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Hope, like faith and love, found in God

by PASTOR BUD McCONNAUGHEY Contributing Writer
| January 20, 2023 1:00 AM

I overheard a conversation the other day where the person was asked what do they hope for in 2023. Their reply was to make it to 2024.

How do you feel about the future? Be honest.

1 Peter 3:15b NIV says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Of all people, followers of Jesus should be brimming with hope. Hope is vital to life and joy in life.

I need to define what I mean by hope before going further. Hope in the form of, “Gee I hope it is nice this weekend.” Is not the hope to which I refer. Hope used in this way is really mere wishful thinking. The hope to which I refer is a kind of hope that doesn’t fail when we cling to it. It is faith that God will do all He promises and our expectation to see fulfillment of those promises in the future. Romans 5:5 says, “And hope does not put us to shame (or disappoint us), because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Hope, like faith, is a matter of choice and perspective. People who are in Christian 12 Step Programs like Celebrate Recovery start by admitting they have some sort of problem they cannot control. They then learn there is a source of power to help them to escape the bondage. This power has a Name. It is Jesus Christ. He not only has the power to help them, but He also has the intense desire to help them. Seeds of faith germinate and hope springs up where there was only hopelessness.

Hope, like faith and love, ultimately finds their source in the heart and Spirit of God. We need constant renewal because we are finite, and our resources are finite. We need constant filling. We look to Jesus for that which we do not have on our own. Prayer and scripture are readily available for those needing hope.

This kind of hope does not run from the grim realities of life. I find the stories of persecuted followers in oppressed countries full of hope. I have heard people with fatal diseases give testimonies of hope. People who have lost loved ones are sustained by hope. They live out the words of the psalmist from Psalm 43:5, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

If you want to explore the source of hope read the Gospel of John. If you don’t have access to a Gospel of John. Stop by North Summit Church and I will give you a free one.

Bud McConnaughey serves on the staff of North Summit Church, 201 N. Division, Sandpoint. If you want to know more about Jesus Christ and His hope, contact us at www.northsummit.com. We’ll be glad to help you or refer you to numerous local congregations and pastors in Bonner or Boundary County.

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