As we count down the days to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the hope sent to us through Him, let’s intentionally take some time to anticipate His presence in our common hours. Isaiah 9:6-7 reminds us that Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. What are some questions you have for Him to answer and guide you through? What is weighing you down that you need His might to remove and carry for you? In what areas of your life do you need peace right now? Reach out to the Lord in prayer and know you can put your full hope in Him through it all. Expect great things—it’s what He’s known for.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was truly a courageous and hopeful young woman. Even when she faced an unexpected situation, she chose to have hope and focus on God’s faithfulness. How have you seen God show up faithfully throughout your life in the past? Write down some of those situations. At the end of each entry, write the words, “You are my God.” Let that be your anthem and prayer today. Read over Psalm 31 and surrender your stressful and unknown circumstances to the Lord. In closing, ask the Lord to help you be strong, take heart, and keep putting your hope in Him.
Do you feel that? Warmer than your morning mug of coffee. Beyond all the Christmas presents. Above the scents of food being prepared. It’s the ever-present love, hope, and joy of Jesus Christ surrounding you. Today, as we celebrate and recognize the gift of compassionate salvation sent to us through the birth of Christ, may you experience the fullness of hope in Him. Lean into the words of Luke 2:14 as you rejoice in the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. Take a few moments in solitude today to reflect on what the gift of Jesus means to you. Pray and thank Him for all that He is and has done for you.
Hope has a way of lighting up the darkness. No matter what we’re facing, no matter how dark things can seem, we can still have hope. Is there something keeping you from seeing the light today? You’re not alone, and there will be better days ahead. For now, create some space to breathe, looking toward a bright area in the space you’re occupying right now. Notice how the shadows don’t touch that area. This reflects the hope that Jesus offers to you daily. Pause for a moment to read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and highlight that verse as a reminder to turn to on dark days. Ask the Lord in prayer to renew you today.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” Ultimately, we aren’t putting our hope in a particular outcome, but rather in the goodness and faithfulness of God no matter what the outcome is. What are you hopeful for as we head into a New Year? What areas of your life do you want to invite God to play a more significant role in? How are you planning to savor the sweet moments of His faithfulness through 2020? As you take time to reflect and pray about what’s ahead, let the words of Romans 15:13 be a comfort and encouragement for you!
TALK IT OVER
- When do you typically do all your holiday shopping?
- If you had a million dollars to give to a charity, which would it be?
- What are 3 words you would use to describe this past year so far?
- What are 3 words you would use to describe what you are hoping for in 2020?
- Why do you think it seemed so automatic for Mary to choose hope despite her circumstances?
- How do you stay hopeful during difficult seasons of life?
- What are some ways you are hoping to grow in your faith next year?