Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday, we recognized that it can be sad when Christmas ends. But perhaps you are one of those who feels relieved. You are glad it’s over. You are breathing a sigh of relief and patting yourself on the back for surviving another Christmas season. There is no doubt that amidst all the fun, Christmas can be hard, and even stressful at times. Or maybe the holidays are challenging for you for another reason, like having to celebrate Christmas for the first time while missing a lost loved one. Situations like this can make the holidays especially hard.

Thankfully, Scripture continually provides hope that there is more to come for those who are in Christ. And what is coming is glorious. It is possible to be in the center of God’s will, while also going through the greatest storm of your life. Being in God’s will does not mean living without struggles. We are mistaken if we think following God means no hardships. But, there is good news. Paul reminded us of this in 2 Corinthians 4:17: our afflictions are preparing us for an eternal weight of glory that will be beyond comparison.

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Even in our struggles, we have a splendid hope. What you are facing right now is not the end. Christ is going to return. It is going to be magnificent. As we head toward a new year, we are reminded of a new hope that is to be had. As God’s people, we can be certain that our hope in Him is firm and that He will provide us with new mercies in the days ahead.

• Where do you feel most in need of hope right now? How does Christ speak to this need?

• How can you encourage others in the hope, peace, and joy that are available to them in Christ?

• Pray and ask God to help you abound in hope through Him.