“I just don’t think that it will get any better,” my friend lamented. We were discussing a significant change that was coming soon in his life—a change that was beyond his control. His hope-o-meter was definitely leaning far to the left, and even though his upcoming change had the potential to bring major growth and improvement in his life, he just couldn’t bring himself to choose hope.

Do we believe that God has a bright future for us? As we enter this Christmas season, I am reminded that the first candle in the Advent wreath points us to hope. Jesus brings us hope, and we can choose each day to live with the hope that he offers—choosing hope on purpose!

The Israelites endured 400 years of silence before Jesus was born. During those centuries, there was no “word from the Lord.” From the Old Testament Prophet of Malachi until the New Testament appearance of John the Baptist, the silence was deafening. Had God forgotten His people?

In spite of the uncertainty, hope burned in the hearts of many. They continued to look for, dream about and worship the coming Messiah. Simeon and Anna are two prominent examples of believers that wouldn’t give up their hope! In Luke 2:25, we learn that Simeon was “waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.” Simeon’s hope was in God—Israel’s consolation—and he was not disappointed.

Eternal hope is the fuel for service to God and others. I am thrilled to lead an organization that thrives on reflecting the hope of Jesus to others. We offer hope by giving people a chance to fulfill their Divine purpose. For example, by learning to save money through participation in one of our savings groups, parents are experiencing a comprehensive education, and changing the trajectory of their family one day at a time. Most significantly, they are able to deepen their relationship with Jesus and to experience His eternal hope. I believe that Christian world-changers are emerging from the campus of Hope Haven Rwanda and I can’t wait to see what God does as they spread the hope of Jesus to the country of Rwanda.

Whether we live in Rwanda, the United States or wherever else God has called us, will we choose to firmly fix our hope in Christ as Simeon and Anna did? Let’s endeavor to experience His hope fully this week, and to look for ways to reflect His hope to others!