December 1, 2023

Advent Week One: The Candle of Hope

A devotional for the first week of Advent

by Sarah Bourns Crosby

An Invitation

Come before the Lord in a posture of humility. He delights in you. Let’s delight in Him. Whether you open your hands as a sign of obedience, close your eyes to focus your mind, or kneel to center your heart, draw close to Him as He draws close to you (James 4:8).

Let’s give all of ourselves to the King of Kings.


Genesis 18:9–15; Hebrews 11:1–16

For Those Who Wait

What if the seemingly endless delay
Is full of gifts you wouldn’t receive any other way

What if walking in the wilderness IS the point,
What if waiting in the stillness IS the joy

What if the roots need to burrow down deeper
So the fruit will be that much sweeter

What if the waiting makes the heart grow stronger
Just as absence makes the heart grow fonder

What if it’s less about getting to the other side
And more about the slow transformation taking place deep inside

What if the best things don’t happen overnight
And time is actually on your side

What if you really (truly) are not in control
And all you can do is let it unfold

What if God hasn’t forgotten His plans for you
He’s simply inviting you to lean in and pay close attention to what He is about to do

What if, when it seems like nothing is happening at all,
That’s right when God is saying, I Am Still Faithful

What if it looks really different than you thought it would,
But even then, it could still be really, really good.

Prayer Prompt

Read Psalm 25 and put your hope in Him.

Which of the above “what if” questions ring true for you right now? How does it encourage you to hold on in hope? Prayerfully ask God to remind you where you have seen His faithfulness through another season of waiting in your life.

Lord, I desire more of You. There are so many “what if” questions in my life—help me to look to You before I look inward. Father, would You remind me of Your character, of Your incredible goodness. My hope is in You—teach me to draw close. Amen.

To download a copy of Extend Hope: An Advent Guide, click here.