Advent Devotions 2017
December 4, 2017
“I hope.” These words may constitute one of the shortest prayers we will ever say. I don’t mean hope as it refers to wishful thinking. I mean hope in the more biblical reference of “Confident expectation.” Jesus taught us to believe in what he has promised us: that we will have eternal life with him. So having hope is to confidently expect to be with him and an affirmation of our faith.
We must constantly train ourselves over and over to make hope part of our daily life. In today’s world it is all too easy to become disillusioned with the ways of the world and humanity. When senseless killing and acts of terror happen almost daily and humanity’s kindness to one another seems to be a lollipop idea, we can let our hope slide away becoming dull and complaisant. We forget our hope and the good results that come when we follow God’s will for us. By our hope and action we can become an example to others.
It may sound like an overly optimistic idea, but I firmly believe we can be as happy as we choose to be. I begin each day with a gratitude list. It is a simple exercise but it sets the tone for my day. It is hard to be without hope when contemplating all the wonderous gifts God has given me. I don’t mean just the material and tangible things, but the ability to think and assess and choose. I could be a contrarian and ask why I don’t have more. But I can also choose to hope. I suppose it is a bit like the glass half empty or half full. I choose to hope and to see the wonders not the why nots.
I have always loved the hope poem by Emily Dickinson:
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the Soul –
And sings the tune without words
And never stops—at all.
I want to never stop—at all—to have confident expectations, knowing that God has given me both hope and the ability to choose.
Written by Glenda Palmer
Art by Ashley