Advent Reflection: Psalm 25

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!  (Psalm 25:5, 16-18, 25 NIV)

Hope is sometimes illusive. There is a moment of hope I experience when things are going well out there. The conflict is working out, the plans are succeeding, kids are doing well, the market is improving. The circumstances of my life are on the other end of the are teeter totter and I am hoping they are light.

But David brings the topic of hope in here

Guide me. Teach me. 

Hope depends on me looking in here, in my heart to my willingness to be led, to be instructed, not by my circumstances but by the one who holds the universe in the palm of his hand. 

God my Savior. 

And hope doesn't have to be so fleeting, so dependent on what's happening from moment to moment, hope can be experienced from hour to hour, from minute by minute because he is here

all day long.  

Yesterday morning after  Many Moods of Christmas concert a woman came to me crying. "Would you pray for my husband? He's dying." What? "He's been sick for more than a year. His lungs are filling up with fluid and he'll die sometime today."
Where? "At home with my daughter and caregiver." But you came. "I needed a break. I had to be here." This concert, this message of God's love was for you.  God you are here, at work.

I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart. 

My hope in Christmas is not only that something happens out there in the arrangements and enemies of my life, but in my heart, in the anguish and affliction and loneliness that need a gracious presence, and the sin that needs forgiving. 

Take away all my sins.

A look in here reveals my need for a Savior--one who is able to take my sin and offer forgiveness, honest and real, then gracious redemption and hope. Hope means what happens in here and out there would change me because the one I follow, the one I trust. I know he works all things together for good because I love him, because I am called according to his purpose.

And yet the hope in here better have something to say about out there or it's really not hope--the Christmas hope of the world--but a selfish feast of the Savior's grace. The one who guides also teaches: enter, remain, love, heal, proclaim, reconcile, feed, clothe, forgive. 



  1. This is beautiful, Mike. Thank you for helping me pause for a moment and reflect on God's goodness, grace and mercy through the hope we find in our blessed Savior.


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