Do you have a word for the year? I know many people choose that instead of a New Year’s resolution. My word for the year is hope. I don’t know what God is going to do in my life this year, centered around hope, but as the word is in my heart, I notice that I am finding hope everywhere.
But, just what is hope? Dictionary.com defines hope as, “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”
Read those words carefully – “…will turn out for the best.”
So that means that right now, today, things might not be going as well as we’d like. We often find ourselves hoping when things are not so good, don’t we? When things are going well, we may hope they continue to go well, but our hope is usually tied to wanting our situation to improve.
Most people probably know one of my favorite verses about hope, from Jeremiah 29:11, (ESV) –
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
That right there, is something to grab hold of – the Lord has plans for us! He knows the path our life will take and He is working it out for good. Because of that, we can hope in Him!
Recently, I went to put on a necklace that I bought sometime last summer. It’s one of those necklaces with a word on the pendant. That word? Hope.
After Christmas, I bought a little decorative plaque because I loved the colors, but also the words on the plaque. What are the words on the plaque about? Hope.
That’s what I meant when I said that I am finding hope everywhere!
That also means that things aren’t necessarily going as well as I’d like them to, in various aspects of my life. There are times when I feel overwhelmed; you probably have those same kinds of feelings. Other times I feel like I’m just plodding through a day, really not making much of a difference except to keep my kids fed and clothed.
Friends, don’t those days of just getting by seem to zap us of our energy and joy for life? And that’s where hope comes in.
Psalm 71:14, (ESV) –
But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
That’s what we need on those long days, isn’t it? Continual hope. More and more praise.
Even though our situations may be difficult, they give us opportunity to declare Psalm 71:14 in our lives. When we can take our circumstances, whatever they may be, and declare hope and praise over them, God will work out those plans for our good.
Romans 8:28, (ESV) –
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
For me, hope means that God must be at work because situations aren’t as I’d like them to be. I don’t even think situations in our lives are always what God wants them to be – that’s why He wants to see us growing in our spiritual lives.
When we’re hoping, though, we’re also trusting God. And that’s right where we need to be, isn’t it?
Where are you finding hope in your everyday life?