself” and “I don’t need nobody or nothing no more” can be problematic. Since I can now walk into the kitchen and completely forget why, there’s a slight possibility my hope should not be placed exclusively in my own self and my own abilities.
Some lovely synonyms for “hope” are actually “anticipation, confidence, expectation, security, trust, promise, fortune, and dependence.”
“Dependance,” it’s kind of the precise opposite of self-reliance. It is actually in our dependance, in our trust, faith and hope that we find joy.
Hope is actually “an optimistic expectation and trust,” trust in He who is higher than yourself. As believers our trust is safe in Jesus who came to us once as it was written, and will come again.
Advent is actally an adventure so if all this “safety, trust, and security” stuff doesn’t speak to your restless soul, be advised that in faith there will also be swashbuckling adventures, sword fights, treasures hunts, conquests and victories.