Day 4

O Come, Hope of the Nations

Genesis 12:1-7, John 8:54-56, Romans 4:13-25, Galatians 3:7-18, 1 Peter 2:9-10

BY Guest Writer

I’d been here before, or at least some version of this place, having travelled throughout Africa working for a missional nonprofit. This time I was in Goma, a city in eastern Congo, with its never-ending dirt roads. Surrounded by the realities of a war zone—refugee camps and chaos and orphans at every glance—I was deeply afraid. My heart had become trapped by the fear that I had finally found hell on earth, a place that truly felt God-forsaken.

I was afraid I’d finally stumbled upon the one place the gospel could not penetrate. I feared it simply was not big enough for Goma; it could not possibly fix that amount of broken. But after the sun had set for the night, I took a moment to stop, to move my eyes from the chaos surrounding me, and to look up at the night sky, where countless stars shone brightly with the absence of light below.

Abraham looked at those stars once, too. As he surveyed the realities of His circumstances, alone in a new land, he saw barrenness: an aging body and an aging wife, and no baby in sight. Yet Scripture tells us “he believed, hoping against hope… fully convinced that what God had promised, He was also able to do” (Romans 4:18,21).

Long before God gave the Israelites the ten commandments—a metric by which we all fall short—He made His covenant with Abraham, promising the blessing and redemption of the whole world through the righteousness, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus. Long before the law would condemn mankind, God promised to redeem us (Galatians 3:10–18). Long before war and death, chaos and grief, hunger, disease and isolation, God had set His plan for redemption in motion.

While Abraham never saw the face of Jesus here on earth, he did receive a glimmer of hope in his son Isaac’s first cry. By faith, Abraham received God’s promise, becoming “the father of many nations” (Romans 4:17). Because of Jesus, God now calls us His own—a holy nation and royal priesthood set apart to declare the goodness, power, and mercy of the one who called out us out of darkness and into His light (1 Peter 2:9–10).

In the four years since I stood in the volcanic-ash-filled streets of Goma, there have been many times when the light of day seems to reveal nothing but the harsh realities of our fallen world. But there have been just as many dark nights, too, when the starry skies remind me of the glorious plan I’m a part of. Like Abraham, I may not understand all the seemingly impossible circumstances through which God intends to display His power, but I do know that the hope of all the nations has come.

Raised in Boulder, Colorado, Emily Blackledge’s education encouraged a love of all things international—travel, development, and culture. With degrees in economics, politics, and international conflict resolution, she now uses her passions and skills to support growth and development around the world. Since joining African Leadership in 2010, she’s helped grow the organization’s education program across Africa, fostering strong relationships throughout the continent, emphasizing local ownership and capacity development. She currently serves as African Leadership’s President, and resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Rob, and their son, Fletcher. Together, they enjoy travel, shared adventures, and investing in their church, Midtown Fellowship.

Post Comments (139)

139 thoughts on "O Come, Hope of the Nations"

  1. Alexis Maycock says:

    So many nuggets of truth in this morning’s study! So much clarity received. When all hope is lost, our faith and trust in the One who is Hope, is what moves God’s heart. Not what we can do but what He has done. Are we willing to take that plunge of faith as Abraham did ? Faith with abandon.

    1. Kim Anstaett says:


  2. Churchmouse says:

    I ask myself this morning: Am I fully convinced that what God has promised, He is also able to do?
    I ask myself this morning : Am I truly walking by faith?
    I ask myself this morning : Am I proclaiming the praises of the One Who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light?

    The answers to these questions reveal what I really believe, Who I believe in and whether or not my actions reflect my faith.

    1. Sarah Hickox says:

      Thank you for this and these questions in response!

    2. Charmaine Block says:

      So good! Thank you, my faith has been wavering amidst so many trials, but He is still in control.

    3. Katie McDonald says:

      so beautiful! thank you for this challenge!

    4. Heidi G says:

      Yes!!!! Thank you for this!

    5. Justi Thomas says:

      Yes and Amen.

    6. Machan Bowman says:


  3. Kristine Loughman says:

    Abraham didn’t live to see the Messiah, but he walked in the faith of God’s promise. Today I’m thinking about a friend who has asked God for healing. It’s a big leap of faith. I’ve been worried about what will happen if this healing doesn’t come. Does that mean God hasn’t kept his promise. Then I realized…God’s going to keep his promise, but His timing is His alone. We might not see this healing this side of heaven. But that doesn’t mean He has turned His back. I have to step out in faith regardless, clinging to the knowledge that God will be there every step of the way.

    1. Kristen * says:

      Amen! I have a friend in a situation like that with cancer. It was a miracle and drs were amazed when she was healed a couple years ago. It is back and scary. But you are right…God does keepHhis promises and she may not be healed in this broken world but she will be given a new body if she is not. Thank you for this. I will be praying for your friend. ❤️

  4. Ruthanne Burch says:

    I love the continued imagery of God being light in darkness. Even if all that light brings is hope…it still cannot be overcome by the dark.

    1. Molly Dykstra says:


  5. Sarah Souther says:

    What a beautiful reminder of his sufficient grace and love for us! I am thankful for a God who can penetrate through the darkest of nights!

  6. Angela Greenwood says:

    The promise, faith, righteousness. God’s plan is amazingly beautiful. I am so thankful today to be His.

    1. Molly Dykstra says:

      Me too

  7. Nicole Shantel says:

    Thank you o Hope Of Glory. Thank you for your promises and your mercy that we, your daughters, are drenched in.

    1. Kim Anstaett says:


  8. Amelia Schutter says:

    This really gave life to my heart this morning, as I think about the hard ground that seems to be here in Europe. I love the verse in Romans…”the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” These are scientifically impossible things! But He is the God who does the impossible!!

    1. Courtney Bolander says:

      Amen! This is speaking to my heart today too.

    2. Nicole Shantel says:

      Take courage Ameila- God is working the land in Europe and a bountiful harvest is coming forth over the land.

    3. Nicole Shantel says:

      Take courage Amelia- God is working the ground of Europe and a bountiful harvest is breaking forth on the land.

    4. Ruthanne Burch says:

      Praying for you and Europe! For the light of God light to shine through you and other believers.

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