Hope for 2014

I Hope so. I Hope so.

At the end of each year, I begin my search for a scripture verse that would provide divine encouragement for the following year.

My daily reading for December 23 was Romans 15. I’d highlighted a number of verses from an earlier study but that day, a verse with no previous markings jumped off the page: Rom 15:13 “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Hope- a good word but do I need Hope? Perhaps.

I want a date, a time, a place in writing as to how and when everything will turn out.

In her book, ‘With Wings There are No Barriers’, Sue Augustine cites an experiment where one group of participants were instructed to put their hands in ice cold water for three minutes. The second group were given the same instruction but with no time indicated. Interestingly, the three minute group all kept their hands in the icy water for three minutes. The second group, who had no idea of how long, could not even last for three minutes. No hope.

But that’s an experiment and I’m a child of God who desires to trust and hope and believe that His timing is best, no matter how long I have to wait.

I confess, “Yes I need HOPE that God has a plan, that what He started He will fulfill.”

But where does this Hope come from? That’s what jumped out. It comes from God. It isn’t something that I can somehow conjure up, a muttering mantra, “I hope so, I hope so.”

But then, how does it come? I can’t see Hope but as I trust in God. Oh. I thought I was trusting. Reflecting on that thought, I realized that I was trying to be hopeful.

I think I get it! The Holy Spirit will empower me to have hope as I turn to God and let go of all my ideas about how everything should go.

The next day,at our candlelight Christmas Eve service, a special friend passed me a greeting card. I peeled it open and on the front in capital letters: HOPE. Eagerly I looked inside to read the message. There it was again: “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Hope- another gift from the Father of Lights. A word to carry all year long.

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