HOPE CANNOT BE CONTAINED
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. Romans 15:13
We are continuing down our road of Advent today once again emphasizing this week's word of Hope as it references the first candle of light. I pray that you wok up this morning with a new found resiliency as the temperatures dropped and if felt a little more like the Christmas season. In the midst of our lives it is the little things, the changes that we are able to see and experience that truly make a difference in our lives. As I have mentioned before in this blog, that our attitudes are the response that we can control towards external situations the may be out of our control. No of us are able to predict tomorrow except in the fact that it is going to be Wednesday and that is the middle of the week for us. Instead I am challenging us during this week that we are emphasizing hope, that we take the time to dig into the hope that we may have lost over the years based on scenarios or situations that didn't turn out for the best. Realize that God is the God of HOPE and that everything works out for the good of God's plan. So yes, if you did not get that Red-Rider BB gun, it is ok. Maybe God has something even better in store for you so that you wouldn't shoot your eye out. (Yes, that is a sad but hopefully plug for the Christmas Story movie that will once again play for 24 hours on TBS starting on Christmas Eve.)
I don't know why, but this time of year, my heart beats a little more rapidly and my mind is filled with the possibilities of what is to come in the next 24 days. I am filled to overflowing with the HOPE that maybe someone will finally realize the truth and power of the Christmas story for the first time and their lives and eternity will be changed forever. Regardless of how uncertainty 2020 has been, I hold to the promise of HOPE that God has something greater in store for us. I know that may seem a little too narcissistic, but really, I have a living hope that
lives in my heart and nothing that is done or said is going to change that fact. Hope lives in US and it can only be defeated when we stop believing in the power of the ONE who created hope... Jesus. So today is another opportunity to press into that word and take a deep look in the mirror and ask yourself, "What is holding me back from having this hope filled life?" Because for a lot of people in the world they wake up each day with an Eeyore type attitude and cannot find any hope in the world. They are unable to see or grasp onto the HOPE that is all around them. All they want to do is find the best way to live in their current state and wallow in the sea of hopelessness.
Today, our lesson on hope comes form the letter that Paul wrote to the people of Rome. Paul, being one that was destined for greatness, never realized the great despair he was living in until he had an actual encounter with God and his eyes were physically open to the HOPE that controlled this world. Paul writes, "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." Paul first acknowledges that God is the God of HOPE that is capable of filling us with joy. I know that may be hard to fathom during one of the worst years of our lifetime in 2020, but there is still a message of joy and hope that the world needs to understand. And the only way that the world will know is if the ones who have this hope found in Christ, are able to share it with the world. I am not saying that it is all smiles and giggles, but that there are moments that God reveals that even in the worst times there is still hope. And the world is watching everything that we are doing to see how we will respond to the chaos and uncertainty of the times. Yes, it is a difficult year, but still recognize the hope that God was able to instill back into our families. Recognize the hope that the world is going to be different and it wasn't just about one part of the world, bur through this disease, the world has been brought together to find a way to overcome. But the most important part is not that we are filled with hope, joy and peace, but that we first have to trust in GOD! We have to humble our spirits and have this HOPE that the God of ALL creation has a plan and that we are part of that plan since we woke up this morning with an opportunity to change the world.
Remember that God has not left us to figure this out on our own. God is calling us to trust in Him and to have HOPE in HIM to lead us through this time through the discernment and guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is the same Holy Spirit that walked with the disciples... this is the same Holy Spirit that was present at creation, and this is the same Holy Spirit that God invites to our worship services every week. The power has not been lost by the Holy Spirit, it is in the FAITH that we have forgotten how to truly TRUST IN GOD that has caused the
hopelessness issue. I mean if you don't believe that God is all around us then just look at a piece of money that we have in our pockets, even the forefathers of this country had HOPE guided by the Holy Spirit that they were going to change not just a country but the world and they have the words IN GOD WE TRUST printed on every piece as a reminder that this HOPE is not about us but about the GOD of ALL creation. So this week I pray that you will get a new perspective on the HOPE that should drive our lives. Just like Jesus, Hope CANNOT be contained, and we need to live out this life in a way that the world can see that we are NOT going to let HOPE be lost. NOW is the time and this is the year that we must fully rely on God and let the world see the HOPE that we have been taught about put into action for the world to see.