The Word Speaks


        Jesus tells the story of a certain man who knew the meaning of hope. This man found himself in an awkward situation whereby he was hosting a friend unexpectedly and had nothing to feed him with. Not wanting to be a bad host, he boldly marches off to another friend’s house at midnight and asks if he will lend him three loaves of bread so that he can feed his guest. Of course, this is quite a disturbance and, as Jesus explains, this second man will give away his bread, not because he is friends with him, but because of his boldness to make the request.
(see Luke 11:1-13)

        In this story, it is clear that the man expected his friend to lend him the bread or he would never have made the trip in the middle of the night. In other words, he hoped that he would receive bread after asking for it. Jesus goes on to make the point that whoever approaches His Father in heaven with this kind of hopeful expectation, will certainly receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And once we have received the Holy Spirit into our lives we have received love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22,23)

        At a time of year when the resolve of New Year’s resolutions has already worn off and we wonder if our lives will forever remain the same...we need hope. As we watch current events unfold before us and the world seems to be an increasingly hostile place...we need hope. But hope in what?

        Dare we hope that our families be restored to health and peace, or that our public schools will be safe once again, or that the environment will be preserved, or that there will not be global war? All of these things might be possible, but if our hope is confined to these things we will inevitably face disappointment.

        Scripture declares, and experience will prove, that unless we have put our ultimate hope in the Lord of Life – Jesus Christ – we will continue to face disappointment. So let us bring the concerns of our lives before Him, and allow Him to infuse us with hope – hope in His goodness, His sovereignty and His care in our lives. Let us be reminded that His promises, as explained in Scripture, can be claimed today and forever.

        To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in You I trust, O my God...No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame...You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long. (Psalm 25:1-5) NIV

        And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God...And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. (Romans 5:1-5) NIV

        For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4) NIV

Written by Christine Wichert

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