My dad had this white coffee mug. I remember staring at it during breakfast when I was young.

On the front of the glossy white ceramic was a cartoon drawing of a plump elephant, lying on his tummy. On the elephant’s back, on his head, on his trunk, and around him stood colorful turkeys, who somehow managed to look clueless and pleased with themselves at the same time.

Underneath this silly scene was the advice, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.”

I giggled every time he used his favorite coffee mug.

When the giggles fade

While hilarious on a mug, "turkey" situations in real life don’t usually make us smile.

Life throws difficult people, problems, and pressures at us on a regular basis -- things that weigh us down and try to steal our joy.

Even God’s abundant grace and love does not promise perpetual rainbows and sunshine.

But God does promise His grace is enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And His grace makes it possible to see our problems and pressures as a place for God to work – a place where His promises hold true, His provision meets us, and His hope sustains us. (2 Peter 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 9:8)

Surprising pathway to hope

Paul talks about this outlook in Romans 5. He’s been explaining righteousness and justification for a couple chapters when he pauses to remind believers what life can be like because of the riches of the grace given to us in Christ. Riches like...

  • We are at peace with God, which means ongoing, intimate fellowship with Him, thanks to Jesus (vs 1)
  • Our standing in grace (that beautiful place of God’s favor and acceptance) NEVER changes. (vs 2)
  • While we can’t avoid hard-to-love people or tough circumstances or squeeze-too-tight pressures, we can learn to navigate them through God’s unexpected pathway -- a pathway that leads to relentless bright hope. (vs 3-5)

So this fall season, may the turkeys top our tables not our mindsets. And may we breathe another prayer of thanks, knowing that as we "practice" living the grace life again today, God is creating living, breathing proof in our stories of the glorious truth -- “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

Suggested reading

Romans 5:1-5 ESV

Prayer for today

Dear God who sees everything I face, thank You for never abandoning me when life's problems and pressures press in around me. You are my constant help. Sometimes I focus on the problems too long and my heart sinks. But You patiently teach me a better perspective – YOUR perspective -- that means I always have “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” Keep my heart focused on you. Amen.



  1. Is it easy for you to see the problems & pressures in your life as a pathway for God to grow your bright hope? Why or why not?
  2. What particular promise or provision are you thanking Him for today?
  3. Think about a current difficult situation in your life. If you could look at it through Jesus’s eyes, how might things appear different?


Fun News

Take a quick fall getaway with the added bonus of heart encouragement and fun!

Come enjoy a Local workshop Funshop around this very topic of meeting life’s problems and pressures with God's perspective and fresh hope. You'll join a small group of women on Saturday, October 22, 2022 in Centennial, CO for unhurried moments of laughter, reflection, hands-on creativity, grace & truth, discussions, activities, stories, and more. Register by Wednesday, 10/19/22.