Devotional – December 30, 2020

Julie Hart’s Devotional

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:12-13

During this season of Advent, HOPE is so important that we focus on it for one whole week. One of the candles on our Advent wreath is just for HOPE.

I love the word hope. It says so much, means so much, makes me feel so so much. It’s both a noun (as in longing; dream) and a verb (long for, dream for). Hopes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We have small hopes — like for good weather, an Amazon gift card, macaroni and cheese for dinner. We have medium sized hopes — like for a friend to visit, good grades on our report cards, that our best friend will be in our cabin at summer camp. We all have big hopes — like to get accepted into the school we applied for, that our grandparent gets better, that we get to go to Disneyland this summer. But the hope that we read about in Romans is like the BIGGIE, SUPER-SIZED, COLOSSAL hope! The kind of hope that comes from the Holy Spirit is hard to describe. It’s the kind of hope you just have to feel and experience for yourself.

There sure must have been a lot of hoping when Jesus was born — Mary hoping that the Angel that came to her was right about the baby that she would carry. Joseph hoping to find a place to stay and for Mary to give birth to baby Jesus. The wise men hoping they were following the right star.

The Christmas story is a story we never get tired of telling and hearing. It’s such an important story that we tell it in songs, decorations, traditions, meals, books, movies, pageants, cartoons, plays, and more. Do you know why I think we love this story so much? Because the Christmas story is a story of HOPE. Not just the hope for the people who were there to witness the story first hand, but hope that continues to live in our hearts because Jesus came to give HOPE to the world. That’s a pretty big and amazing kind of hope.

Dear God, thank you for faithfully keeping your promise to love me and for giving me hope in all circumstances because you are with me.