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HOPE IN THE LORD
“Goodbye, 2020, and good riddance!” I heard this sentiment repeated several times over the last few days of the year. I personally felt as though it was one of the longest years of my life and seemed to bring such diverse problems from all directions. From the pandemic, to civil unrest, to election controversy, to all the ramifications of each of these, it felt as though the year was marked by a decline in the human condition. Who wouldn’t be glad to “move on”?
As I listened to folks celebrate the coming of the new year, I was struck by their hopefulness. It seemed to me that for many, many people (if not all) the turning of the page of the calendar offered some kind of escape from the burdens 2020 placed on us.
I would certainly agree that hope is needed for all of us. But the turning of the calendar is a misplaced hope. True hope, the hope that will carry us through every event of the new year, is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 31:24 encourages us, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” The word “hope” in this verse means to wait patiently or to trust in God. When we wait for Him to work all things according to His will, we can be encouraged and our inner man will be strengthened. Ephesians 3:16 promises, “That he (God the Father) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” How can we not hope (wait) when we know he will strengthen us?
While we hope and wait in the Lord’s working, we should be diligently grounding ourselves in his Word. Depending on our limited intellect won’t offer us much hope, but God has given us the Bible to reveal His thoughts and plans. So many times I have said, “I wouldn’t has done it that way,” when God has worked in my life. But, I have learned as the psalmist to wait on God. “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do
I hope” (Psalm 130:5). I can always say God’s way is best!
As we begin a new year, I would like to echo Paul in saying “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). I pray you find him faithful as he works all things for his glory and our good.
Hal S. Pope
IFM Executive Director
“...he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
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