Advent is a season of waiting and anticipation. As we light advent candles marking the weeks until Christmas, we celebrate Jesus coming into the world to fulfill God’s great promise of salvation. People long ago waited in faith for the Messiah to come. His advent, brought about in the surprising and wonderful manner of a child born in Bethlehem, offered peace and hope to the world.
We know the Savior has already come and accomplished everything necessary for our salvation, but we still wait in faith. As we retell the Christmas story and rejoice in Jesus’ birth this season, I wonder what you are waiting for and how God will provide?
All of us are waiting in faith for the end of the pandemic and for the long-envisioned “return to normal.” Won’t it be nice to stop worrying every time you enter a crowded room or hear someone cough? That’s a good thing to hope for and to pray about. God has provided and protected us in many ways during this hard season, and we trust He will continue to watch over our families and church as we wait for better days.
Some are waiting in faith for financial provision. Maybe someone you love has lost a job or had to make hard choices about how to deal with less income. Everyone is feeling the impact of inflation and empty store shelves. In faith, we wait for God to provide daily bread, and we join together in caring for those in need.
Perhaps what you are waiting for is healing. Every family goes through seasons of illness and disease, and when you have to walk that hard road, it can consume every thought and prayer. Our God heals and lift us up when we are weak, so we trust Him to meet us in moments of physical need and to sustain us as we wait in faith for new strength.
Others are waiting for reconciliation. When relationships fall apart, we long for restoration and emotional healing. Jesus calls us to be peacemakers and to forgive those who hurt us, but it’s still hard to wait for someone we love to make things right or to build up the courage to change our own behavior. If you are waiting for a relationship to be restored, pray in faith for God to soften and change hearts, trusting that He desires peace in our families and friendships.
There are many parents and grandparents waiting for their children to come to faith in Jesus. You may have carried that burden for years, praying and watching for an opportunity to help someone you love find their way to the Savior. Don’t stop praying. Spiritual rebirth often happens in surprising ways and at unlooked for times, so keep waiting with hope that God will draw that person to Himself.
Above all else, we wait in faith for Jesus to return. At Christmas, we look back 2,000 years to Jesus’ birth, celebrating God’s great gift of salvation. We also look forward to that day when Jesus will come again. It could happen today or tomorrow. It could still be years away. But we believe in God’s promise that one day our Savior will come and take us to be with Him forever. In faith, we wait and watch.
That’s what Christmas should mean in our hearts. It’s the assurance that God keeps His promises and that He always provides for His people. Jesus was born to give us hope for this life and for eternity. We hold fast to that hope as we wait in faith for God to provide again.