The second week of Advent: Faith
We are in our second week of the Advent season. Last week Nathan began this momentum series leading us to Christmas. If you missed it, you can check it out here.
Advent means arrival. We use the four Sunday’s leading up to Christmas as reminders of the meaning of Christmas. In week two we light a purple candle representing faith. Often called the Bethlehem candle, it represents Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
The Hebrew writer tells us that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
The world can be a crazy place. It can seem like things are falling apart all around us. Stress, anxiety, and depression are at all-time highs. Most people feel like they are just trying to get through the day. Just trying to survive.
As Jesus followers we are called to have faith in God. In Hebrews 11:1 that faith is described as a confidence in what we hope for. Let me ask you, what do you hope for? I think most of us are smart enough to know that we can’t just hope for whatever we want. What we hope for must align with what God wants. We can’t hope for money, or fame. Our confidence needs to be grounded in a hope that God is going to come through on HIS promises.
Mary and Joseph had to be uncertain about what was ahead for them as they traveled to Bethlehem. By faith they made the journey, confident that God was in control and that God would work all this out for good.
In your life are you able to have the same trust? Even when you can’t see it? Hebrews also describes an assurance in what we do not see. Faith is trusting even when you don’t see it. Even when the future seems unclear.
I know that I’ve walked through times of uncertainty. Times where I couldn't clearly see where God was leading me. There were a few years of that for me and my family before we came to White Oak. Knowing God had something NEXT for us but not being able to clearly see it. We had closed doors and opportunities that just didn’t work out. I was struggling with patience. I was struggling with trust. I could not see what God was preparing for me.
Paul tells us in Romans that: we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Faith is believing that in all situations God is working for the good. We may not see it, we may not understand it but we can trust it.
This Christmas may we put our faith in Jesus. A savior, born to give his life so that we might live. Just as God brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to bring Jesus into the world, may God bring you into deeper steps of faith in Jesus. To learn more about our Christmas season at White Oak, click here!
Colerain Campus Pastor, White Oak Christian Church