Words of Hope Daily Devotional

The Words of Hope Devotional is a non-profit, donor-supported publication whose goal is to encourage readers to grow in faith through the practice of daily Bible reading and prayer. The devotional is available in your email, in print, and as an app in Google Play and the App Store.

Delight in the Unexpected

Read: John 20:1-18

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). (v. 16)

“Mom, come quick! You have to see this!” My children rushed in the back door. I was arm deep in dishwater, but the delight on their faces told me to stop what I was doing and investigate. “Mom, the sky is smiling!” they said, almost in unison. When I peeked out the back door I saw a small rainbow that looked like a smile above my garage. I later learned that these are called “fire rainbows” (circumhorizontal arc is the technical term) caused by light bent through flat ice crystals high in the atmosphere. The smile lasted mere minutes. If I had insisted on finishing the dishes first, I would have missed it.

When Mary went to the tomb that first Easter morning, she went with a heavy heart—after all, a tomb is a place of death. Yet, in this burial tomb, Mary found hope instead. She was so surprised, she couldn’t see Jesus clearly at first. But when Jesus called her name, she knew and rejoiced.

Every day God invites us to take delight in the unexpected and out-of-place, but we can be so focused on what’s in front of us that we don’t notice. We might be distracted by a phone screen, by the to-do list we’ve made, or simply by the busyness of our lives. God is calling to us, “Come quick! You have to see this!” —April Fiet

As you pray, ask God to help you slow down and notice the unexpected.

About the Author

April Fiet

When Delight Is Hard

Read: Psalm 13:1-6 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. (v. 5) About one-third of the psalms in the Bible are psalms of lament, including Psalm 13. Old Testament progressor Rolf Jacobson calls

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April Fiet

Delight through Song

Read: Psalm 96:1-13 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. (v. 2) My dad once said to me, “April, there are two kinds of people: musicians and music appreciators.” I loved that, and

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April Fiet

Befriending Faithfulness

Read: Psalm 37:1-11 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. (v. 3) I discover the connection between faithfulness and delight whenever I mow my lawn. Most of the time I don’t mind the job,

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April Fiet

Rejoice in the Lord

Read: Philippians 4:4-13 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (v. 4) Augustine of Hippo once prayed: “O God, our true life, to know you is life, to serve you is freedom, to enjoy you is a kingdom,

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April Fiet

Delight in the Small Things

Read: Matthew 13:24-35 [A mustard seed] is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree. (v. 32) A young, 19th-century nun in France, Thérèse of Lisieux, once

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April Fiet

Delight in Weakness

Read: Romans 5:1-11 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. (v. 3) When Paul talks about rejoicing in suffering, I’m tempted to wonder if he’s forgotten about the perfectionists in the room. Perfectionists like

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April Fiet

Creativity Brings Delight

Read: Colossians 3:5-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (v. 16) When I was around four

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April Fiet

God Delights in Us

Read: Zephaniah 3:9-20 The LORD your God . . . will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (v. 17) Our earliest experiences have a profound effect on how we view

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April Fiet

Creation Sings God’s Praise

Read: Psalm 19:1-14 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (v. 1) C. S. Lewis called Psalm 19 “the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world,” and

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