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Where Are You Placing Your Hope?

I’m writing this seed on the first day of the New Year, looking back with thankfulness to God for His unending faithfulness and unfailing love during the past year, and looking forward in hope to seeing His purposes fulfilled during this year. As Christians we live in a broken world, we face difficult circumstances and situations for which we do not have an answer, but in all our dilemmas we have a hope which acts as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure, because we belong to Jesus, who is Lord over all.

Hope for many during 2020 has been in developing a Coronavirus vaccine. In a pre-Christmas update the UK Health Minister said “The great hope for 2021 is the vaccine.” The vaccine may help to diminish fear of getting the disease. It may help in the rebuilding of the nation. But there is only one way to find healing for deep spiritual and emotional needs suffered by countless people, and that is in Jesus, the Hope of the world. The hope that Jesus gives is a reservoir of spiritual and emotional strength, available to all who trust Him. We live in this hope, whatever our circumstances, and even when prayer isn’t answered our way.

The natural use of the word hope is a desire for something good in the future, which may not happen. It is wishful thinking and is an expression of uncertainty, often accompanied by, “Fingers crossed.” Biblical hope does not come naturally. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is a desire for something good in the future accompanied by the confidence and expectation that it will happen, because it is based on God’s word. ‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the opposite to doubt, so we might say that hope is the certainty of faith. Hope is founded in the purposes and promises of God. It is never self-seeking.

Hope is a thread which runs through the Bible from beginning to end and it usually has a promise attached to it. This hope is not our initiative. As our text for today assures us, God Himself is the giver of true hope which floods the human heart with joy and peace. It is supernatural, in that the Holy Spirit within us causes hope to overflow from us to those who are overwhelmed with hopelessness. We are called to be bringers of good news. Biblical hope is never inward-focused, self-centred or negative, because the work of the Holy Spirit is always to glorify Jesus through those who love Him.

When our hope is in God alone, we are lifted from being downcast, disturbed and troubled into a place of praise (Psalm 43:5). We have inner rest and live in the joy of His unfailing love (Psalm 130:7), and He delights in us (Psalm 147:11). With hope, our heart our strength is renewed like the eagle’s (Isaiah 40:31) and we will never be disappointed ((Isaiah 49:23b). ‘Hope does not disappoint us because the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 5:5, NKJV). To me, this sounds like victorious living, because the safest place to be is near to Jesus, with hope in your heart.

People I know have been reading the Book of Job in recent months. Job lost his children, servants, crops and everything he possessed and yet he said, “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him.” When there seems to be little hope in the circumstances around us, we need to take our eyes off the circumstances and fix them on Jesus, the Hope of the World. Our world is a troubled world. It is a dark world needing Jesus, the only hope of the world, to shine into troubled hearts. The believers’ hope is eternal. It is called a ‘blessed’ hope (Titus 2:13), because we are waiting for our Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, to come again. So during 2021 let us live for Him as Kingdom people in hope of this glorious promise being fulfilled.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the hope I have in Jesus. I pray that, whatever this year may hold, my life will glorify You, as I choose to live with my eyes fixed on Jesus. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit, so that, in these troubled times, the love and compassion of Jesus will flow to those who desperately need Him. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done in and through my life, as I pray for Your glory. Amen.
 

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Scripture

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.
Romans 15:13, NIV

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Today's Writer

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.

Margaret Silvester


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