Devotional Series: Advent in the Psalms

A woman carrying her child on her back

Hope Continually

“For you, O Lord, are my hope . . . . But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more” (Psalm 71:5, 14). “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

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Sunset over a tossing sea

The Hope of All Creation

Psalm 65 proclaims that God is “the hope of all the ends of the earth.” Even “the farthest seas” hope in God. God’s power and goodness, revealed through the natural world God created, inspire us to hope. In this season of Advent, we look forward to joining with all creation in celebrating the fact that our Lord has come and will come again.

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Your Hope Pleases the Lord

In this season of Advent, as you nurture your hope in God, hold on to this amazing truth: Hoping in God not only blesses you, but it blesses God as well. When you hope in God, God is truly pleased. Wow! 

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A beautiful purple sunset or sunrise

Hoping for God’s Salvation and the Difference It Makes

In the season of Advent we hope for God’s salvation. Though we have already begun to experience this salvation through Christ, we recognize that there is much more salvation yet to come. This salvation is deeply personal and broadly expansive. The God who saves is in the process of making all things new. Our hope for this salvation inspires us to live today in light of the future. Everything we do should reflect the salvation of God.

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A barn full of live Christmas trees

Hoping in God’s Word

When we know God as our hiding place, it makes sense for us to put our hope in God’s word. We long for God’s vision of a world restored, a world filled with peace, justice, and righteousness. We hope for God to act in light of God’s promises in Scripture. 

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An older man holding a toddler boy in his arms

Teaching the Next Generation to Hope

These days, people of all ages struggle to have hope. A recent study from the CDC showed that young people, in particular, are plagued with hopelessness. Psalm 78 encourages those of us who are older to help the next generations develop hope in God. We do this by reminding them of God’s works and by living in community with them, thus sharing our lives as well as our convictions. 

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Someone who has just jumped into the ocean splashing wildly in the water

Waiting in Agony

Sometimes we wait for God in quiet, peaceful patience. But at other times our waiting comes with agony as we cry out to God for help that seems never to come. When our waiting is hard, we are encouraged by the fact that we are not alone. God’s people have for centuries struggled with waiting. More importantly, we know that Jesus is with us in our struggle and that makes all the difference in the world. 

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Two donkeys beside a stream on a foggy morning

Be Honest About Hope

Psalm 42 gives us permission to be honest about our hope in God . . . or lack thereof. This psalm would say to us in the season of Advent: Yes, hope in God! But don’t pretend as if this is easy. Be honest with God. Express your doubts and fears. God can handle them. After all, God is _your_ help. God is _your_ God. 

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Better Than a Hope Chest

In the season of Advent, we rekindle our hope in God. This happens as we experience God’s love for us in the present time. Hope points to the future and requires waiting. But God loves us right now. The more we experience God’s love, the more our hope for God’s future will grow with confidence and joy. 

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A garden decoration spelling out "HOPE" in different colored letters

Why Have Hope, Part 2

Why have hope in Advent? Because our hope isn’t wishful thinking. Rather, it is confidence based on who God is and how God has acted in the past. God the creator is powerful and good. God is always trustworthy. God executes justice for the oppressed and feeds the hungry. In Advent we renew our hope in the God who came among us in Jesus and who will come again to make all things new. 

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A swimmer floating in water, viewed from underwater, with the sunlight above breaking through the water

Why Have Hope? Part 1

It can be hard to wait on the Lord. When God doesn’t act quickly, we can worry that God isn’t even there for us. So how can we wait with hope? Why have hope at all? One reason for hope is God’s faithfulness in the past. When we remember how God has rescued us, when we consider how God has cared for the people of God throughout history, we can be reassured. Hope is possible. We can wait with hope because of who God is and what God has done.

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A group of carolers in an outdoor Christmas scene, dressed in old-fashioned clothing

Waiting in Silence

Most of us have plenty of noise in our lives. In the weeks before Christmas, often starting in early November, we hear endless Christmas songs in our malls and markets, not to mention our personal streaming devices. Advent invites us into a different kind of pre-Christmas experience. In the words of Psalm 62, “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” Why not accept the Advent invitation to be quiet before the Lord, opening your heart more fully to the God who seeks relationship with you?

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The sign outside of Wrigley Field in Chicago, reading "Cubs Win!"

Waiting Hopefully in Advent

As we wait upon God, we wait with hope. Why? Because of who God is, how God has acted, and how God has spoken. Most of all, we wait hopefully because of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ.

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A pregnant woman standing in front of a door

Waiting Intensely in Advent

Sometimes our waiting isn’t particularly urgent or heartfelt. At other times, however, we wait intensely. It’s as if every fiber of our being is focused on what is coming. In Advent, as we wait for the coming of Christ our waiting becomes intense when we realize what Christ brings: the fullness of God’s kingdom, healing of all diseases, justice for the oppressed, mending of broken relationships, and the wiping away of every tear. Reflecting on the future coming of Christ increases the intensity of our Advent waiting. 

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An Advent wreath with one candle lit

Solving the Riddle of Bustling Christmastime

Christmastime is often so filled with activities that we hardly have a spare moment. We can easily miss the true meaning of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Savior.

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