wrapped_present_boxJesus said; “In the world you’ll have trouble.  But cheer up “I have defeated the world.” John 16:33

When life is going well for you, it’s easy to feel hopeful. But when this world brings trouble into your life, feelings of hopelessness can come in, too. Thankfully, the hope that God offers is much more than a feeling: It’s the reality of His presence with you which allows you to experience hope in any situation.

Hope means, “to desire something with confident expectation of its fulfillment.” People have definitions of hope that are different from God’s. We might hope our team wins the Super Bowl, or we might hope we don’t lose our jobs or our house.  But the biblical definition of hope is not a hope-so but a “know-so”.  Our hope in God is surer than the sun rising in the morning. Where is hope found?  It is in the Bible, the Word of God.  Psalm 119:74 “I have put my hope in your word”.

Paul wrote that when you place your trust in God He will fill you with peace, joy, and assurance, Romans 15:13.

So let’s stop simply surviving and start thriving.  Don’t let difficult circumstances stop us from making the most of each day we’re alive.  Realize that even when times are tough, we can do much more than just endure our current situation.  We can actually enjoy life to the fullest – even in the middle of the worst circumstances – when we remember that life if a gift from God and decide to embrace it.

There is hope in difficult times. Even if we reach what we consider to be our lowest point, God’s Word say’s “He will never leave or forsake us” Matthew 28:20.

He will give us peace and comfort even in the worst of circumstances, then lead us through, over or around the muck and mire of our situation, and again set our feet on solid ground.

Trusting God through these uncharted waters takes faith and courage, but is worth every effort. The path of His choosing is the only one that leads to true happiness,

A shining example of living with hope is Victor Frankel, a former prisoner in a Nazi prison camp.

As a long-time prisoner in foul and degrading concentration camps Viktor Frankel found himself stripped to naked existence. His father, mother, brother, and his wife died in camps or were sent to gas ovens, so that, except for his sister, his entire family perished.

How could he with every possession lost, every value destroyed, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, hourly expecting extermination – how could he find life worth preserving? Frankel clearly saw that it was those who had nothing to live for who died quickest in the concentration camp. One of his darkest moments, as written in his book; ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, he writes; “In a last violent protest against the hopelessness of imminent death, I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world, and from somewhere I heard a victorious ‘Yes’ in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose”.

At that moment a light was lit in a distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable grey of a dawning winter morning in Bavaria. ‘Et lux in tenebris lucent’–and the light shineth in the darkness.” He could now live with a renewed sense of hope.

God’s promises are indeed a genuine source of hope that does not disappoint. There is nothing on this earth more certain than hope in God.  He will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us.  He is our anchor in the present and for the future.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

God says that He has plans for us and He knows them even if we do not.  Our stockbroker or financial adviser might have plans for us too, but they do not know the future, they may try to plan for a secure future but they do not have the ability to bring it about.  God knows our future and is planning it better than anyone else can, even ourselves.

If we have our hope in the right place, that is not in ourselves, our jobs, our circumstances, but in God alone, we will never be disappointed.

I have often times wrestled with tomorrow while I lay down to sleep.  The many “what if’s” haunt my mind and do not allow me to sleep as I rehearse the day’s events and worry about what happens tomorrow if….  But worrying about tomorrow is borrowing trouble from tomorrow and spending it on today.  When we realize that tomorrow is already taken care of by God alone and the hope we have in Him, then we can find rest.  It is easier to sleep tonight if we know tomorrow is in God’s hands.

“…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint,” Isaiah 40:31.

So let us go into this new year with a renewed sense of hope knowing God is in control. His promises are a genuine source of hope that does not disappoint.

Please join us each Sunday at First Baptist Church at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. We are located at 700 Hardy Way. For more information, transportation or to request prayer call 702-346-7061 and please visit our website at fbcmesquite.com.