Bible Verse: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Scripture Reading: John 14:23; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 4:4
It’s unwise to start a devotional so controversially, but I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
Growing up just outside of Toronto, my dad took me to the old Maple Leaf Gardens from time to time as a kid, so in my defence, I was raised this way.
In last season’s playoffs (2022-2023), the Leafs made it out of the first round for the first time since 2004, and then in round 2 were swiftly booted by Florida in five games.
It was a brief moment of euphoria, followed by the great letdown for Leafs fans, who historically are awfully used to discouragement. I would tell my friends who cheer for Montreal or Ottawa, “Go ahead, tease us. You can’t hurt a Leafs fan…we’re used to living in disappointment…”
My dad is nearly 70 and was 13 when the Leafs won their last Stanley Cup. He would love to see another in his lifetime. Will he?
The Lord only knows. Yet, to watch Leafs fans, you would never think it had been such a long drought of any real playoff chances, let alone Cups. They are one of the most loyal, passionate, and, some might say, rabid fan bases in all of professional sports. Every season could be the one.
Some might say it’s an exercise in delusion. A more positive take would be that it’s an exercise in hope.
One of the enduring qualities of hope is that it perseveres. It believes, even when the hoped-for thing is unseen, or maybe even when it seems impossible.
In Bethlehem, Christ came to us, not just to walk among us, but eventually to make His home within us (John 14:23). As He does, Scripture calls this “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)—the thing that we wait for, but look forward to, not just trusting, but believing it will happen.
Hope never gives up. As we move through December and get closer to Christmas, the Nativity story reminds us that hope is grounded in the faithfulness of God. He was faithful to send His Son to us at just the right time (Galatians 4:4). He will be faithful to send Him again at just the right time (Revelation 19:11). And in between His first Advent and His second, God will be faithful every day, because that is who He is.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your ongoing faithfulness in my life. Stir up my hope again as I walk with You. Amen.
Reflection: Take some time to write down some of the ways in which God has been faithful to you in the past. As you write your list, take some time to give Him thanks along the way.
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