The Season of Advent also called the “Season of Waiting” begins this Sunday.
Let’s face it! Most of us don’t like to wait. We live at a time when most things happen fast and when they don’t . . . well, we’re not happy.
But the Season of Advent calls us to wait with expectation. It calls us to wait with Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.
Combining any one of those words with the word wait almost seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?
Culture tells us to spend these weeks leading up to Christmas frantically trying to make everything perfect . . . although we know that perfection is rarely possible.
So, we sacrifice hope, peace, joy, and even love with “if only” thoughts that frustrate us.
Thoughts that begin…
“I could really celebrate and be happy if only ___________.”
Is there something you’ve decided is a must to make your holiday celebrations complete? I’m not talking about a present under the tree . . . no, I’m referring to the uglies that we let rob us of hope, peace, and joy.
- The children would stop __________.
- I hadn’t lost __________.
- He/she hadn’t done __________.
- I could have __________.
- I could be __________.
- I didn’t feel __________.
- I’d hear from __________.
Then our “if only” thoughts are followed with hand wringing, analyzing, planning, picturing, and finally . . . crying out in prayer.
It doesn’t take long for the enemy of our souls to use our “if only” thoughts to rob us of all that God wants for us throughout this season of waiting and the joy-filled celebration of the birth of His Son, Jesus.
I want to use the Season of Advent to take every “if only” burden to Him and let Him replace them with the hope, peace, joy, and love He wants for me. So, I’ve asked the Lord to remind me to run to Him in prayer as soon as an “if only” thought comes to mind.
I’m letting go of negative thoughts…
Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth. Psalm 46:10 (GW)
And I’m trusting God’s promises…
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!Isaiah 26:3
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.Psalm 16:11
But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy.Psalm 68:3
You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.Psalm 86:15
I want to spend the Season of Advent focused on Jesus’ birth as I anticipate His return. I want to cling to the promise that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.John 14:6
So, will you run to the Lord in prayer with me and ask Him to help you make the Season of Advent a time of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love…
A Prayer for the Season of Advent
Father, thank you for fulfilling Your promise to send a Savior. Thank you for Jesus.
This Season of Advent invites us to prepare our hearts and minds to not only celebrate Jesus’ birth but to anticipate His victorious return. I remember waiting for Christmas as a child. Waiting is hard, Father. I typically became restless and impatient. And although I’m older, I still find myself unsettled and agitated when I let my mind wander to thoughts that rob me of the hope, peace, joy, and love You want for me. The attitudes You want to fill every part of my life. The truths about Jesus that change everything.
- You have made all things possible. (Matthew 19:26)
- You give me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
- You declare me forgiven. (Acts 13:38)
- You set me free from sin, death, and the power of the devil. (Romans 6:7)
- You call me Your child. (1 John 3:1)
Thank you for the gift of faith . . . for making it possible for Your Spirit to be with me and within me. Your Spirit reminds me of Your truth (John 14:17) and blesses me with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23a)
By Your grace and with Your help, I will surrender myself—heart, mind, soul, and spirit to Your loving care. And I will let go of “if only” thoughts and wait with hope, peace, joy, and love for Jesus celebrating the blessings of today, and anticipating the promised blessings of tomorrow that will last forever and always. Amen.
So, let me ask…
What “if only” thoughts do you need to let go of during the Season of Advent? How will you focus your heart and mind on Jesus’ birth and return?
Will you have an Advent Wreath? Use an Advent Calendar? Read a chapter of Luke every day?
What will you do to make this time of waiting a time of preparation for your family?
I’m lifting up these words of Paul for us all…
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
May the Lord bless you and fill you with hope, peace, joy, and love!
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