October 12, 2021


Years ago, when I was a kid growing up in East Tennessee, I wanted a cowboy hat for Christmas. I think that was the same year I also received a guitar. Looking back, I don’t know why I wanted those things. While we did live out in the country, we didn’t live on a farm or a ranch, nor was I particularly musically talented. However, my parents gifted me with both the hat and the instrument upon my request. The only thing missing was a pair of cowgirl boots. Had I gotten those, I might’ve been well on my way to country music stardom! It’s kind of ironic that I now live in the Nashville area – Music City!

            I no longer own the guitar or cowboy hat. They were probably donated somewhere along the way. I only learned to play “Jingle Bells” on the guitar and probably just wore the hat a few times. At the time, I got what I had hoped for, but those things only brought me temporary happiness.

What is hope anyway? The world tells us that hope is a “wish” or an “expectation.” It’s wishful thinking. The Biblical meaning is much better. It sheds light on HOPE in a reliable way. True hope is a CONFIDENT expectation of a better tomorrow based on the character and promises of God. While our wishes and dreams sometimes fade or don’t come true, God’s promises are real and lasting. While the “stuff” we want and hope for is nice, the best gift we can receive is Jesus. We can put our trust in that true HOPE. Worldly things leave us empty.

There are times in most of our lives when we feel hopeless. In my own life I’ve experienced moments when I’ve felt hopeless, helpless, useless, and worthless. Thankfully, Jesus has brought me through with the hope He brings. Jesus comes to us and brings us hope in the deepest, darkest days. He is that HOPE!

How is He that hope? Where is the proof? The Word tells us so! It’s written in John 14:6 that Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” Knowing that Jesus is truth, is the best thing we can hold onto when the world only leaves us wanting more. The world leaves us with only a void.

Jeremiah 17:7 reads, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”  Being able to have that confidence in Him is the best present. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and not just something wrapped underneath a Christmas tree from a wish list. 

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