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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.


Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God. 

Psalm 146:5

For many years, my Christmas cards have held the message, “May all your hope and expectation be found in Him”. Christmas is a season of hope. But there are often so many unspoken and unrealized expectations that we are left disappointed when the tree is put up and the wrapping discarded.

Hope is such a joyful word. It portrays anticipation and optimism, confidence, assurance and a looking forward, possibility, trust, promise.

We hope for many things this season: for just the right gift for a loved one, for pretty weather for new bikes on Christmas day, for all the lights on the tree to work, the turkey to be moist and the pie not overdone! We expect relatives to behave and be nice, we anticipate the oven working as expected, and envision our perfectly coifed children at the family gathering. But all these things can fall apart at a moment’s notice leaving us bereft, disappointed, and even disillusioned.

But if we place all our hope and expectation in Jesus, we will never be let down. He always comes through with faithfulness, with extravagance and with his goodness.

Job, with all his tragedies and disappointments said You will be secure because there is hope; you will look around you and take your rest in safety (Job 11:18). Job had not placed his hope in himself, his misguided friends nor his circumstances...but in his God. And he was not disappointed.

So this season, I am placing all my hope and my expectations in Jesus. I will rest and be satisfied in him alone. I will preach to myself like the Psalmist, Why are you downcast, O my soul…put your hope in God! (Psalm 42:5,11, 43:5).

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 (Romans 15:13).

Jill Hardin

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