The discussion of HOPE has been all around me. Through conversations, reading and even in Sunday School. I thought to myself in situations that are doom and gloom do I choose to be HOPEFUL or hopeless? How do you approach life when you find yourself in darkness?
A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of Stringer on Facebook, and it was shared over 100 times. I feel it was shared because it gave all of us hope and a reason to press on through the difficulties.
That is what I feel is going on in the world today. We live in a world that is yearning for some HOPE during their trials and circumstances. It is through sharing our stories that give others hope. It is through us sharing what Christ is doing for us that allows others to know that Christ can give them hope for tomorrow when today seems dark.
The best place for all of us to find stories of HOPE and what God has done and continues to do is located within the pages of the BIBLE. Think of all the stories of hope in the midst of despair. The stories of healing. The stories of love. The stories of caring. Yes, there are stories of heartache and pain; however, Christ overcame the world so that we can live a life full of joy and peace.
Let's turn to scripture:
Romans 15:4 New International Version (NIV)
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Having knowledge of scriptures affects our attitudes towards the present and the future. The more we know God and what has gone on in the past gives us HOPE for the future. We should read our Bibles diligently to increase our trust that God’s will is best for us.
Romans 15:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
HOPE:a feeling of desire or expectation for certain things to happen
FILL:put something into a container until it is almost full
OVERFLOW:flow over the brim
Don’t you want to be overflowing with HOPE?
Advent and Hope:
Advent is the preparation or the coming of Christ. It is the four Sundays before Christmas. The letter A of ADVENT stands for when the angel of the Lord announced that Jesus the Savior was coming. He was being born to save the world. An advent wreath is placed in many churches. The wreath which is a perfect circle symbolizes the eternity of God. Located on the wreath are 5 candles with the Christ candle in the middle. One candle is lit every Sunday. These candles represent the virtues that Jesus brings. The first is the candle of HOPE.
In Rick Warrens book THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS Warren states that Christmas is the time for you to realize that Christ is for you. In the Bible, there are many places where we can find this reassurance. When Jesus met people, He would say, “What do you want me to do for you?” When Jesus gave communion, He said,” This is my body which is given for you.”
When you feel hopeless instead of hopeful, remember that God is for you. Jesus was born for you. He was born so that we may hope in the middle of adversity. He is our hope.
In a video Tim Tebow said this about hope:
If in the game down you are down 50 to 0 if we knew that in the end, we were going to have a comeback how much confidence would we have to know that at some point in the game we are winning? That is what we get in life. Sometimes for some people, we are down by 50! It isn’t easy. But when we know Jesus at some point in our game, we win. At some point, we come back. At some point, our MVP steps up, and we can have that hope that faith and assurance. It gives us the ability to look through and look past the devastation and see the hope that Jesus brings to us. No one can steal the HOPE that Jesus gives us. We have the hope for tomorrow even during our worst day. We have the hope of a better day.
Tony Evans quoted:
Hope is confident expectation that God is going to do what He says He will do.
God is going to get you there. Just have HOPE. In a world where we have the choice choose to be HOPEFUL instead of hopeless.
Challenges of the week:
• Daily appointment
• Dig into the word and read the stories of hope
• Have confidence in the HOPE that we find in Jesus, pray for what you need
• Fill yourself with Christ so that you can fill others cups