The Advent of Hope
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
I John 3:2-3 NIV
To have the hope of heaven restored to the soul is first of all to regain the great hope of Christ’s appearing and the mind-boggling promise that we shall be like Him. The power of hope is mysterious in all the ways it ministers life to us, but in this Scripture we see that this hope “purifies us” even now. 
Meditating on Jesus’s birth also draws our attention to His second coming. We are going to see Jesus! We are going to be fully alive and whole! Perfect fulfilment with Him will never end! When we anticipate such glory, this world’s numbing, distracting, and corrupting counterfeits are put in their place. The intentionality of Advent makes purifying space for our hearts. We wait for Him actively, eager to begin now in the life that will be wholly ours when Christ appears.
Holy God, we praise You for Your perfect ways. Your promises are beyond our comprehension, so we look to You and receive the supernatural gift of hope. We long for the day of your return; make this longing in us active and pure. Come, Lord Jesus.
 Leanne Payne, Restoring the Christian Soul : Overcoming Barriers to Completion through Healing Prayer (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1996), p. 217
Painting: Sandro Botticelli, 1500-1501, Mystic Nativity [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the writings and ministry of Leanne Payne.