Day 18

December 14

December 14

Romans 15:7-13

7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the ancestors 9 and that the gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will confess you among the gentiles and sing praises to your name”; 10 and again he says, “Rejoice, O gentiles, with his people”; 11 and again, “Praise the Lord, all you gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him”; 12 and again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the gentiles; in him the gentiles shall hope.” 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Abounding in Hope

by Lane Wakefield, Ph.D.

We all benefit from a sense of hope that comes from the Lord, especially during the Advent season. We want to have the feeling that everything is under control and will be “ok” as we consider the coming of Jesus at Christmas. The calm, peaceful feelings of hope that come from God are rooted in his power from the beginning of time are here now for us to experience today. He is hope and offers us overflowing hope.

Sometimes we can miss out on experiencing his hope. We get distracted by our schedules. We buy lies about ourselves - our budget, waistline or plans are too big or small. We look for the worst in others to feel better ourselves. These sorts of distractions and deceits can derail us. We can find ourselves trading hope for despair.

It is just plain wrong for any of God’s children to miss out on His hope during the Advent season, but it happens. Hope can easily be lost at times. Hardships and challenges do not take any seasons off. Are you feeling hopeful?

The coming of his son, Jesus, gives us eternal hope. He brought hope to the Jews and Gentiles. He brings hope to you and me.

To experience hope (among other blessings), we see some advice in this passage. We experience the blessings of hope as we trust in him.

Verse 13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him” (emphasis added).

Let us pray and trust in Him. He can be trusted with our budget, waistline, and plans of all kinds. The God of hope can fill us, and will, as we trust in him. If trusting seems too hard now, then pray for courage. God has a solid track record of providing courage to his people, too. If we can work towards trusting him, then we experience his hope. Then we will experience this Advent and Christmas season to the fullest, to his glory. If not, then we may find ourselves feeling the distraction and deceit the world is selling us. Let us put off the old ways of thinking and move towards hope by trusting him. We can become the sons and daughters of the King that he wants us to be, for our good and his glory during this Advent season.

Learn More About Our Guest Writer

Lane Wakefield, Ph.D.Lane Wakefield, Ph.D.

Lane Wakefield, Ph.D., joined the Hankamer School of Business as the Director of the Center for Sports Strategy and Sales (S3) in 2020. He followed in his father, Baylor professor Dr. Kirk Wakefield’s footsteps to create a program patterned after Baylor’s S3 at Mercer University after completing his Ph.D. at Texas A&M in 2016. At Mercer University (Macon, GA), Lane helped build their Sports Marketing & Analytics program and launched the National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship.

Dr. Lane Wakefield has published research in prestigious marketing journals, including the Journal of Service Research and Journal of Interactive Marketing, as well as articles in the Journal of Advertising and Journal of Advertising Research. At Mercer, he worked closely with the professional sports teams in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast, as well as with companies and agencies, to educate, train and place students.