Advent Devotionals

Below are devotionals on Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy, we have posted on Facebook and Instagram during our Season of Blessing.  Enjoy!

HOPE

Day 1 of our “Season of Blessing”

“A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” – O Holy Night.

Does the hope of Christmas thrill you?  Is your heart filled with hope?  Do you have confident expectation for tomorrow?  What happens when the road ahead is filled with loss and stress weighs you down?  How can you walk in hope when you feel hopeless inside?  The one word answer is “JESUS” . . . the Jesus of Christmas.  Hope in Jesus comes from more than just a belief that He was once a baby in a manger.  When we put our faith and hope in Jesus, it gives us help, strength and power as we walk today and it also gives us hope for life everlasting.  It is a confident expectation of the ultimate “tomorrow”.  The God of Hope sent His son to be our Savior.  He is only one prayer away. – Rob Barnes

Day 2 of our Season of Blessing

“How do we find hope in a world that is screaming in pain? In a world shattered, the brokenness is huge and deafening; it can be all consuming. Blinded by all things shiny, we need to pause… close your eyes and just breathe. Just for a moment, in the midst of your busyness… stop. Grab hold of the promises of a God who has already won. In the darkest moments of our struggles, the hope comes from declaring this victory over our struggles. Even before seeing victory achieved, release your captive hope knowing that God is faithful to His people.”  – Alicia Munro

Day 3 – Season of Blessing: Hope

“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High”  Luke 1:30-32

“A baby born in an animal stable to a young teenage girl.  We romanticize this picture but it must have been terrifying for Mary and Joseph.  I remember the birth of our first child. We were just kids really. Watching Margi struggle through a long difficult labor was the most intense and terrifying experience.  Yet as we held our newborn baby our hearts filled with thanksgiving and expectations for the future.  That is the nature of hope, to look to the future with an expectation of good things.  I think Mary and Joseph lived their lives with hope in their hearts. They couldn’t  see the whole journey laid out for them, but they had hope.  The  promise of God sustains, it causes us to look to the future with courage, faith and expectations of God’s grace working in our lives.” – Steve Tipton

Day 4: Season of Blessing – HOPE

When I look at this world it seems hopeless.  ISIS, wars, cruelty, politics, myself .  .   .   I want to put my hope in something bigger.  What about a God who formed me in the womb and knows every hair on my head? Who created me for His purposes. Who says He will fight for me.  Who left the luxuries of heaven to come down to Earth so I could know Him.  Who willingly died a terrible death to save me.  Who rose from the dead and now rules in heaven.  Who cares about what is happening on earth and is powerful enough to do something about it.  Who sent His Holy Spirit to live in me to help me.  Who promises me an abundant life, now and eternally.   I want to put my hope in someone like that!  Hope and love came down at Christmas time. Let’s put our hope in Him!  – Brenda Geiger

Share this with a friend!  We will be posting a daily devotion each day through Christmas!

Day 5: Season of Blessing – Hope

“We all suffer at different times and seasons of our life; enduring the many challenges that may face us around every corner, myself included. It was during one of those seasons that hope was spoken into my life through one that was close to me.

‘Endurance leads to patience, patience leads to steadfastness, steadfastness leads to faith, faith produces hope,’ said my friend. Simple words and advice yet not fully understood at the time. Thus started my journey of a better understanding of standing in hope. Romans 5:1-5 gives us the formula for producing and growing hope, it’s in the seed of character. But key to our character is that it has to be nurtured, it has to be grown.

More importantly is the promise that is left us at the end of this passage. …hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit…“ God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…” Hope at its best!”  – Mark Hunter

Day 6: Season of Blessing – Hope

Heb. 11:1a “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for.”
“Dictionary.com describes hope as: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.  Over the years I have had many times that I have turned to God for the assurance of things hoped for.  I have realized that even in difficult situations that I have never felt hopeless.  Ps. 25:4-5: ‘Show me your ways O Lord, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me for you are my God and my HOPE is in you.’  My Hope is in God.  He is in control.  He sees the big picture, the beginning and the end.  I put my Hope in Him.  Thank you God that we can, through faith, have the assurance of things hoped for.” – Kathy Barnes

Day 7: Season of Blessing – Hope for the Holidays!
Romans 15:13 – 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.

In years past, Christmas time would bring anxiety, sadness and some hopelessness.  Some years, it took everything I had just to get the Christmas tree up.  Things are changing and I am finding a new hope during the holidays and in everyday life.

Healing – I am allowing God and The Holy Spirit to heal my heart and my wounds.
Others – God is healing me & I am able to pray for others more than myself.
Purposeful – Praying for God to help me make each moment in life intentional & purposeful.
Empowering – The more I empower God in my life the more I am able to abide in Him.  Praying each day for “God’s will, not mine” Brings me hope.

Today I can experience the Hope of Christmas because God keeps changing my heart.  I am filled with The Holy Spirit & True Love of our Father.  Bubbling over with Hope! – Denise Dahlberg

PEACE

Day 8 – Season of Blessing: PEACE LIKE A RIVER
“The prophet Isaiah uses the term “Peace like a river” and I really like that image. The idea of a river evokes several ideas in my thinking. Every major city is built on the banks of a river and that’s because of the many advantages provided. Rivers bring many vital things to us and provide us with a way to be taken to places we desire to go. Peace is like that. It comes with a flow of great blessing and it is able to transport us further into the plan and purpose of God for our lives.
Many times in my life I have found myself in situations that would  normally be stressful to say the least. During a time of transition, Judy and I found ourselves without a salary for many months. Not much peace there right? But as I daily took myself to the river of God’s peace, I found not only a place of rest but also provision. You see that’s the thing with rivers. They go where they go and to partake of the great advantages they offer all you need to do is get in the flow.” – Jeff Davidson

Day 9 – Season of Blessing: Peace
“Angels said that Christmas meant peace on earth. Sometimes though, our holidays sound more like “a dark and stormy night” than like “silent night”. When I have a lot of busyness and difficulty and no room for peace, I remind myself that Peace is something  that needs to grow. Isaiah said of Jesus that “the increase of his government, and of peace, will not end”.
Jesus responds to the storms in our lives like he responded to a stormy sea- “peace, be still”. When we take time to be still, to simply enjoy God’s presence and forget for a moment the hustle and bustle, it makes room so that we can then “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts” (Col-3:15)” – Josiah Miller

Day 10 – Season of Blessing: Peace

“As a child, I had never seen a snowflake. The first tiny white Oregon snowflake that landed on my glove captivated me. Eventually a beautiful blanket of snow covered my yard. As I stood by the fire, looking out on the cold, quiet landscape, a sense of peace settled over me. It was like the world’s demands were shut out for awhile and I was safe and calm. This is a picture of Jesus’ peace to me. It transforms the landscape of my life into something beautiful, quiet, and restful. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, gave us peace in Him, he says that we can be of good cheer in His peace…..it overcomes the world!” Jn 16:33 and Isa 9:6 – Michele Hall

Day 11 – Season of Blessing – Peace

“Being a college student, keeping a part time job, running on the track team, and volunteering at church takes up just about all my time and at times can seem overwhelming. I have always been a busy person but I have never really felt the pressure of these activities. What I have realized is the common denominator when it comes to keeping my mind at peace during these times is simply God. Meeting with God, reading the Bible, worshipping, teaching kids classes are all ways God has helped keep me at peace. Jesus is the key to peace. John 16:33” – Devin Geiger

Day 12 – Season of Blessing: Peace
“As I start our Christmas and Advent season I have to remind myself of expectations versus anticipation. To have peace with myself and others I have to remember to anticipate the little things God has in each situation. Because expectations rob us of our peace and we miss what little surprises the Lord has for us.
Verses that have helped me are Jeremiah 29:11. Knowing God only has His best for me, but more than that I always fall back on Jeremiah 32:27 ‘Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me? Look for the little things and be at Peace. Blessings be with you this “Christ”mas season. Have a great day” – Margi Tipton

Day 13 – Season of Blessing: Peace

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NLT

Even in the midst of tragedy, disappointment, war, suffering, loss, and sadness we can claim the perfect love from the Lord which brings peace that surpasses all understanding. How blessed are we to have access to that! The God of our universe loves us so greatly that he has given us an unexplainable peace that reveals his great and mysterious love to us. – Kendra Coxen

Day 14 – Season of Blessing: Peace

“Give Peace A Chance”. John Lennon’s 1969 anti-war anthem promotes a kind of peace received through the absence of violent conflict, killing and destruction. This is an example of the world’s peace, which is attained by the removal of worldly actions, events, etc. In terms of God’s peace, He only gives to us; He doesn’t take away.
Can you find time to spend with God; immersed in His word and in prayer? In quiet time just hanging out and talking with Him? God’s peace is received simply by being at rest in Him. Right now, in whatever season of life you are in, all we are saying is give peace a chance. – Rick Geiger

LOVE

Day 15 – Season of Blessing – Love

For Christmas this year, I want Jesus to show me more about how to love “His way.” How to love those who are difficult and different from me the way He loves them. I want to extend mercy and grace that has no limits. I want to be patient, kind, and gentle without self seeking or keeping score. I want to love sacrificially without wanting recognition for it. I want to see through the eyes of the Father and hear what God has to say about other people.
Jesus please show me how to listen and lovingly obey the Father, love deeply and sacrificially, serve whole heartedly, and love my neighbor as myself. – Kim Visser

Day 16: Season of Blessing – Love

As Christians we are called to love our neighbors and we are so incredible blessed with a walking, breathing, living definition of Love. Jesus. Sometimes I become stressed about school or a fear or a busy schedule, but when that happens all I have to do is remember that God is in control and the best part of that is that he is a loving God. So really, we’re all in good hands smile emoticon For that, I’m eternally grateful. – Flor Lucas

Day 17: Season of Blessing – Love

Every good leader or king has a list of rules to govern by. But our King rules with Love. He has one simple rule to live by– “Love one another”.
Perhaps I could love a member of my family or close friend, enough to die for them. But Christ died for even His enemies and commands us to do the same, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.”
This impossible love was made possible when Christ came down to show us how to love.
And when He sent His Spirit to give us power and authority to spread His Love. – Debra Mathae

Day 18: Season of Blessing -Love

John 3:15, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The word “Love” is so misused in our society these days that we can confuse the “love” for something “temporal” like a latte with the LOVE that God showed us for the “eternal”, his people and all created things. Jesus came out of Love for his Father to redeem what was lost and broken. This Christmas, let these words of love in the book of John resonate so clearly in our hearts that true love will be refocused on what really is worthy of our attention, a love for our Father and a willingness to serve Him – Tim Ama

Day 19: Season of Blessing – Love

I was in the hospital because I ruptured my esophagus and had to have surgery on my throat. I felt at that moment that I needed to pray. Here’s what I said “Thank you for loving me and helping me get through this surgery. I have sinned and I would like to be forgiven.” and he forgave. He said to me “Alice, I know you have sinned but I still love you and you will do fine through this surgery.” When I woke my family was there and they told me how much they love me and I told them how much I love them. I read the verses while I was in the hospital. Just pray to God and tell him how much you love him and tell him why. He saved my life. God is so wonderful. He loves everyone and I love him.

Verses to read: Ruth 2:4-8, Song of Songs 8:6-7, 1 Cor. 14:1, Ephesians 3:6, John 13:14-19, John 15: 12-14:17, Matthew 5:43-44, 1 John 4:16 – Alice Finch

Day 20: Season of Blessing – Love

God loves you so much that he sent Jesus on a mission of love with a message of love. Christmas is a yearly reminder that God loves you. The Bible says God is love. It doesn’t say God has love; it says God is love. Love is his nature; God is love.

There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you simply can’t do it – because his love for you is based upon his character and not on anything you do or say or feel.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT) – Kurt Barnes

Day 21: Season of Blessing – Love

To the very core, love is the most selfless gift one can give. God gave us the greatest gift, his son Jesus, so that he would die and redeem us. He brought pure perfection to the definition of love. I am overwhelmed by the presence of God when I embrace his love—it is something so large and so beyond this world that I have to share the good news.

This mighty love enables me to walk in compassion alongside those hurting in my community. This mighty love compels me dance with joy when my neighbors receive good news. This mighty love fuels me to give my time and energy to those who need to know someone cares about them. This mighty love fills me more full of joy than any earthly gift possible. This love is so remarkable that even when I share just a nugget of it with others—the presence of God can be known in that place.

This is why the angels were so excited after Jesus’ birth announcement that they gathered in a multitude saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men(Luke2:6)”, the gift of true love had finally been revealed.

Let’s share the remarkable gift of love to all the world. – Kalia Miller

JOY

Day 22: Season of Blessing – Joy

“What is the color of Joy? To me, Hope is the green new life of spring, Love is the red blood of Christ poured out for us, and Peace is the blue of the summer sky. Joy is gold. Joy is the precious light that dwells within us that we can share with the world when we no longer hide our faith under a basket. This golden Joy is unique to Christians. Christian Joy is not the ‘happiness’ coveted by the world: that happiness is the temporary result of some agreeable event in our lives. Our Joy is the holy spring deep inside us that never runs dry no matter our circumstances. Paul writes in I Thes. 5:16, ‘Always be joyful.’ May you and yours be blessed with Joy this Christmas.” – Joanne Stone

 

Day 23: Season of Blessing – Joy

“A few years back, when our family was going through a difficult time, I was gifted a very real dream that brought me much comfort. While sleeping, I became aware of being held warmly, safe but not constrained, as I flew across the cool, starry, midnight sky. The angels or stars, I’m not certain which, were singing, ‘there’ll be so much joy, much more joy that you ever knew!’

‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross . . . ‘ Hebrews 12:2-3 “ – Lin Brownell

Day 24: Season of Blessing – Joy

“Joy is a conscious decision each day that we choose to participate in. The Bible says ‘joy comes in the morning’—no matter what happened the day before. My mother lived her whole life always reliving the past with all its wrongs and hurts. Our home had so much negativity. I was so blessed to find my way to Christ and to get to know Him. Fifty years later it still brings tears to my eyes that, from all the people He could have chosen, He chose me, so that His joy could live in me each and every morning” – Karen Carney

Day 25: Season of Blessing – Joy

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” – Romans 15:13. Joy isn’t something that comes from within, it’s a gift received from God! How do we receive it? By believing. This season, let’s spread joy by sharing the good news of Jesus with our friends and neighbors, giving them a chance to believe, and receive God’s gift of joy. – Cory Walz

Day 26: Season of Blessing – Joy

“Jesus said he would give us abundant life. Joy is just one of his many gifts. Luke 2:10-11 – ‘I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.’

When I was a child I was taught that Joy meant: Jesus first, Others second, and myself last. When I follow Christ, he will help me love others and in return I would experience his joy. Psalm 19:8 says, ‘The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.’ The heart, the center of the human spirit.” – Twilla Williams

Day 27: Season of Blessing – Joy

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm16:9-11

Google defined joy as: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. But I believe that joy is so, so much more than that. Joy is from God and joy is God. I believe that joy is experienced to the fullest in the presence of God. Joy is the result of walking your path of life, knowing that God is right there holding your hand. Experiencing the joy of God is indescribable and incredible. God has given me such great joy in times when I couldn’t find a reason to be joyful. God uses our dark times to show us His purest joy. God is so completely in love with us and He doesn’t want us to feel anything but joyful- and we shouldn’t! Our God has blessed us beyond belief, and we should shout for joy. God is looking to fill our hearts with His joy, because He loves to see His children joyful. – Katie Aman