During Advent we will be focusing on the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that Jesus brings when He “arrives” in our life. Each week we will have a devotion from someone in our church body to help encourage you along the way. This week’s devotion is written by Jennifer Martin.

The weary world rejoices. The world was weary prior to our saviors’ birth, the world was weary when these lyrics were written in 1847 as a poem, and the world is weary today. Our souls are weary often each day as they long for healing, direction, guidance, love, restoration with some peace and joy mixed in. Despite the season of ‘cheer’ and ‘good news’ as well as all the songs echoing the multiple avenues of airways, so often we still find ourselves at the weary point. While we have the assurance of what is to come in the coming weeks and we know it ends (or rather begins) with the celebration of the baby in a manager that came to save the world, we can’t dismiss the weariness life can often throw our way.

Hope looks so different to each of us. Sometimes we can resonate with scripture of what Hope looks like…. as Jeremiah did when he stated “Our Hope is in you Lord.” Rather, our trust is in Him. The question is, is that truly where our hope lies? In the mundane, in the crisis mode, in the survival mode, in the pit, in the joy, where does our hope lie? 

Hope to a young window of two boys was explained to me as “it is knowing on the hardest, depths of grief, solo parenting days that Jesus is walking that difficult path with us and has not forsaken us. Hope is knowing we will all be together again one day. Hope is knowing today is awful but tomorrow will be better. Knowing that hope with His grace and mercy, all will be okay.”

Hope from someone in recovery…”Hope is living at home with my family and with intention. Hope reassures me that I am part of a solution, and in desperate need of a Savior and with Him all things are possible. Hope gives me the ability to trust that my hard work and my prayers will be heard. The gift of hope will only help me grow closer to my loved ones and on a path of restoration.”

Hope from someone who has walked unemployment this year for the second time looked like this. “Hope reminded us that God had provided before and he would provide again.  We HAD to put our HOPE in that truth. Even when we felt like giving up…we knew our faith in God—our hope in Him—was the only thing holding us upright.  Hope. It’s what carried us through our darkest of times and what continues to carry is through now.”

Hope from a Mother with an incredibly high risk and traumatic pregnancy this year was this. “Hope initially looked like a faith in the outcome we wanted, a prayer for a safe and healthy delivery. But it quickly became our HOPE that our faith would sustain us no matter the outcome, a hope not dependent on what we asked of Jesus but one confident in the knowledge that He is the same no matter what happened in our life. Our hope became that our faith would grow in assurance that He would always be sovereign, always be good, always be with us.

Hope looks different to all of us, to all our specific scenarios and unique hearts. 

So much of the Old Testament had to rely on hope in a world. A fallen, lost world, much like the one we occupy today. However, we as believers have received the greatest gift we could ever need living in the hopeless world. Hope has been graciously given to us as a gift, something precious we can open daily. Hope can light the darkest of nights much like it did that glorious morn. Being weary and hopeful can coexist and the fact that Jesus can meet us in the darkness in unexpected ways in indeed…a thrill of hope.

Lord, let us put our HOPE in you, the only One who will not fail us, no matter the situation, show us all the mighty thrill of hope you so graciously provide this holy, precious and sacred season.