This advent we will be posting relevant quotes from our authors related to the weekly themes of advent. Here is the first.
When we are forced to face adversity, Holy Spirit will encourage us to tightly wrap our arms around the promise God gave us and embrace it with all our might. Every time we choose to press in more tightly we receive grace to exercise hope. As we do, we grow in our bold resolve to overcome the persistent determination of the enemy who works to convince us to give up and surrender our hope! In other words, because of the struggle, we learn out of necessity to “hold fast” [katecho] to the promise(s). In the process, we discover the more we exercise hope, the more hope we have to exercise!
Paul thoroughly understood that hope is not an afterthought for the one who is devoted to Christ – it is not just an extra something tacked onto our belief. Hope is the very essence of the gospel itself (the good news) which had the power to establish the first-century church. Hope is what defined those early Christ-followers as well as every other true disciple of Christ since then. It is hope that distinguishes us from those who are despairing (the unredeemed of this world).Deborah Roeger, The Power of Hope, forthcoming from Energion Publications