Advent Devotional Day 18 – Hope For Transformation

BIBLE READINGS:
Philippians 1:6

You might not realize this, but the story of the birth of Jesus is actually the middle part of the entire Christmas story. His entrance into the world, the announcement by the angels, and the visit of the wise men is smack dab in the middle of an even bigger story that begins in Genesis with the creation of the world.

From the beginning when sin entered the world, God was already working out His plan of redemption. From Abraham to David to Jesus to right now, God has been telling a story of how He heals brokenness, brings dead things to life, and rebuilds the ruins of our sinful, selfish world.

We like to tell stories with exciting beginnings and satisfying endings. All too often, the middle parts of stories only seem to serve as a way to keep excitement up until we get to the neatly resolved conclusion. Even when we read the Bible, we tend to forget that there were 400 years of silence and exile for Israel—which don’t make for exciting stories at all—before Jesus makes His entrance.

But the truth about the middle part of a story is that’s where characters change. Through the struggle, they are transformed. Their pride is broken, their shame is lifted, their animosity becomes love, and their wounds are healed. And it is God who causes this transformation.

You might feel like you’re in those middle parts of your story. You’re praying desperately for growth to move from where you are to where you hope to be. As you continually seek truth about who God is and hunger after Him, your thoughts, your will, and your desires will be transformed to be like Him. You might not know how the story will end but can have hope in the promise that God is transforming you right now.

We hope and long for the glorious ending God has promised for us, but we also hope in the transforming work He is doing in our lives right now. I also encourage you to invite others into the “middle parts” of your story. When we witness the transformational work that God is doing and give Him praise, we usher His Kingdom into the world. How can you share your stories of transformation in order to give God glory and encourage others? This week, fill up a stocking for a friend or neighbour, invite them to coffee, and look for an opportunity to tell your story of God’s transforming work in your life and the hope that it brings.

(We would like to thank Parkview Christian Church, Orland Park, Illinois for providing this plan) 

Kathy Strong
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Kathy Strong

Kathy loves to encourage women to be courageous and fierce in pursuing their God-given calling.She inspires with personal stories and entertains with honest confessions.
Kathy Strong
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