Thursday, December 1, 2016
by Nancy Jones
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name”; and again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”; and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him”; and again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Who do you trust implicitly? Take a moment and jot a quick list down in the margins. For a lot of us, that list includes our parents. But just because we trust them more than most everyone else doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. We can see their flaws, just as they can see ours. We fight. Despite that, when it’s all said and done, we still know that our parents want what’s best for us.
It’s the same with God. This passage from Romans says that we are taught endurance and given encouragement so that no matter what happens, we will love each other and have hope. There will be hard times in our lives, like our relationships with our parents will have a few bumps in the road. But, just like a fight with our parents doesn’t shake our knowledge that they ultimately want what’s best for us, a spot of tough luck in life shouldn’t convince us that God doesn’t care. As we count down the days till Christmas and wait ultimately for the second coming of Christ, we can remember that fact and take comfort.