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Day 32

Joyful in Hope

by Dave Hicks

Read Romans 12:9-13

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. [Romans 12:12]

The way it’s used by many today, the word “hope” can imply a frustrated, lonely longing: “I hope I meet someone.” “I hope I get married.” “I hope I have children.” The idea of being joyful in hope may seem unusual.

But the “hope” we’re talking about during these weeks is NOT about unrealistic expectations…naive dreaming…or wishful thinking. IT IS a joyful, quiet confidence in a reality that is not yet.

It’s like the mid-December afternoon when I was 8 years old. I was digging through the back recesses of our basement in Altadena and came upon a brand new blue bicycle…just my size. I realized I must have stumbled across a future Christmas present. It was something I had said I wanted but had been told was not possible because of my brother’s medical bills.

I kept my discovery a secret, but there was a quiet joy in my life during the next couple weeks. I was more patient with my sick brother. I found myself striking up conversations with my father. There still was no bike… I still had to watch my friends ride their bikes past my house each day… I still walked to school. But there was a joyful hope that had entered my life. Once I saw my father’s sacrifice for me in the middle of our family’s hardship and suffering, a patience and peace came over me. It replaced my detachment and self-pity.

In the same way spiritually, once I catch a glimpse of God’s great love for me, His personal suffering and willing sacrifice, I become a changed person; one who is joyful in hope and surprisingly patient in affliction, whatever that might be, every day!

My family always opened all our presents together on Christmas Eve. I finished opening the usual pajamas, annual sweater, and socks from Aunt Erma. Still no bike! But I climbed into bed that Christmas Eve, in my new pajamas, with joyful hope: A trust that what is not yet…WILL BE!!!

Question to Consider

How can I live with “joyful hope” …today?


Lord, help me to find joy in hope today.