• RevShirleyMurphy

Hope - Be a Human Infusion of Hope



Encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)


The word “hope” generally expresses two different ideas. The more common meaning, especially outside of the Christian context, entails wishful thinking, the desire for something we might not receive. For instance, we may hope for a new job, or pray and hope for good health, while not knowing if we will receive them. We may hope for a better day but not know what a day may bring.


Hope also refers to a desire for something we are certain to receive, an assurance concerning the future. This is Christian hope. However uncertain our circumstances, or however God may answer our prayers, we know for certain He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). As believers, we often have uncertain and certain hope at the same time. For instance, we may pray and hope for deliverance from a present trouble and not know if, when, or how God will answer our prayer (uncertain hope), while knowing He will ultimately deliver us and that our eternal destiny remains secure in Christ (certain hope). “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Uncertain hope involves the “secret things,” while our sure hope rests on the “things revealed.”


When we face challenges, our culture tells us to “take care of it yourself” or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” But Jesus never intended for us to walk through difficult times alone.


Christianity is not a faith of “I can do it” but a faith of “Christ can do it in me.”


Our circumstances may not change, but God can change us in the midst of them. Right now we may be in one of the darkest times of our lives, but God knows what is coming.


When life is going well for you, it's easy to feel hopeful. But when this fallen world brings trouble into your life, feelings of hopelessness can come in, too. Thankfully, the hope that God offers is much more than a feeling: It's the reality of His presence with you. You can experience that hope in any situation - even if your health fails, you lose your job, your marriage breaks, or some other tragedy hits you.


G.K. Chesterton observed that hope only has any real meaning when things are hopeless. “As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is a mere flattery or platitude,” he wrote. “It is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.”


Hope is not mere optimism or wishful thinking; it’s an essential part of our faith. Hope in the Lord gives us strength. Our culture teaches us to have self-confidence, but believers are to place their confidence in the Lord. When we hope in Him, we find the confidence and strength to face any challenge that comes our way.


Hope in the Lord teaches us patience. Society encourages us to solve our own problems. But when we face an impossible or hopeless situation, we must learn to wait patiently on the Lord. We do not need to be anxious or worried. We can find peace in God’s unfailing love for us.


Hope in the Lord brings encouragement. You know that feeling you get at the end of a long week? The anticipation of the weekend lifts your spirits. Now think about stretching that weekend out for eternity. We can find encouragement and joy amid life’s struggles because we know we will live forever with Jesus. That is why we are told to anticipate His glorious return (Titus 2:13).


Don't let difficult circumstances stop you from making the most of each day you're alive. Realise that even when times are tough, you can do much more than just endure your current situation. You can actually enjoy life to the fullest - even in the middle of the worst circumstances - when you remember that life if a gift from God and decide to embrace it. Ask God to help you notice His presence with you in every situation, and rejoice when you sense Him nearby. Pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind each day so you can have the positive attitudes you need to thrive no matter what is going on in your life.


When something bad happens in your life, don't respond by arguing with God or rebelling against Him. Instead, trust God to keep His promise to use all circumstances - including the bad ones - to accomplish good purposes in your life. Remember that God is perfect, so He can't make any mistakes, and whatever He chooses to do is for a good purpose. If He has allowed something difficult to happen to you, there's a reason.


God allows you to experience challenging circumstances so you can learn to love and trust Him in deeper ways, and so you can grow more mature, developing a strong character to become more like Jesus. Keep in mind that God is more interested in your lasting holiness than your temporary happiness, because holiness will help you learn to choose what's best for you. Ask God to help you see your struggles from His perspective. Let your struggles teach you whatever God wants you to learn from them. As you deal with the difficulties in your life, stay focused on what matters most - eternal values - so you can grow into a stronger person in the process.


Whenever your sense of hope starts running out, ask God to renew you with a fresh dose of hope so you can continue to faithfully deal with the difficult situations that come your way. Be confident that at the right time, God will reward you for your faithfulness if you don't give up your faith in the middle of challenging circumstances. Count on God to give you more hope whenever you ask Him for it.


Our hope is in God’s love not our circumstances. It is in the crucified Christ, the empty tomb, the King of Kings. It is not in a good day. It is not in a bad day. It is not in a crisis. It is in the Lord of Lords. God is looking for people who aren’t looking to their circumstances––but to him––for hope.


Believe that you are a people of hope and be transformed by him today.


Marinate on that.


Sources

He Still Moves Stones - Max Lucado

Where is God - Dr John Townsend

The Christian Hope - Brian Hebblethwaite

Hope : The best of things - Joni Eareckson Tada

Unshakable Hope - Max Lucado



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