Day Twenty-Two: Hold Onto Hope

December 22, 2019
By Wynne Fitzpatrick

By Wynne Fitzpatrick

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”    Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)

What a mix of emotions Mary must have been experiencing as she went to visit her relative Elizabeth! Here was Mary, a young unmarried teen, and an angel had just told her she was going to give birth to the Son of God. Can you even imagine? She must have approached Elizabeth’s home wondering what Elizabeth would think when she shared her news. How surprised and relieved Mary must have been when Elizabeth greeted her with excitement.

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her,” Elizabeth said about Mary. Elizabeth was not saying this about Mary after Jesus was born, after everything was accomplished, and after all was just as God had said it would be. Elizabeth was saying Mary was blessed because she believed the Lord would fulfill his promises to her. She believed he would be faithful to his promises even before she saw evidence of any of them happening.

If only we could be more like Mary and hold onto God’s promises, believing he will do the things he promises to do for us. So often we need to see proof to believe. So often we say we are blessed after we have been able to see the results of what God has done for us, as we look back in hindsight. How much more blessed are we when we have faith, when we trust completely that God is in control even before we see evidence of it, even when life feels uncertain and out of control!

A friend recently asked me to pray for her son, as some situations in his life seemed unclear and were not yet working out the way he had hoped they would. As we discussed praying for him, we talked about how we were asking God to help her son keep hope, even when he could not see any signs of circumstances working out for him. Hope in the future, hope that God has a plan and a future for this young man in His perfect timing, hope that God has a plan and a future for each one of us. Isn’t that an important part of Advent? Having the hope that comes to us as we wait expectantly for the birth of Christ and all of the promises that are fulfilled with this holy birth. The hope that Mary had, the hope that Elizabeth saw in her, the hope of what was to come but was yet to be seen. The hope that even though, like Mary, we may not understand what is happening and do not have all of the answers right now, we can still be confident that God is with us.

May we all be like Mary and be blessed this Christmas by believing and holding onto the hope that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us.