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Day 10

Hope Not in Hercules

by Jim Josselyn

Read Psalm 33:16-21

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love… [Psalm 33:17–18]

Growing up in Santa Cruz, I attended a high school where I loved playing football. It was my passion and the one sport I seemed to excel in. Unfortunately, our high school was never known as a football powerhouse. It always seemed our rivals had more talent and bigger players. That is, until the year we received a transfer student from Southern Cal. His name was Joe, but we called him Hercules.

Joe was huge! He was a cross between Big Foot and Mr. T.

Joe was strong! He could bench press 350 pounds.

How could we lose with Joe on our side? We all imagined ourselves lofting high the state football championship trophy. Then reality set in as we entered the summer practice schedule. You see, although Joe was strong, he was also directionally challenged. He couldn’t remember which way to run and collided with our quarterback a number of times. Our dreams for the season were dashed! We all realized we’d placed our hope in the wrong person.

How about you? Have you ever placed your hope in the wrong person or thing? It’s an easy mistake to make. It’s so common for me to shift the attention of my hope from the source of real hope (God), to my physical resources. Like so many, I was caught up in worry during the 2008 stock market crash. I started to play the worst case game in my head, the one that goes like this: “What would I do if: I lost my job, my house, or my health insurance?” I started dwelling on these scenarios and hope drained out of me. Then I remembered how the Apostle Paul begins most of his letters in the New Testament with the greeting: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” When Paul wrote these letters, the church had plenty of things to worry about, plenty of things to rob them of their hope and joy. But in the midst of the turmoil they focused on the Lord. Today’s verses remind us to look beyond our outward resources and look to God, to place our hope in Him and his strength.

Question to Consider

Who — or what — has been my “Hercules”? What steps will I take today to strengthen my hope in Christ?


Dear Lord, I want to hope in You. Please remind me through the day to turn to You first.