Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 04/25/16

The Gift of Hope

hope illuminates darkness

STORY: Hope is a Surprise Party 

Have you ever been stuck in a spot between stop and go, and wondered why God wasn’t giving you a green light? It’s tempting to lose hope, abandon faith and drop your trust in Him when He doesn’t act on your prayers in a timely fashion. (His timetable is different than ours.) 

I’m in a situation like that right now. We’ve moved to a temporary dwelling, in a temporary town, in a temporary state, until we know where God is moving us for my husband to minister in a new church. I call this “just passing through.” I know the pause won’t last forever, but it already feels like it’s been an eternity. 

Here’s what I wrap my mind around that gives me peace. It’s like God is planning a surprise party for us, and we don’t know the when or the where. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise party if we did, now, would it? That surprise party comes with gifts!

To have this gift, you must embrace it. The beautiful gift-wrapped package of hope is sitting at your feet now. Have you untied the ribbons, ripped off the paper, and opened the box? Let’s look at this grace gift of hope. What life is worth living without it? Hope keeps me going when no other motivator will. Hope illuminates even the darkest of days with glimmers of possibility. Hope tells me there is another day ahead—a better day. Hope whispers “it’s okay” when my heart is heavy. Hope screams out “enjoy life!” no matter what the circumstances tell me.

•    I have an unwavering hope of eternal life. That’s stability.
•    I have hope of a life filled with purpose. That’s responsibility.
•    I have a hope of fulfilling relationships. That’s accountability.

Hope fills my life with beauty. It tells me I will have my needs provided, alleviating all worry. It comforts my soul with peace when the world tells me all is lost. Hope is not dead. Hope is alive and well.

Hope is made possible because of God’s grace. Hope in Him and He will never disappoint.

STUDY: The God of all Hope

Where Does Your Confidence Lie?

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
(Jeremiah 17:7 NLT)

•    What happens to your level of hope when you trust in the Lord and have confidence in Him? 
•    What happens if your hope and confidence are placed elsewhere?

What are God’s Plans for Your Life?

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)

•    Why does knowing God has a plan for your life help you hope?
•    God has good plans for His children—He doesn’t want bad things to happen to them. (Although they do happen because of this broken world spinning on the axis of sin.) 
•    If God is a God who wants to give you a good future, how does that recharge your hope?

How will Your Worship Lead to Your Witness?

Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. (1 Peter 3:15 CEV)

•    If you look at this verse as a step-by-step approach to living a life of hope, what three steps do you see here? 
•    What does letting God be Lord in your life have to do with being prepared to explain your hopefulness? 
•    We can tell others we are hopeful and focus on our attitudes and feelings, or we can tell them about the object of our hope. The latter has the opportunity to give the listener a reason to hope, as well.

STEPS: Trust More, Share More

Acts of trust results in enough hope to keep some and give away the rest.

•    Gain more trust. Focus on why you are confident in the Lord to take care of you whether you are in a “pause” right now, or in a “go” season.
•    Gaze into your future. What plans does God have for you? What purpose are you designed for? The more you know about how God wants to be at work in and through you, the more you can trust Him for the outcome.
•    Get ready. What do you need to do to be equipped to give others an explanation of your hope? (For some, it means getting hope, for others it might mean getting confidence in speaking about it.) Choose hope when things seem hopeless. 
•    Give hope away. Especially to those who look like they’ve lost their way in this life. Tell of the hope that lives inside you. Fan the flames of that hope when it starts to waver. How will you pass your hope to someone else who needs an extra touch of it today? There is always enough hope to go around. Never a shortage. To create more, share your hope with someone who feels hopeless. Some say “hope floats.” I’m not sure what that means, but I do know one thing—hope multiplies.

Let in hope and fears subside. Give away hope and you give the best gift. 

Note: Sections from this devo-study originally appeared in Grin with Grace, AMG Publishers, ©2015. Used by permission.

Give Now