An Advent Devotional Study from Caring.
Christmastime can carry many mixed emotions—and lots of stress. But this year will be different.
Reserve five minutes a day to read the daily devotional entry in this series and journey through the Christmas season with peace, perspective and hope.
This “Hope and a Future: Advent Devotional Study” will guide you through the month of December to ponder afresh the story of the Bible with Jesus’ birth as the focus. Find daily a reflection, highlighted Scripture, meaningful questions and a prompt for prayer.
Connect with God this Christmas season and experience hope for the future.
December 2: Hope and a Future
Take a deep breath. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts through today’s reflection.
What seems uncertain in your life right now?
Thinking about the future can cause anxiety and depression when the way forward seems like a storm cloud of uncertainty, but God’s Word offers us tangible hope from the prophet Jeremiah.
The Israelites faced an unknown future, driven into exile from their homes through brutal invasions by the Assyrians and Babylonians. Then they started listening to false teachers in Babylon who proclaimed that God would deliver them quickly and send them back to their homes. They listened to what they wanted to be true, even when it wasn’t the truth (been there!).
But God spoke a message of truth to the Israelites living in exile through the prophet Jeremiah. He told them they were to stay in exile for an undisclosed length of time, but God also told them:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).
Even though Jeremiah’s message was for the Israelites, God’s words also carry etchings of hope for us: we will prosper in all the ways that matter (even when our circumstances look otherwise) because Israel’s hope and future was not just for returning to the land, but also in the future Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Like the Israelites in exile, our immediate future might seem unclear, but Jesus is our tangible assurance of our future hope; one day those who believe in him will be with him—forever. May this hope and security of our future carry us through what seems uncertain.
Read: Hear from God
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).
Reflect: Focus on God
What uncertainty do you have in life right now?
What is one step that you can take with God’s help to move forward into the future he has prepared for you until your ultimate future with him in eternity (Eph. 2:10)?
Pray: Talk to God
Talk to God about your reflections above. If you would like a sample prayer, here is one to follow:
Father God, thank you for your Son, Jesus, and the power of your Holy Spirit. Thank you for always offering me hope, even when my future seems unclear. I ask for your help, oh God, to trust you, as I look for the steps you lay out for me and to walk in them. I specifically ask for your help with ____________. Thank You, God, in advance for your help. Amen.
- Looking for a meaningful way to prepare your family for Christmas? Try our new, classic downloadable Advent Paper Chain. For 25 days, reflect on the love we receive from God and give to others during the holiday season.
- Join us in making a difference with The Salvation Army this season and help families in your community during the holidays and beyond.