Recently I have had some conversations with people who are facing some tough things in their lives. There is much devastation all around us. There is much turmoil over the recent elections, the state of our economy, etc. This caused me to wonder what kind of hope these people are holding on to. How can we persevere with hope in the midst of our trials? What can we be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Then I thought about Hebrews 6:19, which says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.” As believer’s we have hope! Let’s look at an acronym for the word HOPE.
Hear God’s Word- “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14
We need to hear the word of God on a regular basis, not just on Sunday morning. I would encourage you to listen to teaching tapes or CD’s during the week. We need to be feeding our spirit a daily dose of biblical teaching. And doing so will help build up our “hope tank.” Remember in Romans 10:17 it says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Obedience – “…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” 1 Samuel 15:22
Sometimes we think that by doing nice things, or giving money to the church will pacify God. But, it we truly want to walk in hope we will need to walk in obedience. You see, when you walk in complete obedience to the Lord you can live with the hope of Heaven in your heart. In recent weeks the Lord has really stirred within me this thing of obedience and drawing near to Him, nearer than I’ve ever been.
Prayer – “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Prayer. There is so much that could be said about this subject. Since our time and space are limited in this column let me simply say that spending quality time in God’s presence is one of the best things to do when you need hope restored in your life. Notice I said quality time, not quantity. While it would be great to spend several hours a day in prayer that just isn’t realistic for most of us. Let me encourage you to have a set aside time of prayer everyday for at least ten minutes. When you begin to consistently do this you will be amazed at how long you actually end up praying.
Expect a move of God – “Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; he will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.” Hosea 6:3
One of the ways we show that we expect a move of God is study the bible, pursue having more knowledge of God and his ways. Notice I didn’t say know about God, but to know him. Have a relationship with him. When we’re anticipating something good like an upcoming vacation, or a visit from a special friend it fills us with hope of something to look forward to.
As we close let’s look at another scripture passage. Look at Romans 5:3-5… “3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
When we go through rough times these verses promise us that if we stay connected to the Lord, the trial will produce his character in us and we will once again experience hope as God pours his love into our life.
There is no doubt in my mind that someone out there reading this needs to be encouraged to hope again! God has a purpose and a plan for your life and it is good. Yes, there may be some hurdles to jump and some dark times to endure but as the scripture says, joy comes in the morning! Hallelujah!
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