Advent day 2

Redemption For Deferred Hope

You’ve probably heard the proverb, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” But did you know Jesus was born because God redeemed a long-deferred hope? In Genesis, we read that Abraham and his wife Sarah longed for a child for decades, but Sarah was unable to conceive. When Sarah was 90 years old, God appeared to Abraham and promised that Sarah would give birth to a son, and that through this child, He would establish an everlasting covenant between Him and Abraham’s descendants. Sarah actually laughed when God said this, because she thought, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure?” Yet Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Abraham named him “Isaac,” which means “laughter,” because God brought Sarah great joy and redemption through what appeared to be an impossible situation.

Isaac’s son was Jacob, and Jacob had 12 sons, one of whom was Judah. Out of the tribe of Judah came King David, and because Jesus’ mother Mary was a descendent of David (as was His earthly father Joseph), the Savior became the fruit of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. As God healed Sarah’s body and fulfilled the desire of her heart, He planted a seed that would ultimately reconcile mankind to Himself, establishing a covenant that would last forever. Sarah’s ability to give birth in her old age gives us another reason to be in awe of the miraculous story of Jesus’ birth.

If you are facing deferred hope today, rest assured that God has redemption for this season and will bring about a greater return than you can imagine. Though you can’t see the purpose in it now, one day, you will. Hold on to God’s promises! Like Sarah, you will experience that, “A longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Prayer: Father, thank You for being a God of Your Word. Just like You fulfilled Your promise to Sarah, I trust that You will fulfill Your promises to me. Thank You in advance for using the difficult seasons of my life for a greater purpose. I am honored to be a part of the work that brings You glory.

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How You Give Reveals Your Heart

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done” (Philippians 3:7 NLT).

Every time you give, you reveal what matters to you. Tell me how you spend your money and your time, and I’ll tell you what matters most to you. Your schedule might reveal that your children are what matter most to you. Your spending might reveal that what matters most to you is your hobby.Life is not about things. It’s about learning how to love. If at the end of your life you’ve acquired a giant pile of things but you’re estranged from your family, you’ve missed the point!

When you are generous with your time, money, effort, and energy, you’re saying that God and people are what matter most. To put it another way, what matters most is love.

In Philippians 3:7, Paul tells us, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done” (NLT).

How do you break the grip of materialism? There’s only one way. The antidote for getting is giving. So every time you’re generous and give to others or to God, then you are actually breaking the hold of materialism in your life.

“We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives” (Philippians 3:20 NLT). Your purpose is not to live for here and now. You’re storing up for eternity! You’re not building a pile on this side of eternity. You’re building into people and relationships that will matter on the other side of eternity. You’re living in light of heaven.

Talk It Over

  • If someone looked at your schedule, what would they say is most important to you, and why?
  • If someone looked at where or to whom you give your money, what would they say is most important to you, and why?
  • How might your giving habits change if each time you gave, you asked yourself, “What is my motivation?”