Sunday was the first day of Advent.  As Brenda lit the first candle, representing the word HOPE, I thought to myself, “Wow, do we need the power of hope more than ever before.”  The pandemic, the topsy-turvy world of political uncertainty, racial oppression, economic challenges, and the never-ending demands of loving and caring for our children can leave us feeling empty, fearful, and alone in the dark.  Hope offers a light in the darkness.  It fills the void we feel with the belief we can do this.  We can’t survive without having hope in something.  It empowers us.  It gives us passion.  It gives us the courage to press forward.  It is air in our lungs.

I found a couple of quotes that capture the power and beauty of hope:

There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope. — Baruch Spinoza

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. — Desmond Tutu

Hope is a passion for the possible. —  Søren Kierkegaard

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. –The Apostle Paul

Did you realize that there are actually scientific studies and psychological experiments that prove hope makes a difference in the way we live and respond to life?  It really makes a difference.  Of course, it doesn’t remove all pain, or take away all our sorrow, or cure our children’s illness or disability.  But it does give us the courage to keep working, praying, connecting, believing, and moving forward.

So my question for you is what are you hoping for?  What are you hoping in?  For Brenda and me, this Christmas season reminds us of the hope we have in a God who loves us and proved it by taking on flesh, becoming one of us, a baby, wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger.

Rob Ryerson, pastor of Eastern Hills Bible Church, one of David’s Refuge’s supporting churches wrote this about hope in his first Advent blog:

“Jesus’ arrival makes hope possible.  Without hope, we have no purpose.  Without hope, our hearts grow hardened.  Without hope, we are prone to despair.  We need hope to endure the brokenness of this world.  As Christians, we believe hope is found through our trust in Christ.”  My prayer for you this Christmas season is that you will find something, someone to cling to that wraps you up in hope!