“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Rom. 15:13); “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa. 41:10)


Heavenly Father, in a world of broken people, challenging circumstances, and unfinished stories, it’s a source of immeasurable peace to know you as the “God of hope.” You specialize in actualities—not “might-be,” “could-be,” or “possibly.” Outcomes belong to you, as surely as the earth, angels, and we do.

A living, sure hope—this is the heartbeat of Advent—not crossing our fingers, settling for Plan G, “rolling with the punches,” or making lemonade out of lemons. We live under the reign of grace, not in the tyranny of karma.

Whether it’s having to spin 7 plates as a 3-plate person, “dance” in sticky relationships while Christmas music is playing; trust you with a loved one’s surgery, our own positive test, or any of a number of negative attitude carriers… Oh, Father, we abandon ourselves to you right now. It’s actually good to be out of bootstraps to pull up—for it makes the Gospel necessary, not just nice.

We absolutely love the 5 occurrences of the personal pronoun “I” in our second verse of the day (Isa. 41:10). You promise big stuff that only you can/will do. Thank you, Abba.  So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ most worship-worthy name.