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Vital signs- Monday, December 5th, 2022

Are you an optimist? A pessimist? A realist? Do you approach life’s challenges with positivity or negativity? We all have natural tendencies based on personalities, family upbringing, church tradition, experience, and culture. The Psalms give words and space for all personality types and emotions. Whether pain or joy, suffering or wholeness, delight or grief, the Psalms invite God’s people, including you, to bring the entire emotive bandwidth of your daily lives and all our experiences into the place of His presence. A loving, active, personal God who knows all and sees you.

In some churches, we may feel we must always pretend to be positive. While other streams never stop highlighting our brokenness and depravity. Between toxic positivity or graceless depravity, we have hope. This hope is not based on your personality or personal outlook. Additionally, this hope is not created by our efforts but comes from and through our Creator, Protector, and Redeemer’s unfailing love. Christian hope emerges from the God who is active in creation and history. Our Triune God is not some distant grandpa who occasionally sends us a nice, big check for Christmas. Instead, Psalm 33 reminds us that the LORD looks, fashions, understands, and rescues. Our God’s unfailing love is evident in His creation, protection, and salvation.

Christian hope is rooted in a loving, active, personal God. The covenant-making Triune God never fails. Even when others fail us, God is faithful. Even when we fail others, God is faithful. Even when we fail God, God is faithful. His love is unfailing! This reality gives us true hope.

O Little Town of Bethlehem hymn writer, Phillips Brooks, reminds us during the Advent and Christmas season that “in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Sorrow, pain, and darkness may be present, but joy, healing, and light are breaking in. This Advent, as the days get darker, the blazing light of hope fueled by God’s unfailing love gets brighter. As we remember the first Advent, where light penetrated the darkness over Bethlehem, and as we long for the second Advent, where Christ will forever destroy the cloud of darkness that enshrouds our world, we stand in awe of God’s unfailing love and are filled with hope.

Pray with me

Covenant-making God, I am in awe of Your unfailing love shown in Your active presence throughout history and my life. Ignite a blazing torch of hope fueled by Your unending love inside me. Fashion my heart to carry Your light in every situation and place You lead me today. I am Yours in Christ’s name.

Today Read Luke chapter 5

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