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Dec 23, 2022

How do we find hope when Christmas comes at a dark, trying time?

Today's guest, Grace Fox, shares her personal story of finding hope during years when Christmas brought crises and pain. 

Grace Fox is a popular Bible teacher and the author of 13 books including Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey. She lives on a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia.

We discuss the challenges of facing a season filled with cheery expectations when our circumstances show nothing cheerful. Grace explains how we can remember the slow, gradual process of getting through troubled times. She encourages those who struggle by noting there is no quick fix to emotional pain.

We point out the dark times of poverty, oppression, and sorrow into which Immanuel was born on the first Christmas. Grace and I discuss the pitfalls of our expectations to feel and appear perfect according to the commercialized standards of the holiday. Fox reveals the comforting truth of the nativity that God came to be present with us as a refuge of hope in the midst of the darkest and most painful times. She describes Christ as our safe place.

We share the ways Jesus experienced loss, abuse, and suffering so he offers deep empathy when we feel pain. Grace points out some ways that family experiences can prove challenging during the holidays, a situation Jesus also understands from his life among us. We are not as alone as we might feel.

Grace highlights some practical steps to move from feeling despair at Christmas to experiencing hope.

  • Put on music that matches the mood you want, not the mood you have.
  • Look beyond yourself and identify those in need around you.
  • Change your thoughts.
  • Examine your expectations and modify them to guard against disappointments.
  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions without shame.
  • Put things into your environment that bring joy.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Talk to the Lord like a friend.
  • Practice gratitude, especially when you don't feel like it.
  • Give yourself grace and time to get through a crisis or time of suffering. Don't shame or guilt yourself.
  • Decide which traditions are helpful to keep and which ones would be most healing to change. 

Connect with Grace Fox at, where you can find out more about her speaking availability or purchase her books, including the newest release, Fresh Hope For Today and Devotions for Joy on the Journey.

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