Few things rival the feelings of expectation, wonder, and hope that fill children as Christmas nears. The air they breathe seems to be alive with magic. There are cookies everywhere. The smells are magical as the Christmas tree twinkles in the dark, emitting the scent of pine. The stockings hanging limply fill the soul with the expectation that soon they will be bulging, and the space around the tree will no longer be empty. Christmas morning dawns early for both parents and children as they race to the tree to see what treasures await them. The joy and excitement are not for the children alone. The parents, too, await with eager anticipation the joy their child experiences when he or she receives a perfect gift chosen with love.
Too often as adults, we have lost the wonder of Christmas. It becomes an obligation to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. It becomes stressful, expensive, and disappointing as it seems no one fully appreciates the effort you put forth to create a wonderful Christmas. If Christmas has lost its magic, how can we expect to find hope in our daily monotony? We trudge through life with the “grin and bear it” mentality with little hope or expectation that life could or even should be better. We left the wonder behind when we stopped believing in Santa.
But we were not designed to trudge through life. We were created to live with an ever-increasing sense of joy and hope. We have a hope that should pour forth from every aspect of our lives. Infusing real joy into our very being is the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot accomplish this through our own willpower or thoughts. Won’t you allow the Holy Spirit to permeate your hopes, dreams, and daily life as you look to the future hope and promise?
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate your level of hope or anticipation for your future with 1 being “my life will never change” and 10 being “I can’t wait to get up tomorrow to see what God has planned for me”?
What can you do to increase that number, even by one or two levels?
What does it look like for you to “overflow with confident hope”?
Complete this statement: When I think about ________________, it makes me excited to get up in the morning.
Every night before you go to bed, think of one thing that will fill you with hope for the next day.
Heavenly Father, thank you for creating us to live with hope. Thank you for promising to fill us with your joy and peace. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to help us find hope. Remind me of the hope I have in you, so that I live my life as an example of the hope that draws others to you. Amen.
This post was written by Julie Mabus. Julie has a passion for thinking about big ideas, art, reading, and seeing God reveal himself through creation. She is married and is homeschooling her five young children.
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