dvent is a word we hear a lot around this time of year, but rarely grasp its meaning. It literally means the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. While the Christmas Advent season heralds the arrival of the Son of God in the form of a vulnerable baby, we are waiting for a much more significant Advent. One that will herald the return of Jesus Christ but in His full power and glory. We truly are in a Season of Hope.
Several special people who make Hope Walks happen have offered an advent devotional for you. Please enjoy their words over the next few weeks as they express their joy in this Season of Hope and anticipation of the return of our Savior.
President and Co-Founder
Christmas Eve - Devotion and Prayer
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
If you were asked to write a blockbuster Hollywood action film with the plot revolving around a hero saving millions of people, would you choose a helpless baby in a feeding trough to be your main character? Not likely.
But God does not work as we do. God often shows His strength through weakness. He certainly did when He sent His Son into a fallen world as a child. Jesus could have come in an awe-inspiring blaze of lights and power. Instead, He came as a small, defenseless baby. How perfect.
Even today, God is using the innocence of small babies to save His people. Often the families we serve would never have the opportunity to hear about God‘s redemptive plan through the birth of His Son except through the treatment of their baby’s clubfoot. God is able to use everything, even a birth defect, to display His glory.
Thank you, God, for bringing hope into a dark world with a small baby. You constantly use unlikely events and circumstances to draw us closer to You. While Your word tells us You are never changing (Hebrews 13:8) You never fail to surprise us with Your creativity that always ensures a Season of Hope.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone at Hope Walks. Click here to watch a special Christmas message from Hope Walks President and Co-Founder Scott Reichenbach.
Fourth Week of Advent - A God who is faithful
The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned – Matthew 4:16
Matthew writes that this prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in Jesus when He ministered to those living in the region of Galilee. What a picture of hope this verse paints! “Living in darkness” expresses a great degree of hopelessness.
This phrase could mean living in a state of ignorance, sinfulness and oppression. Similarly, “Living in the shadow of death” is also amazingly descriptive – people were living under a continual cloud of misery, sin and fear.
Jesus Christ, the true light, shone forth in the beauty of grace and truth on such a people. Christ began his ministry in Galilee, and frequented this region more than Judea and Jerusalem. Even today Jesus specializes in bringing hope to those who live in desperate situations, offering them hope both for this life and for the life to come.
This advent of hope does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God – a hope that does not disappoint because the Lord does not disappoint! He is faithful!
by Jaisankar Sarma, Hope Walks vice president of programs
Third Week of Advent - A God who is with us
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 NIV
Hope is the full trust of a better future in God as we wait. In the midst of so much global chaos where loss and grief have touched many families, it is important to recognize that God is always with us.
Christmas comes to remind us once again that we can have confidence in the future; In the midst of shortages, Christ is our hope; in the midst of sickness Christ is our hope. As long
as Christ is on His throne, we will always have hope!
by Marcia Mejía, parent advisor from Honduras
Second Week of Advent - A God of Hope
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
It’s been yet another difficult year with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic , floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, draught and we may be feeling tired, hopeless and afraid of the future.
It seems deliberate that we celebrate God’s coming to dwell with humans as the Savior at this time of the year – a reminder that God is with us and is our true source of hope or happy expectation of good things not just in this life but also in the after-life.
The Lord, the creator of heaven and earth, the sustainer, the Savior is with us to renew our hope in Him. So as we go through this season may our heart be filled with renewed hope, joy and strength to face the future.
by Loice Chipere, Zambia program manager
First Week of Advent - A God of Promise
“Know that I am with you and will keep wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I had promised you.” Genesis 28:15
God is the God of promise. He keeps His words, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite. And when you wonder whether He will take care of you, think of this: since he sacrificed His own son for your salvation, will he not also, along with Him, graciously give you all things? You can count on that!
I don’t know what you are going through at this very moment in your marriage, school, in your career, in your business. Maybe you are married without a child, maybe you’ve lost your job, your business is experiencing a downturn, maybe your expectations in life are darkened with anxiety. A child of God waits on God. Be patient, for God is a specialist when the anguish is deep. Patience is a conquering virtue.
Today, God is saying to you: I am your God, a God of justice. And I will bless you when you confidently wait for me. So be still and know that I am God. Be still before me and wait patiently for me to act. Wait for me, my child, and put your hope in my word.
If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in God.
by Olga Chambal, Mozambique program manager