Advent Devotional: In Hope

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

If you receive an e-mail from me these days, it will likely end with, “In hope, Jerry.” Why do I do this? Here are my reasons:

1. I love the conclusion of 1 Corinthians 13. “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.” So in life, I want to know all I can about these three words and the person of Jesus behind and within them. I also want others to know these words. So, many times a day I sign my e-mails—“In hope.”

2. Hope fosters positivity. Hope brings light and life and joy and encouragement. If I were to die tonight, I would want someone at my funeral to say that Jerry brought the hope of Jesus to us. Followers of Jesus may face a multitude of trials and difficulties, but there is ALWAYS hope with Jesus. Even around death and destruction, questions and mysteries. In Jesus, hope reigns, hope shines, hope lures us forward toward His light. Hope might begin as a very small light at the end of a tunnel. But it is there. And hope blossoms into full light—and even life in Jesus.

3. But most of all, as we are “In Jesus,” we are always “In hope.” There is nothing dark enough to cloud the bright hope of Jesus. This past year has been a really tough one with a lot of transitions: moving from Budapest, changing jobs, my mother passing away, getting settled in a new community. But I continue to see the hand of God and see hope all along the way. And it keeps getting brighter day by day. We don’t simply move toward it. It’s because the Light came and comes toward us. Immanuel.

Jerry Coleman is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church and Director of International Ministries for The Francis Asbury Society. He and his wife, Jan, were missionaries in Europe for 17 years and are the parents of three adult children.