Hope

What is one thing you hope will happen in your life in 2018?

What is one thing you hope will happen in the life of someone you love in 2018?

Read Romans 5:1-5. How is Christian hope different from worldly hope? Worldly hope is often just wishful thinking. When things don’t go the way we planned or when problems don’t get solved the way we think they ought to, we are disappointed. However, Christian hope does not disappoint (v. 5) because our true hope is Jesus Himself, and the promises of His love.

Lewis Smedes writes, “At its core, hope looks beyond a cure for a disease, a solution for a problem, an escape from pain, for assurance from God that life has point and meaning in spite of disease, problems, and pain. Hope looks to the promise of the final victory of Jesus Christ over all that hurts and kills. This is the hope that gives a person courage to praise today and to face tomorrow with expectancy even when one does not expect the problem to be solved.”

In 2018, how can we have a more hopeful love for those around us? Sometimes it will be in our power to help someone in need (ex: a financial need, a timely conversation, etc) and we should embrace these opportunities to serve. In the frequent times when it is beyond our power to solve a problem (ex: suffering and sickness, a person’s struggles with sin), we will not give up on what God can do in someone’s life.
We will not simply “hope for the best”, but we will pray for the best, knowing that we can trust God no matter what.

With that in mind, spend time in prayer. Thank God for the hope He gives us through Jesus. Thank Him that we have peace with Him (Romans 5:1) and that we can look forward to sharing in His glory (Romans 5:2). Ask God to remind you how much He loves you (Romans 5:5). Ask God to give you one specific idea (and the courage to act on it) for the first week of 2018 where you can show the love of Jesus to someone in a practical way.

Hope

What is one thing you hope will happen in your life in 2018?

What is one thing you hope will happen in the life of someone you love in 2018?

Read Romans 5:1-5. How is Christian hope different from worldly hope? Worldly hope is often just wishful thinking. When things don’t go the way we planned or when problems don’t get solved the way we think they ought to, we are disappointed. However, Christian hope does not disappoint (v. 5) because our true hope is Jesus Himself, and the promises of His love.

Lewis Smedes writes, “At its core, hope looks beyond a cure for a disease, a solution for a problem, an escape from pain, for assurance from God that life has point and meaning in spite of disease, problems, and pain. Hope looks to the promise of the final victory of Jesus Christ over all that hurts and kills. This is the hope that gives a person courage to praise today and to face tomorrow with expectancy even when one does not expect the problem to be solved.”

In 2018, how can we have a more hopeful love for those around us? Sometimes it will be in our power to help someone in need (ex: a financial need, a timely conversation, etc) and we should embrace these opportunities to serve. In the frequent times when it is beyond our power to solve a problem (ex: suffering and sickness, a person’s struggles with sin), we will not give up on what God can do in someone’s life.
We will not simply “hope for the best”, but we will pray for the best, knowing that we can trust God no matter what.

With that in mind, spend time in prayer. Thank God for the hope He gives us through Jesus. Thank Him that we have peace with Him (Romans 5:1) and that we can look forward to sharing in His glory (Romans 5:2). Ask God to remind you how much He loves you (Romans 5:5). Ask God to give you one specific idea (and the courage to act on it) for the first week of 2018 where you can show the love of Jesus to someone in a practical way.

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