Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
How hard it must have been, at times, for the believers, for those who trusted in God, who put their faith in Him, who waited with hope and longing on the blessed assurances of His Word. For generations they watched and they waited. They listened to the stories of man’s fall; they heard the words of prophecy that came from even the earliest of days promising a Messiah would rise. (Genesis 3:16) Yet year after year, decade after decade, century after century they would look, wondering when their Deliverer would come in the encompassing miracle of the Lord.
In some senses, who could really blame the children of Israel who, in seeing the arrival of the Christ, even witnessing His signs and wonders, didn’t believe He was the long awaited Savior, anointed by the Lord. They waited, and in their longing, the nature of the Messiah had, in a lot of ways, changed according to their understanding of who He was supposed to be. Time passed and it confused things. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to believe, it was that they couldn’t, as human understanding surpassed the divine and the focus shifted to the temporal rather than the eternal.
It’s about the easiest thing in the world to get caught up in the temporal, to let our own understanding, our own wisdom and knowledge overshadow that of God’s, while somehow trying to attribute that to our Heavenly Father. Intently we look at the Word of the Lord, and we think we have such a firm grasp of it, that we know exactly what it’s saying there. Yet, the truth is the actual meaning; well it can be far distant or removed from us. We think we are trusting in God, we think we are placing our hope in His Word, and yet, in those moments, few things could be further from the truth as our own way of looking at the world takes hold not just of us but the way we come to know and comprehend the Gospel message.
Advent is the time to put it all behind us though. As we meditate on God and His Word, reflecting on His love and His promises, it’s a time to step away from the way we see and understand the world to be like, and turn our sights to God, trying to see it through His eyes. It’s a time to realize that He is the one who is in charge and nothing happens until it is the appointed time. Perhaps we don’t always understand why it is happens when it does or what the greater purpose is for when it does.
Sometimes, at that point in our lives, we just aren’t meant to. That doesn’t mean that we need to start re-writing God’s Word or His promises, it doesn’t mean that we need to call into question His plan. It means that today might not be the right time to know everything, but that each step we take is anointed by The Lord in the hope and the design He has for us.
Consider the saints who came and went, those who put there trust in a far distant promise of God. Consider the saints who trusted in a Savior who was yet to come. Despite their trials and their temptations they had faith and that faith guided them through their days to the wondrous redemption and salvation of their Heavenly Father. Now consider your faith. For you God has fulfilled the promises in the Advent of His Son. He made good on His Word at the nativity of the Christ. Your faith isn’t based on something you were promised would happen, it’s based on something you already know has happened. If God was willing to send, in love, grace and mercy, His only Son to this world of sin and doubt for you, how much more is He willing and capable of doing for you if you just abandon your own reason and understanding to rely on His, putting behind you the way you think it should be and letting your Heavenly Father make it the way it was meant to be.
But then faith isn’t just a matter of trust, it’s patience. This can mean trying to put your own fear and anxiety and stress behind you, or stepping away from your own darkness and despair to put it in God’s hands, knowing that He is good and steadfast, devoutly diligent to your needs. But it doesn’t end there. Putting it in His hands means it can’t and won’t happen when you want it or even when you think you are ready. It means it will happen when God is ready for it. After all, He knows us better than we know ourselves, forming us with His own Hand. (Jeremiah 1:5) Even when it comes to matters about us who is there better to know how and when we need than He?
Yes, perhaps for a time, there might be a struggle that we must undertake, there could be plights and burdens that threaten to overwhelm us, that try to overtake is. Yet, with time, these things pass and we, if we bide our time, waiting on The Lord, letting Him take control and trusting in Him when He does, are led to better places of peace and comfort for the devotion we have not just to our God or His plan, but to the promises that He makes to us.
What are you still holding on to this Advent Season? What are you still trusting in your own logic and reasoning, your own wisdom and understanding with as You look ahead to the fulfillment of God’s promise of a Messiah? Right now, in this moment, it is a perfect time to step back, regardless of the challenges and the struggles You are facing and, once more, commit yourself and your trust to God, knowing that He will never fail you or forsake you. (Joshua 1:5) Now is the perfect time to say “Lord, I trust in You and Your timing regardless of what I face, come what may, come what must, I know You will not let it overtake me.” More than ever this is the time to let the burdens and the weights slip from you in the love that God has for you.
Celebrate the freedom you gain in God’s promises, no longer letting the bondage of this world or it’s understanding take hold of you. You have been ransomed by the Advent of the Messiah, set to liberty in the love that has led to his arrival. Now is the time to turn your sights from the temporal and fix them on the triumphant in the hope and the peace that it brings. This is the season of fulfillment, so let God fulfill His promises of grace and mercy for your life in the knowledge that He is good and faithful to you, giving you the strength and courage you need for your life when you rely on Him.
Lord, grant this unto us all.
Now may the peace of The Lord, that peace that transcends all human understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus even unto life everlasting, Amen.