One of the most powerful and comforting passages about “hope” in all of God’s Word is I Peter 1:3-9. It begins with these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused US to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” (vs. 3). Peter goes on to explain what a difference that makes in the lives of those who live with that hope in the midst of trials, knowing that salvation from sin is ours through faith in Jesus Christ. As we head into the “Advent Season” it is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the birth of Jesus as the turning point in the fulfillment of God’s plan to establish His eternal kingdom. The knowledge of WHO Jesus is and WHAT He came to do fills the pages of the Gospels and leads to the establishment of the New Testament Church and the expansion of God’s kingdom to the Gentiles. While the Jews continue to wait for the Messiah and the religions of the world reject the truth Christians believe, Jesus IS God’s anointed King, who is now seated at the Father’s right hand. But if you are to live with certain and lasting hope today you must know that there is more to come! God’s kingdom has not yet come in its fullness. All who have been born again by the Spirit have a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” but we can see that the world around us continues in rebellion against God and against His anointed King … and even again His chosen people, the Jews. As Paul writes in Romans 8, we continue to “hope for what we do not see,” and so we “wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25). As you hear the promise given through Isaiah, and see it fulfilled in the birth of Jesus, so you can also know that God will keep every promise He has made. Jesus Christ WILL return! HIS kingdom WILL come and His will WILL BE done, on earth as it is in heaven!! To that end we labor, and in that hope we live as ambassadors of His kingdom. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope!” (Romans 15:13).