A Season of Hope

October 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Susan Dollyhigh –

Gathering around the kitchen table at the homeless shelter, we lit the purple Advent candle that symbolizes hope. Hope that this small group of women had long-ago abandoned. Hope that I’d sometimes forsaken as well.

I reminded the women that as Christians we have great reason to hope.

“The prophet Isaiah gave the world hope when he foretold the birth of Christ,” I said. “Jesus gave us eternal hope after He came to earth and promised to return and take us with him. That eternal hope surpasses the condition of our lives here on earth.”

Even the condition of illness.
Even the condition of job loss.
Even the condition of domestic violence.
Even the condition of just being released from jail.
Even the condition of struggling with an addiction.
All of the conditions that lead to homelessness, we concurred.

We made lists of things we hope for: this week, this Christmas season, next year, and for the rest of our lifetime here on earth.

We talked about the hope we have that someday Christ will take us to our permanent heavenly home where there will be no more illness, no more job loss, no more sin, no more homelessness, and no more death. We tried to imagine what our life in Heaven will be like, and how we’ll feel when we see Jesus face-to-face.

As we talked, the peace that passes understanding replaced expressions of worry.

At that moment, an uninvited guest showed up. He loves to steal our joy, and remind us of sins our Father has forgotten. He did just that as he reminded one of the ladies of her past sins.

Shirley’s face drooped with sadness, “I know I’m going to Heaven,” she said. “but I have a feeling I’ll be in the back of the crowd and won’t be able to see Jesus. I’ve just done too many bad things in my life.”

Janice chimed in, “Yeah, I’ll probably be in the back too.”

“You know,” I said, “if all the sinners have to be in the back of the crowd, there won’t be anyone up front with Jesus! He’ll be all alone.”

They slowly smiled. They just needed a reminder, as do we all in this season of Advent. We have hope. We have the good news of great joy that is for all the people. In the town of David, a Savior was born and He is Christ the Lord.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for the hope we have because of the wonderful gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

About Susan Dollyhigh

Susan Shelton Dollyhigh is a free-lance writer, columnist and speaker. Susan has two children and three wonderful grandchildren and resides in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Susan is a contributing author in Spirit and Heart: A Devotional Journey, Faith and Finances: In God We Trust and The Ultimate Christian Living. Susan’s articles and devotionals have appeared in Connection Magazine, Exemplify Magazine, Mustard Seed Ministry, P31 Woman, The Upper Room and The Secret Place. She is also a contributing online writer for ChristianDevotions.us and InternetCafeDevotions.com.
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