“Delivered from Despair” – Ian France – 03.12.2023
Week 1 – Hope

Spend some time every day during Advent considering the Word of God and your relationship with Him.
Open your mind and heart as you read the passages of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship – listen to a praise song, read a poem or a psalm of praise.

Day 1 Repent/confess/ forgiven
1 John 1:8-9 : If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Begin this Advent with a time of repentance and confession. Go into your day believing you are forgiven.
Pray: Abba, forgive me for those sins I can recall (name them …) and for those sins I cannot remember. Lord I believe you are faithful and just and forgive my sins and purify me from all unrighteousness. I go into  my day in the Hope of my freedom in You. Amen.

Day 2 Believe
Mark 9:24 : Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’
What do you find it hard to believe in regard to your Christian walk and the promises of God? Ask God to help you to believe those aspects of your faith that challenge you..
Pray: Abba, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief in regard to (name any challenges you may have ..) Thank you, Abba. Amen.

Day 3 Forgive
Eph 4:32 : Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Who do you struggle to forgive? Bring those people before God, naming each one and ask Him for help as you seek the willingness to forgive them and strive to do so.
Pray: Abba, you know the issues I have with (name these people before God in prayer …). It is so hard to forgive them and sometimes I don’t even want to do so. Please help me to reach a place where I can forgive as You ask me to, and to take whatever steps I need to bring about healing and reconciliation between us. Help me respond graciously, whatever their own response may be. Amen.

Day 4 Bless
Romans 12:14 : Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
How can you bless people you do not even like, especially when they are not kind to you, or even go as far as persecuting you for who you are and what you believe? Who are these people? Ask God to bring them to mind and to help you to see them through His eyes, rather than through your own. How does this change your opinion of them?
Pray: Abba once again, you know the issues I am struggling with in regard to the people I have named today. There is just something about them that makes it hard for me to like them, let alone bless them. I need Your help, Abba. Please give me Your love for them and help me to change my opinion and my relationship with them through Your strength and power. Thank you, Abba. Amen.

Day 5 Abundant life
Romans 15:2 : May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What would it be like for you to overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit at this time of your life? What would change? Are you willing to do what it will take to open yourself up to the Holy Spirit’s leading and allow Him to make a difference in your life? Why/why not?
Pray: Abba, sometimes I have trouble trusting you with the challenges in my life, and take matters back into my own hands when I have prayed about them. Please help me to give these matters to You and to leave them in Your loving, capable hands, that I do not have to worry any more but grow in trust day by day. Thank you, Abba. Amen.

Verse 1 from the poem Arrival

There’s a whisper of expectancy throughout the world today.
Can you feel it? Can you hear it? What is it trying to say?
It’s a breathing or a sighing with a little rush of joy
Could it be the world’s expecting a tiny baby Boy?

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