This is the beginning of the Advent season and since I didn’t finish writing 30 things I’m grateful for in the month of November, I’m going to continue my journey of intentional gratitude into the Advent season.
The meaning of the word “advent” is the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. In Christian terms, it means the coming or second coming of Christ. We begin to celebrate the Advent season the fourth Sunday before Christmas. During this time four candles are centered in a wreath, and one is lit each Sunday.
The first candle is Hope.
Advent is waiting in expectancy for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have hope because he has already come through his birth, and we wait for his return with expectant hearts.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
Jesse was the father of Kind David, who Jesus descended from. Isaiah has been prophesying that Israel would be judged, but that a remnant would survive it. By using the imagery of a chopped tree to describe Jesse, the author relates the judgment coming upon Israel to that coming upon Assyria.
The shoot that came out of the stump of Jesse is the promised Messiah, Jesus.
That’s the context, but theres’ something in it for you and me.
Notice how these verses are FULL OF PROMISES! See where I highlighted the word WILL and the words that follow.
Notice the gifts that will be given by the Spirit of God upon the delivery of the promises; wisdom, understanding, counsel and might.
Notice the final promise and exhortation in the final line; “He WILL delight in the fear of the Lord.” He will delight in obeying the Lord.
Have you ever felt like your life was cut off at the stump?
I have too.
But there is a greater reality, and that is our hope in Jesus. That no matter where we’ve been there’s hope in Jesus. It may be the smallest shoot in a smoldering stump, but it is mighty and green and bent on bearing fruit. Nothing will prevent hope from bearing fruit in your life. Nothing will prevent Jesus from overcoming the world in your life. When we hold to Jesus, we realize that we are grafted permanently into hope.
Jesus IS hope.
And when we hold to hope, we experience gifts given by the Spirit of Truth; wisdom, understanding, counsel and might. And when we delight in obeying the Lord, we are empowered in our faith and we experience His gifts more powerfully, and our hope is magnified.
This prophecy is about Jesus, but Jesus lives in us, so in my mind, this is about us too. Jesus in me and you. His hope, his gifts, his obedience to His Father. All of it in us, too.
I pray that you will use this Advent season to seek a close encounter with Jesus. That you will set aside time to be with Him, time to listen to Him and time to respond to Him.
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
May this Advent be unforgettable.
What are you grateful for today?