The Christian faith speaks into a world marked by suffering. It also speaks into a world marked with unmet desires. It speaks into a world marked by working harder—often for little solid gain. It speaks into both our dark moments and in the triumphant mountain top experience.
It speaks by confirming the words of Jeremiah by a person embodying the long hoped for longing of Jeremiah: “the LORD is our righteousness (Jer 33:16).”
However, it is not in my righteousness that I cling to, but the righteousness of Jesus. And he suffered in the darkness of unmet desires while thriving in righteousness.
In Luke 13, we read Jesus’ lament,
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Jesus cried out in the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22, ”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus experienced unmet expectations and hope in the faithfulness of God. In fact, we’re told that he rejoices when we rejoice and weeps when we weep. Jesus offers us remarkable hope, a hope that is tangible. A hope that has meat on its bones.
As the Christmas hymn, A Virgin Unspotted, relays this hope:
A Virgin unspotted the Prophet foretold,
Should bring forth a Saviour which now we behold,
To be our Redeemer from Death, Hell and Sin,
Which Adam’s transgression involved us in.
Then let us be Merry, put Sorrow away,
Our Saviour, Christ Jesus, was born on this day.
As we journey through the remainder of this Advent season, sit through the hope, even if it is too dark to see. When sorrows hit, remember God experienced our pains. He experienced our sufferings. Even in seasons of unmet expectations, there is a glimpse of hope in the one who experienced unrealized expectations.