I hope we have a white Christmas . . . but I also hope I won’t have to plow the driveway on Christmas Day. I hope the Christmas tree doesn’t catch fire. I hope it doesn’t fall beneath the weight of tinsel, garland, and ornaments my wife and daughters hang on its branches. I hope I can afford my wife’s Christmas shopping bill. . . .

These hopes reflect my optimism for a favorable outcome. They may or may not materialize. But life calls for a hope that is deeper than mere optimism. We need something which offers concrete assurance. In a word, we need God.

How can we be so sure that our faith is secure in God? Because He keeps His Word. When we trust His Son, Jesus, for our salvation, we can be sure He will deliver on His promise of eternal life. We can know He will provide forgiveness for all of our sins and a home in Heaven—simply because He said so.

One of God’s promises is especially fitting as we prepare to wrap up this year and move on to the next: “. . . The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a) Regardless of our circumstances, we can have confidence that God will provide His strength for our needs if our hearts are right. Such a hope is deeper than optimism. It is a proven reality.

The days ahead will be filled with excitement and activity. May others see by our response to the hectic pace, the long shopping lines, and the overcrowded stores that we have a hope which is deeper than seasonal optimism, for we trust in a God Who will take care of us.

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. — Francis Bacon

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.