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Here's a thought for Jan. 28

January 28, 2011
By the Rev. Bernard Wing

Grace Life Church

'Power of hope'

Hopelessness is a very difficult state to be in. Hopelessness has a powerful effect on our outlook of life. January and February seem to be two months when it is easier to experience this sense of hopelessness. It may be due to the weather, the shut-in feelings, or the financial pressures as all the bills come due for overspending in December, and just the darker shorter days impacting our moods and emotions.

Here is what the bible indicates may be the source of hopelessness. Ephesians 2:11-13 (New Living Translation) 11 Don't forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called "uncircumcised heathens" by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.

We search for peace in this world by looking in all the physical things that we think will give us pleasure and a sense of purpose. Instead of peace and purpose, we find ourselves addicted to the senses of pleasure and lose our hope of ever experiencing true peace and freedom we long to have. Just as I believe God defines our hopelessness as being lost in this world without God and therefor without any hope of heaven I also believe the bible gives us our only true source of hope.

Psalm 42:5 (New Living Translation) 5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again my Savior and my God.

Psalm 62:5 (New Living Translation) 5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.

Psalm 147:11 (New Living Translation) 11 No, the Lord's delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Romans 8:22-25 (New Living Translation) 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.

To have this power of hope at work in us we must first be born again by the Holy Spirit and have the hope of Christ in us. As it says in Colossians and I Corinthians this kind of hope is a mystery and we need hope for today and hope that is for eternity in glory.

Colossians 1:27 (Today's New International Version) 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

1 Corinthians 15:19-20 (New Living Translation) 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

So my thought and prayer for today is for us all to experience this power of hope by inviting the living Holy Spirit of Christ to live in us to save us from sin, self, and Satan's deception of doubting the word and ways of God.

I leave you with these two verses to meditate on.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 (Today's New International Version) 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. Amen.

Hebrews 11:1 (New Living Translation) 1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.



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