“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 ESV
Dear Heavenly Father – You are the One True God. Beside you there is no other. I acknowledge your Lordship over my life. I praise and thank you for all you have done! Please help me as I search myself to see if there is any ways within me to repent of. In the name of Jesus – Amen
The Biblical New Year is coming upon us in a few days: Rosh Hashanah! Shalom! As with the approach of any new chapter, some self-reflection and thoughts of the old year should probably fill our minds. I have been thinking. And when I review everything that fell between September 2019 and September 2020, I quickly realize a blog post (even without scriptures) would not cover it all. Just 2020 alone has been a lot. I also quickly realized that the memories can be written out in two way: 1. All the crazy things that have happened in this world and how it has impacted us. 2. All the times God showed up and was there through it all.
I am going with the first! You surprised? Me too. But God gave me a word and to fully understand it – we should understand first how hopeless things are! I am still shocked I am writing this – please bear with me as I intend to give the hopelessness the smallest amount of our attention as possible. Especially since, the moment I said hopelessness – every one of you, as well as myself, all thought of many of the ways 2020 is hopeless. So it is obviously not something you need me to tell you. I am in the United States of America and at least half of my readers are from all over the globe. So let’s use a global perspective – Look at the politics and the policies our world leaders are (or are planning) to put in place and how more and more they are attacking the body of Christ and the word of God. Look at the rebellion, the lawlessness, the riots and the civil unrest. Look at the divisions. And finally look at how the earth, also, seems to be fighting with earthquakes, fires, storms, etc. It is hopeless. We humans cannot fix any of it.
We are in the most wonderful place we could ever be!!! If in humans’ eyes it is hopeless, then and only then can God get the glory for the fixes, because no man can say he or she did it. ONLY GOD CAN!!! Hallelujah!
We know God says he has plans for good and to give us hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and we know God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). We just need to hang in there –
“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.” Samuel 12:16 ESV
This is our hope! The faith and belief that God is moving and working even when we cannot see what He is doing and we do not know the plan.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Let us examine my issues at work: They were bad and I prayed for my boss and leadership and I asked God to fix the situation. And the more I prayed the more things happened and the more everything fell apart at the seams. And the more I prayed “Lord fix it, please.” The more hopeless it became. I expected Him to start where we all were and fix it, but He took it all apart… and is rebuilding it. How can I say this when I am in the thick of a mess?? My hope is in God, and He is a rebuilding God – a new creature God – a redemptive God!!
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25 ESV
At this point while dealing with my job, at this point while looking at all my prayer requests, at this point of being persistent like the persistent widow, at this point of getting tired and worn out, at this point where it is so tempting to lose hope – because all earthly hope is gone…. At this point, we say good bye to this past year, according to the Jewish calendar, and open the book on a brand new year. We have all the hopes every new year brings. What shall be our motivational verse for the year? What do we hope to accomplish? What are our HOPES?!?!
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 ESV
See what God did there?? He quietly, carefully, calculated it out for us to give us a time of reflection and a new hope for the next 12 months. He already made the way for us! He will not let us run out of hope!! Let us start the year with hope! a living hope!!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 ESV
And there is our true hope! I mean, I hope work gets better. I hope the other situations in my life improve. I hope – But even if they do not, I will serve the Lord because my true hope is in Glory!
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
So through 2020, I hope. And as I am tempted to give up hope – I hope again as God reminds us not to lose hope. And we hope against all odds. And we fight for our hope like we fought for our peace (when fear swooped in this last spring to try and rob us of our peace).
And we say (yes, say it with me out loud): My God is alive and mighty and able – and even if He does not, I will not bow to anything else but Him; especially not hopelessness!
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5 ESV
No shame in believing a powerful, yet invisible, God is doing a work in an invisible realm, which shall lift us up here in our physical realm, for physical eyes to see!
“So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7 ESV
And you all knew I would throw in a ‘grace’ verse!!! Because what is hope if not the expectation of more grace?! And if not for grace, where would we be?
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7 ESV
For what do we wait? At this time, we wait on God. The waiting and being locked in and shut down is coming to an end, and some say we will do it again, but this waiting is a waiting on God, and He will not make us wait forever. Take the time to grow in faith and hope. Take the time and praise Him – because our hope is in Him!
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, one in whom you can hope against all odds, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!