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We Hope

If ever there was a season that HOPE is needed - I think we could agree that the end of the 2020 is one of them. There is a general sense of the tension that people are excited for 2020 to end - and 2021 to take over.  As if, in some way, the changing of the years date will change the course of the worlds circumstances.   We hope that 2021 will bring better times - but is that really what HOPE is?  A fleeting wish that life will be easier?   What if HOPE - Biblical HOPE - is something far more rich?   
"But biblical hope is not focused on circumstances.  In fact, hopeful people in the Bible often recognized there is no evidence things will get better.  Yet they choose HOPE anyway." 
This first week of Advent is focused on Hope.  We lit the HOPE candle on Sunday to remind us that even in a dark world full of 2020-style events there is still light, warmth and HOPE to be found in Christ.    Take some time this week and reflect on the word HOPE - this idea of waiting for God.    What does that HOPEFUL WAITING look like in your life?
ROMANS 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  (Romans 5:1-5)
ROMANS 8:18-28
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
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