“Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” – Isaiah 9:6-7

The book of Isaiah was written during the time of the Prophets, 700 years before Christ’s birth. For the Israelites awaiting a Messiah, these names (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace) gave them a glimpse of their Savior, long before He was born. They foretold of a time that was to come, a promise of a world made right. How difficult it must have been for the Israelites to have to experience such a long time of waiting expectantly for this promise to come true.

Waiting is hard and when we’ve been waiting a really long time for something, we can begin to grow restless and feel like we have to make it happen. It is easy to grow weary and start doubting God’s faithfulness and provision.

Let me let you in on a secret…God has a plan. He always has. His plan was set forth from the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, He had a plan even before time itself existed. Jesus’ birth set in motion God’s plan to secure our future with Him.

Even when things seem hopeless and waiting seems to never have an end, we must remember that God has a plan and He is busy working that plan in his time. Our times of waiting are an opportunity to lean into God more, build our faith and exercise our trust and dependence on Him. The best way to accomplish this in the midst of the waiting is to look toward hope. One of my favorite quotes on hope is by Melissa Kruger: “Future hope brings present joy.”

The word “hope” has lost its meaning in our language today. A lot of times when we use the word “hope,” we use it like “I wish”. For example: “I hope it will rain.” But real hope is to trust in a person or outcome that you’ve been assured of. There is no one better to put our hope in than in God and in His goodness, for He is trustworthy. He keeps His promises. We can trust knowing that God has got us and He will work all things to bring good. He does have a glorious future awaiting us.

So while we are not the Israelites awaiting the first Christmas, we are still awaiting the Savior to return and set all things right. We are waiting for Him to finish the work He began.

When He left this earth, He promised He would return for us and finish what He has started. This promise is our future hope. We can rejoice today because of what God has done in the past in sending His son to earth and we can rejoice for what is yet to come.

As we experience this time of advent, the season of anticipation of our Savior, allow your heart to be filled with his peace, knowing God is here, with us, in the waiting. He has not forgotten you or His promise. Because of this, we can overflow with joy for what God has awaiting us–the hope of his glorious future.