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A Season of Hope

Today’s Reflection

[ADVENT] is a season of hope and hopefulness. God loves the world that God has created and has sent salvation. Even in the midst of dire circumstances, we can look out and watch expectantly for the new thing that God will do.

Live in anticipation today. Keep watch. Wait. Hope. For the Lord is with us!

—Todd Outcalt, Blue Christmas: Devotions of Light in a Season of Darkness (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

Regardless of your circumstances, can you choose to be hopeful about the new things God might do?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”
—Micah 7:7 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

God of Light, be my hope in this season. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites you to experience the weeks before Christmas differently this year. “We all need this time of Advent to slow us down, to open our ears to God’s quiet voice, to guide us through the chaos of the consumerist culture that Christmas has become.” Join us for Child of the Light, an eCourse experience from The Upper Room.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jill December 4, 2019, 3:42 am

    Yes – I must have hope – as what He ordains is according to His will. And while I may not understand it and may suffer in accordance with it – it is still ushered forth by Him – so I must trust.
    My dad is such a good sport – hanging tough despite circumstances. He has to have an emergency root canal this morning, poor guy. Yet, we went out to eat last night, then to a basketball game…my god-son and great nephew (his great grandson) both play on the same middle school team. Then my sister and her husband were taking him to a movie after the game. My dad’s perseverance is a testimony to me – he never, ever complains. May it be so of me.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2019, 8:32 am

      Praise God, Jill, for your dad’s perseverance!

      May we all learn well from him to persevere!

  • Billie December 4, 2019, 7:01 am

    Yes, if I focus on the the promises of the Lord and not the demands of this world.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2019, 8:36 am

      Welcome Billie!

      I absolutely agree with you. We will have hope if we focus on the promises of God and not the demands of the world.

      Blessings!

  • Lou December 4, 2019, 7:30 am

    Yes – I agree with Jill – we must trust and have hope. And I so agree will Billie- thank you for the reminder – focus on things of this world distracts us from the promise of the Lord. My hope is in you alone Lord.
    Thankful for the comments offered here and for this devotional to turn to each day.
    Prayers for your dad, Jill – he certainly has had many challenges lately- and I understand the loneliness of coming home to an empty house. He sounds very strong and he is blessed to have a wonderful daughter like you.
    Prayers for you Billie and your strong faith.
    Prayers for all who come to this place today- especially remembering Robert, Mary, Julie, Marcy, Andrea, Connie, Betsy, Sara, BJ, April, and all of the concerns raised here daily. You are all in my prayers.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2019, 8:37 am

      Thank you Lou!

      So glad to hear from you. May God bless you and your family abundantly!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2019, 8:02 am

    Regardless of our circumstances, we can choose to be hopeful because we have an awesome God!

    Prayers for all your well-being and may we all place our hope in God!

    Blessings!

  • Julie December 4, 2019, 8:31 am

    Yes, Yes, and yes. I agree with everyone who previously commented. Especially Billie, at this time of year the world works very hard and in cunning ways to attract our attention and to maintain it for the entire season. As Christians we must be ever vigilant and keep our hearts on the coming Lord.
    I took a teest yesterday that measures childhood trauma. I scored 7 out of 10. The Lord nudges me toward therapy again.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry. May Larry’s root canal go smooothly and with minimal pain.
    Prayers for Billie and her family, may they have a God centered holiday.
    Prayers for Lou and her children, may they all be together for the holidays.
    Prayers for Mary as she prepares for her mission trip, may all go smoothly.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may all his family gather for the holidays and to enjoy his modal railroad. I hope to get to the one they have in the Carnegie Science center. It is very large and represents Pittsburgh. It is filled with many landmarks some old and gone and some old and still here.
    Prayers and thank you UR

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2019, 8:42 am

      Thank you Julie!

      May therapy help heal you of your childhood trauma!

  • Jeanna December 4, 2019, 8:36 am

    Hope is something that keeps us going, in the otherwise doldrums that we have in our lives of everyday sorrows we must live with. I loved this post. I have a health issue at 64 that causes me fear, not feeling well for weeks, Dr’s unsure. Prayer s for health, my hope and faith to be strong to Gods glory, and health for Christmas, for my family to be supportive as we can feel so alone sometimes going thru things.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2019, 8:48 am

      Welcome Jeanna!

      Praying for your health to be excellent and faith to be strong. Also, may you be surrounded by supportive family members!

      Blessings!

  • Connie December 4, 2019, 11:13 am

    Yes, I am ‘Hanging on to Hope” and trusting in God. He has shown me many mercies lately.
    It is such a blessing to be able to come here and all is well with my soul then.
    Hope Chai is doing well.
    Prayers for Jeanna that she may regain health and strength.
    Jill, Robert, Lou, Julie, Mary and all and may God bless you today.
    Maranatha, Oh our Lord come.

    • Julie December 4, 2019, 11:25 am

      Connie, so very good to hear from you. May God bless you and heal your physical issues.

  • April December 4, 2019, 1:45 pm

    My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’s blood and righteousness!!
    So good to have that word in our devotions this morning. Adding it to faith, joy, peace, love and all the other glorious words our Father sends to us.
    One of my devotionals for Christmas shared the painting “The Adoration of the Shepherds” (dated c. 1656-1657. Artist Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn) of Jesus with light radiating from Him in the dark inn. When I thought of the word hope, it reminded me of this scene and how Jesus is the Light of the world, sharing all of God’s blessings with us.
    We will be spending much time with family and grandchildren this year remembering former Christmas seasons as well as making new memories. Our UR family is definitely a part of my celebrations and I hold you each close and welcome all new comers as you post or not. Wishing to each, the touch of Christ’s hand upon your shoulder to be with you and always, Christ is the Reason for the Season.
    Blessings.

  • Marcy December 4, 2019, 1:56 pm

    Hello UR Reflections friends and family! I continue to keep you all in my prayers! I lost my insurance coverage again, and the part of my oxygen concentrator that fills my portable tanks is broken. The company will not come out to repair it until January 1st when insurance is reinstated, and I turned gray Saturday trying to go out without my tank. I was delivering the meal I prepared for the homeless to my church and thought I could make it. God was watching over me and continues to watch over us all! I remain steadfastly devoted to Him, and am rejoicing in the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. God bless each of you and know you are in my prayers daily! Sending Love to all! ❤

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

  • Rick December 4, 2019, 4:52 pm

    So much hope and love in all the posts today! You are all such a blessing and I will keep you all in my prayers.

  • Joe Parrish December 5, 2019, 5:33 am

    https:// prayer.forwardmovement.org/forward_day_by_day.php?d=5&m=12&y=2019

  • robert moeller December 5, 2019, 8:15 am

    Yes, I’m hopeful. I think God made me that way. I know of no other way to live. Without hope there is no future. Jesus is our hope. His kingdom will never end.

    Wow! So many posts, thankful for ones from Marcy and Connie and the new posts from new members of the UR family. Thankful for Larry’s perseverance,
    Mary’s upcoming mission trip, health issues faced by many, a reinstatement of insurance for Marcy, her perseverance and effort, fun at the Carnegie Museum for Julie, and the strength faith has from hope. Thank You, Jesus, You are the Light of the World.
    Had some good news yesterday that will help someone else’s future when I’m not here. Some details to work out yet, but it is a big step forward. Thank You,
    Lord.

    I see my new counselor again this coming Monday, there’s hope there too.

    Keep focused on God and all these things will be given unto you.
    Hope comes in many different forms and ways. Thank You, Lord.

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