Refreshed Hope


" Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
— Romans 15:4


Christmas is over, the Christ-child has been born, and here we are ready to welcome in what is new. As we reflect on who we became over the last year, we make promises with resolution to a future that we hope for. And so, we practice the art of active waiting with hope.

Much of the Advent season leading up to Christmas is packed with traditions, both in our own lives and the rhythms of church calendars. But sometimes, it goes so quickly and we feel like we are grasping at the final seasonal feelings as lights and trees come down. As loved ones return to their own corners of the world, we like Mary in Luke 2:51 “treasure up all these things” in our hearts. But we also recognize that there is so much more potential for what will come.

In the lead-up to Christmas, we celebrated the hopeful coming of the long-awaited Messiah. The Bible reminds us that generations had anticipated the coming of a savior and, with the birth of Jesus, their hope was fulfilled. While we celebrate it more intentionally during the month of December, we have access to this hope in every moment. Through scripture, we see seeds of hope scattered throughout that can give us courage and faith for what we are called to accomplish as the new year approaches. Our hope is refreshed as we are reminded of the fulfillment found through Christ.

Yet, seasons of anticipation are not always easy. We are faced with doubts, backslides, and insecurities. Goals at their conception can be distant to the point of discouraging. But the beauty of waiting in faith is that the Bible is filled with encouragement written by hands that experienced the same desires. James, in his letter of encouragement, writes, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains” (James 5:7). And so, we wait with hope for the bounty that is yet to spring forth in our lives.

Whatever it is that we wait and hope for in this season, may we be reminded of the blessings of patience and beauty in intentionally reflecting on what came before. And as we cast visions and goals into the new year, may we also be reminded of the purposes God has placed on our individual lives as well as the hope in the salvation Christ brought for us. When we feel downcast and discouraged by our progress, may we look to people like Mary, James, and so many others who found hope in the waiting. Let us be patient with ourselves and with others through every season and may we know the difference between the spring rains and the autumns of our own lives. And most of all, may we be the embodiment of Christ's refreshing hope to all we encounter in this year to come.


Words: Sabrina Dawson
Images: Waren Brasse, Min Foto

A canopy of rainforest trees
A cloud of mist hovering over a rainforest
A trickling waterfall cascading down a cliff's edge
Overhead shot of a rainforest nestled into the side of a cliff
Overhead shot of a rainforest nestled into the side of a cliff

"Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
— Romans 15:4


Christmas is over, the Christ-child has been born, and here we are ready to welcome in what is new. As we reflect on who we became over the last year, we make promises with resolution to a future that we hope for. And so, we practice the art of active waiting with hope.

Much of the Advent season leading up to Christmas is packed with traditions, both in our own lives and the rhythms of church calendars. But sometimes, it goes so quickly and we feel like we are grasping at the final seasonal feelings as lights and trees come down. As loved ones return to their own corners of the world, we like Mary in Luke 2:51 “treasure up all these things” in our hearts. But we also recognize that there is so much more potential for what will come.

In the lead-up to Christmas, we celebrated the hopeful coming of the long-awaited Messiah. The Bible reminds us that generations had anticipated the coming of a savior and, with the birth of Jesus, their hope was fulfilled. While we celebrate it more intentionally during the month of December, we have access to this hope in every moment. Through scripture, we see seeds of hope scattered throughout that can give us courage and faith for what we are called to accomplish as the new year approaches. Our hope is refreshed as we are reminded of the fulfillment found through Christ.

Yet, seasons of anticipation are not always easy. We are faced with doubts, backslides, and insecurities. Goals at their conception can be distant to the point of discouraging. But the beauty of waiting in faith is that the Bible is filled with encouragement written by hands that experienced the same desires. James, in his letter of encouragement, writes, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains” (James 5:7). And so, we wait with hope for the bounty that is yet to spring forth in our lives.

Whatever it is that we wait and hope for in this season, may we be reminded of the blessings of patience and beauty in intentionally reflecting on what came before. And as we cast visions and goals into the new year, may we also be reminded of the purposes God has placed on our individual lives as well as the hope in the salvation Christ brought for us. When we feel downcast and discouraged by our progress, may we look to people like Mary, James, and so many others who found hope in the waiting. Let us be patient with ourselves and with others through every season and may we know the difference between the spring rains and the autumns of our own lives. And most of all, may we be the embodiment of Christ's refreshing hope to all we encounter in this year to come.


Words: Sabrina Dawson
Images: Waren Brasse, Min Foto

A canopy of rainforest trees

Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Listening with Intention

Adapting our daily rhythms to hear where the Spirit is leading.


Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Listening with Intention

Adapting our daily rhythms to hear where the Spirit is leading.