Monday, July 20, 2009

Holding on to Hope

Hope is a powerful word, especially in these troubled times. Often we use the word so flippantly: “I hope you have a good day.” “I hope the shoes I want are on sale.” “I hope you feel better.” For the Christian, hope is much more than simply wishful thinking. We know that God is a God of hope. We have Christ within us, the hope of glory. The definition of “Faith” is being sure of what we Hope for and certain of the things we do not see. If we do not have hope we can become consumed with fear, despair and anger.

The weeping prophet Jeremiah spoke often about hope. Hope shines most brightly in times of difficulty and we see this clearly with Jeremiah. Listen to his lamenting:

Lamentations 3:
17 “Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, ‘My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!’
19 “The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words. 20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.”

Certainly Jeremiah is down and out. Perhaps you can relate to his words of grief in your own life right now, or perhaps you will. We all go through low points, difficulties and yes sometimes tragedies. But what I love about Jeremiah is that he was honest about his grief, but then he always turned to hope.
He continues,
21 “Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”

My friend, let us remember the faithful love of the Lord everyday. Because He loves us, He will care for us. He will not leave us. Reflect on His mercies which are new every morning. Maintain hope one day at a time. Dwell on God’s great love for you and remember that He is a God of hope and can redeem any situation. Don’t place your hope in circumstances or people. Hope in the Lord!

Hope is sometimes a tough concept for our kids to grasp. But hope can be contagious. If your kids see you are a mom who puts her hope in God, they will grow and learn from your example and become hope-filled men and women. A quick suggestion for a theme week for younger kids is a Prince and Princess week. Make crowns, play dress up, make scepters (use empty paper towel tube with Styrofoam ball glued to the top, spray paint and decorate), create treasure boxes and go on treasure hunts (just like an Easter egg hunt). Read fairy tales and watch movies which include royalty. Teach your kids about Esther and David, both had royal positions and place d their hope in God. Psalms 62:5 – 7 is a tremendous passage revealing David’s hope in God. Or read the story of Esther. As Christians, we know that we will live happily ever after in God’s kingdom. Our life on earth may not turn out happily ever after, but our loving Father (King of Kings and Lord of Lords) has great plans for us in His Heavenly Kingdom.

If you do not know Christ, and want the assurance of knowing you too will live “happily ever after” in Heaven, I want to encourage you to call 1-888-Need Him today. Someone will be on the other end of the line who can offer you words of eternal hope.

You can listen to me share this message on Fresh Start.

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