In these last days of the year, many people are anxious with anticipation. They cannot wait for the holidays, hoping to receive many gifts, taste many delicacies, dance in many parties and become intoxicated many times.

                Businesses also relish those days with great anticipation. Most companies and stores make more sales (and money) in those few weeks than in the rest of the year combined. In fact, most businesses are considered to be “in the red” (losing money) until the end of the year arrives.

                Most people live with some form of anticipation or another. Students (and most teachers) live for 3:00 PM Friday and office workers languish for two more hours, anticipating the temporary freedom they enjoy on the weekends.

                What is it that you wait for with desperate anticipation? Is it the latest smart device? Are you waiting anxiously for the newest epic movie? Are you one of those sport fans that wait impatiently for the next game of your favorite team?

                What about living instead with heavenly anticipation?

                Weekends, games, movies, vacations, parties and all other events come and go, leaving us empty and unrealized. Our anticipation and our subsequent participation in those earthly activities end up in dissatisfaction.

                Let us focus our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and wait for the blessed hope of his imminent appearing (Titus 2:13). Let us walk with Jesus every day by faith, anticipating that glorious day when we shall see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).

                In Philippians 3:12-14, the apostle Paul clearly defines a Christian life lived in godly and hopeful anticipation:

                Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

                There is prize waiting for us on the other side. There is a heavenly home that has been prepared for us by the Lord Jesus (John 14:1-4). There is a Savior ready to welcome us with open arms into his glorious and eternal kingdom.

                Are you anticipating any of this, or are you too comfortable or too busy to even think about these heavenly things? I pray that all of God’s children will be filled with a holy and hopeful anticipation for the all the great things that our God has in store for us.

                A. G.

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