The Gift of Hope

This happens to us every Christmas. Invariably we accidentally leave a present unopened under the tree. It is behind the trunk. The rug we put down to catch the needles is partially covering it. How fun it is to find the gift hours after the official opening time! We say it is the Christmas that keeps on giving. In the Christian life, hope is like that. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Lamentations 3: 21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 The Lord’s  lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,  For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Hope is one of those stealth gifts from God. It is easy to overlook its importance until you need it. Like prayer, it is easy to neglect – there are few ministries devoted to it. No one holds you accountable for hope like they do kindness or holiness. Yet, when you need it, hope is a profound and powerful friend.

Jeremiah used hope to interpret the calamity of his day. He used to answer the question, “Why am I surviving when others around me are dying?” The Apostle Paul declared that, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5) Hope doesn’t disappoint because hope explains what God is doing when hard times come upon us. Whole sections and books of the Bible (Jesus’ final teaching in John 14-16. and the book of  Revelation are a couple of easy examples) are intended to point Christians to the profound hope that the struggles of this life are not the end.

Have you discovered the gift that is hope? As a Christian, have you unwrapped the gift yet? Have you opened it up and discovered all that it offers? Has it changed your understanding of your sufferings? Has it put into perspective the evils and hurts that you have faced?

There is hope. It is a wonderful gift of God. If you haven’t opened that hope, discover it today. If you have neglected the gift, pick it back up today. Tomorrow can be different. Forever will be different. That is the promise of hope. It is a promise that tomorrow can be better as we follow Jesus. It is the assurance that forever will be better because of Jesus.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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