A Fruitful Hope

The Advent Community Journal for the “A Fruitful Hope” devotional (The Gift of Advent , 29-31).

● Does your faith feel as small as a mustard seed? How can Advent help you persevere?

● How will placing your hope in heaven empower you to love others today?

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Oh, I have had so many of these moments in the past! Sometimes we think, if we just have the right motivations, faith in God, adequate plans, we can expect success with our efforts to reach out with the gospel. Not necessarily. While God does notice our sincere faith, there are often long periods of waiting and its important at those times to lean in more toward God to know his will and grow in knowledge. We have to know when to change directions as sometimes people are just not ready in their hearts to receive the truth. We need to recognize where in the faith journey someone is. When it comes to plants, we recognize the process of tilling, sowing, cultivating and harvesting. But when it comes to sowing the seeds of the gospel, we sometimes forget the stages and mix up the order of growth while yielding to cultural pressures.

There may also be times when the full result of our faithfulness is only rewarded in the next generation. During Advent, instead of just narrowly focusing on the present times of the world we live in, we can recognize that the story of God when completed will include us, those who will come after us and those who have gone before us. I am reminded of Hebrews 11: 39-40 to Heb 12:1-3 that nicely encapsulates this idea of the patience we need in enduring even when our promises are not fully received.

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