Waiting in HOPE

Mom could no longer manage another winter in her house.

We decided to sell her home and move her into assisted living by Christmas. Several buyers walked through, but they shook their heads. The house needed too much work. 

I feared it wouldn’t sell.

Doubt and worry had whittled down my hope and left me exhausted.

A friend reminded me, “You only need one buyer.” 

As I prayed, I sensed the Lord nudge me to declare “Jesus is Lord” over our situation. I prayed as God directed. I felt enveloped in a blanket of peace. Once again, I engaged in the waiting process. But this time accompanied by a new faith and hope.

As I pondered waiting in hope, I was reminded of the Christmas story. 

For centuries the Israelites waited and watched in hope for the coming of the promised Messiah. Even when they endured persecution and exile, they waited in hope. Against all odds, they believed God would fulfill his word.

‘“The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior’” (Jeremiah 23:5-6 NIV).

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 NIV).

Even though they trusted in God’s Word, did they understand these prophecies concerning the arrival of the Messiah?

It would be 700 years later before the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary.

“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33 NIV).

Even Mary didn’t understand the Angel’s message. How could the words of this angel be fulfilled since she was still a virgin?

But Mary believed God. Little did Mary know how her “Yes” would not only change her, but would transform the world.

Mary’s “yes” acknowledged the Lordship of God as she waited in hope.

When I declare “Jesus is Lord” over my situation, I acknowledge God’s sovereignty as I wait in hope. Even when I don’t understand God’s plan.

How does my declaration of  “Jesus is Lord” help me wait in hope?

  • I replace my doubt and unbelief with faith. 
  • I surrender to the will of God by confessing “Not my will, but yours be done.” 
  • I relinquish control of my circumstances. God is in control.
  • I acknowledge that when I obey his word, I am not responsible for the outcome of my situation. God is.
  • I express my love for the Lord through my obedience.
  • I worship God for who he is and not just for what he can do for me.

Even when I wait in hope, the answer to my prayers is not always the answer I desire. Sometimes I don’t understand why a loving God would allow his children to suffer various trials.

I wonder if Mary recalled Simeon’s words when the Romans nailed her beloved Son to the cross.

“Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’” (Luke 2:34-35 NIV).

Mary didn’t understand God’s plan either. Only later did she see the glory of God. We may not see God’s glory in our situation on this side of eternity, but as we walk with the Lord, we trust he will be glorified. 

Advent is a liturgical season of waiting. A time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. The first of the four candles of advent is the candle of hope. Hope—a light shining in a dark place.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV).

We can wait in hope because God is faithful. 

How are you waiting in hope during this advent season?