By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
To the human heart, hope is indispensable and yet, when not grounded in the proper things, it is fleeting.
Paul wrote the book of Philemon from one of the most hopeless places: prison. He did not know when he’d be released. He didn’t know if he’d be released. Despite the unknowns, Pauls wrote these words to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church:
“And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers” (c.22 v. 22).
At first glance, Paul’s words seem harmless. He’s asking Philemon to hook him up with a hotel room or an AirBnB– a place he can stay whenever he’s finally released from prison.
But we must tarry in verse 22 for a moment longer because Paul is doing much more than asking for a guest room. Instead, he is urging Philemon to put his hope into action.
Paul nor Philemon had any idea when Paul would be released from prison. It could be days. It could be years. But despite the unknowns, they both had hope in a God who would come through and provide Paul’s freedom.
It was Paul’s hope in God’s provision that caused him to urge Philemon to go ahead an prepare the guest bedroom. Paul is saying: Get it ready! Because I have a hope that God will come through!
All too often, our hope in Christ remains empty because we never put it into action. We say we have a hope in God, and yet the bed in the guest room remains unmade.
What Paul presents to us in Philemon 22 is the example we should follow. If we truly hope in God and in his provision, then we should be prompted into action. It should cause us to do something! To say something! To act!
This Christmas season, we celebrate the overwhelming hope that was made real in Christ’s coming. Because He entered into humanity, we have a hope that death is not the end, that we no longer have to be restrained to sin, that lives can be made new!
Every Christmas, hope reverberates in the halls of our churches and sings to us through car radios. Hope is made prevalent like never before.
Don’t let this Christmas go by without allowing the hope of “God with Us” to spur you on to action.
Hope prompts joy. Hope overcomes fear. Hope demands action.
Prepare the guest room. He has come, and He is coming again!
Read more of this Advent Devotional and other Daily Pursuits at www.dailypursuits.blog