Tuesday after the First Sunday of Advent — 4 December 2018 Devotional

Psalm 42, 2 Samuel 7:18-29, Romans 15:7-13

“…Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:5

“…Do as you have promised, so that your name will be exalted forever…”
2 Samuel 7:25-26

The Psalmist and David have different emotions in their words. The Psalmist seems exhausted mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It would be reasonable to say that the Psalmist was very depressed. David on the other hand was joy-filled for God had made a promise to him that his family (his house) would forever have a place before God. In a culture where family was of greater importance than the individual, this was a big deal.

Both Psalmist and David, regardless of circumstances, put their hope in God. Both understood that they were insignificant in comparison to God, but that they were not insignificant to God. That is hope built on solid ground. An individual’s daily struggles may be small in comparison to the big picture, but the God who continues to draw the big picture knows that every person has their right place in the picture, and because of that, they are significant to God.

The social and cultural events that occur around Christmas (company parties, family get togethers, even church activities) can often exhaust and overwhelm us. Many of these activities can feel more like obligations, rather than times of joy and warm-heartedness. The times around Christmas can find feeling like both the Psalmist (exhausted/depressed) and David (joy-filled and thanks-filled). Sometimes the change in moods can catch us by surprise, and we might even feel guilty for our feelings. As long as our hope rests on/in God, we are free to feel. We are free in Christ.

1) How can you strengthen other people’s hope in Jesus? How will you?

2) The best “tool” we have to feel hope is the Holy Spirit. How can you “use” the Holy Spirit to strengthen your hope?

3/KD) Christmas is a time to give and receive gifts. Not everyone gets presents. How can you show and share that the best gift is Jesus?

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13