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A few years ago, Gussie invited SBF to share in a series about why we have hope. My gut reaction was that in today's world there isn't much to be hopeful about. But I guess that's exactly the point. If we saw goodness all around us, we wouldn't need to hope. Both in these dark days, and in this Advent season, we need all the more to be sharing our reasons with one another, and to be learning from and celebrating with each other, so that we can be focusing our hearts and minds all the more on God – the source of all hope.
My reasons for hope are best summarized by one of my favourite images in Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place.

The author writes, I remember the time thirteen-year-old Liz and I were helping Corrie unpack. From the bottom of the suitcase, Liz lifted a folded cloth with some very amateur-looking needlework on it—uneven stitches, mismatched colors, loose threads, snarls. “What are you making?” Liz asked, bewildered. “Oh, that’s not mine,” Corrie said. “That’s the work of the greatest weaver of all.”

Liz looked dubiously at the tangled mess.

“But Liz,” Corrie told her, “you’re looking at the wrong side!” She took the sorry thing from Liz’s hand. “This is what our lives look like, from our limited viewpoint.”

Then, with a flourish, Corrie shook open the cloth and turned it around to display a magnificent crown embroidered in red, purple, and gold. “But when we turn over the threads of our lives to God, this is what He sees!”

From the underside of heaven we see such a mess. But I trust in how God sees it, and I place my hope in Him.

(From Michelle Pieke)

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“The coming of the Son of God into the world is so much more than an historical fact. It was a message of hope sent by God to teenagers and single parents and crabby husbands and sullen wives and overweight women and impotent men and disabled neighbours and people with same-sex attractions and preachers and lovers – and you.” (John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, Daily Readings for Advent)