“His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147:10-11

“Christmas is just around the corner.” How does that thought make you feel? Excited, joyful, maybe overwhelmed?

For many of us, the wonder of Jesus in this season is smothered by our massive to-do list. There’s an unmovable deadline bearing down on us, so it’s especially hard to depend on God. We tend to just pull up our bootstraps and get tunnel vision, focusing on getting everything done: “When I’ve checked off every item, then I’ll relax and get in a spiritual mood again.”

Today’s passage tells us what does not please God. He’s not pleased with an attitude of self-sufficiency. Verse 10 is likely a picture of those who take great pride in their swift feet on the battlefield and in the strength of their warhorse. They trust in their own strength to get the job done.

In contrast, verse 11 describes two attitudes that bring a smile to God’s face:

1) To fear God means to respect and revere Him—looking to His wisdom to inform our decisions. Basically, it’s when our heart says, “What You say matters the most because You’re my Lord.”

2) To “hope in steadfast love” means we look towards the future, trusting that His faithfulness will continue. It’s believing that our Heavenly Father is eager to care for and sustain us through anything.

What would change if we confessed our self-sufficiency and took this season as an opportunity to revere God and hope firmly in His unceasing love?  

Father, I confess that I all too often run off in my business and try to get everything done in my own strength. Help me take time to recapture the awe of Jesus and to find deeper hope in Your love this December. Amen.

Take Action

Add time with God do your Christmas to-do list. For example, right under “get a gift for mom,” write something like “take a prayer walk before church” or “fast for a morning and pray.” Intentionally carve out time to nurture an attitude of reverence and hope amidst this busy season. You just might have the best Christmas ever!

Rediscover the Wonder of Christmas!