December
15
Author
Megan Chalmers
Waiting Expectantly | Advent Part 3

Christmas seems to be getting closer and closer and this advent season I have really enjoyed focussing on advent more and not simply looking forward to the general Christmas traditions and festivities but more importantly, aiming to fix my gaze on Jesus and why this time of year requires such celebration. 

As I have unpacked previously, the word Advent translated from Latin is the Greek word Parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ, and implies expectant waiting, which is what I will be unpacking in this post. If you want to discover more about this I wrote about the history of advent and how it applies to our current lives in my earlier posts. Advent isn’t just about reminding us about the nearness of Christmas, but its roots are in looking to the future expectantly – but why is this so significant for the Christmas season and for our wider lives? Let’s look at the focus of this time of year: The Christmas Story.

 

Expectancy in the Nativity

Most of us will know the story like the back of our hands, even if you wouldn’t call yourself a Christian but as I was thinking about the significance of being expectant and how it relates to the Christmas Story I begun to realise how expectancy must have been a key theme throughout.

Firstly, can you imagine the expectant heart Mary would have knowing that the son she gives birth to would be Emmanuel. Imagine the expectant heart she would have for him as she prays for the baby and as she saw him lying in that manger.

Could you imagine the expectancy of those going to visit Jesus when he was born; the Shepherds and the Wise Men. The level of expectancy they had, the excitement for the future. They realised the significance of this baby and that knowledge of the significance led to expectant hearts, not simply looking at that moment in time (although of course it was a significant one) but also looking to the future, knowing the significant impact Jesus would have on the world.

These different people all had one thing in common: Faith. Mary’s faith to not only believe the Angel Gabriel when he came to here telling her that she would become pregnant when she was a virgin but also to declare that she was ‘The Lord’s servant’. Even though Mary was only a girl, she had faith and believed that Jesus would be Emmanuel. Likewise, with the Wise Men and Shepherds, they had so much faith that they set out and travelled to find Jesus. Similarly, as Christians, our faith levels have a link to the amount of expectancy we can stomach. (By expectancy I don’t mean expectations but I mean believing in God and having faith in his power.)

 

Faith & Expectancy

Matthew 17:20 says:
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Even the smallest amount of faith, can have huge impacts and as we lean on God in faith we can see amazing things happen. When we pray with a level of expectancy that we will see God move we are praying in faith and we will see such amazing things come to fruition. I want to challenge you- At your church prayer meetings and in your own prayer life, are you praying with expectancy and a faith that God will speak and answer your prayers? I know that sometimes it can be harder than others to do so but God listens and knows your heart.

 

Why is it important to wait expectantly?

We often talk as Christians about being still and waiting on God yet, I feel as though we can see waiting simply as sitting around but it’s important to firstly be active and secondly do so expectantly.

When we wait expectantly we begin to meditate on God’s truths, charecter and promises for us which helps us to fully lean on God and have faith in him before we can even begin to see the fruit of his promises yet. There’s something about being able wait amongst trials and struggles yet resting in Gods promises that stirs up expectancy and faith that allows you to stand firm on God.

So practically, when we are waiting and finding it  difficult, how can we be expectant and keep our faith?

  • Remind ourselves of Gods promises
  • Pray in faith
  • Remind yourself of truth! Read the word and get stuck into the Bible. Read truths that prompt a response and encourage you.
  • Declare truth: “I am chosen” and “I am called by God to ________”. There is a deeper element to this, it's not just about making you feel encouraged (although it can do so) but also there is a spiritual element to it. When we step into our identity in God and into the truth, the enemy goes running.

 

The Second Coming:

We often let the thought of Jesus coming again slip away from our thoughts, but in fact it is fundamental for Advent. We should be waiting expectantly every day and instead of limiting our life to what we have on earth we should be holding on to the hope we have in store for when Jesus comes again.

At Christmas we often have a running theme of hope, seeing Jesus as our hope as Christians to save us all, yet there is an even deeper hope- Jesus’ second coming! During this advent season and into the new year, let’s remember the joy set before us. I challenge you to live life with an expectancy for God to move in your business, schools and neighbourhoods and also to live life as if Jesus would come again tomorrow. Who would you share the gospel with? Where would you share the good news?

I’m speaking for myself too as I know it is so easy to become complacent and comfortable instead of expectant for when Jesus comes again. When we read scripture, the second coming is full of glory and beauty. When we begin to take hold of this, we can become expectant in waiting for when He comes.

This advent, whatever situation you are in, trust in God and be expectant to see him move. Live in the Good of what Jesus has done for us and wait expectantly and excitedly for when we will all be reconciled to God when Jesus comes again.

I hope you enjoyed this series on advent (LINK) and that it allowed you to really remember the importance of this time of year and focus on Jesus.

Thank you for reading and I wish you all a very happy Christmas!