A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said, “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word, because my eyes have seen your salvation. You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples. It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles and a glory for your people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32
I love people like Simeon who can anticipate good things and not lose hope. I am not one of those people. I am more of a glass half empty type of person. I often anticipate the worst-case scenarios just to prepare myself on the chance that something difficult might happen. That was not true of Simeon. God had promised him that he would see the long-awaited Messiah before he died, and Simeon did not give up hope on that promise. When a young poor family wandered into the temple with their newborn son, the Holy Spirit was ignited in Simeon. He immediately recognized the Christ child, and he knew that God was giving him the gift He had promised.
How often do you anticipate Gods’ faithfulness in your life? Are you anticipating God’s faithfulness in 2021? I think we can all agree that 2020 was a hard year filled with much pain and grief. How are you feeling about the new year? Do you have hope? I think it is here that we can learn from Simeon. First, scripture tells us that Simeon was righteous and devout. For me, that means he continually practiced his faith even when life was difficult. For every human being, life brings us challenges at some point and the question is always the same. Will we continue to believe in God even when life hurts? We also learn that Simeon anticipated God’s faithfulness to His promises to the nation of Israel. That means we need to anticipate God’s faithfulness to us, His people.
What are some of God’s promises? He promises to continually live among us, to comfort us, bless us, and bring us peace. He promises us that we will never be separated from his love. None of us know what 2021 will bring. The vaccine gives us all hope that COVID will one day end, but more importantly, as people of faith, we need to put our hope in God’s faithful promises to us. Like Simeon, we need to live lives of hopeful anticipation of the faithfulness of God in each of our hearts.
Happy New Year and God’s Blessing to You,