Guest post by Pastor Scot Painter.
Hope – a confident expectation of good things to come.
I remember reading this definition years ago from a pocket dictionary. I have quoted it often when talking to others that needed a good dose of hope in their lives. You know, a good dose of hope is just what we need as we move forward into the New Year. We need a confident expectation of good things to come!
“Hey! Easier said than done, preacher. You don’t know what kind of year this has been.” Well, believe me, I know. Adversity seems to be coming an old companion of mine.
I look at adversity like this: I can let it whip me down or whip me up, into shape, and I always seek to choose the latter. If trouble’s going to be hanging around I can let it be either bad company corrupting good character or I can let it be good company exposing bad character (1 Cor. 15:33).
Of course, the great secret is that as we place our hope in the Lord, he will always renew our strength and cause us to soar on wings like eagles, to run and not be weary, to walk and not to faint (Is. 40:31).
That’s always my prayer, “Lord, let those adverse wind currents blowing into my life lift me up into new realms of your glorious likeness and let me ascend from glory to glory as I abide in the shelter of the Most High” (Ps. 91; 2 Cor. 3:18).
Hebrews 12:26-29 reminds us that God promises to shake not only the earth, but the heavens, so that the things that can be shaken will be removed, and the things that cannot be shaken will remain. It doesn’t take a Christian rocket scientist to figure out that God is shaking not only the nations and governments, but he is also shaking the financial kingdom of this world. But we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken.
If our confident expectation of good things to come is in anything of this fallen world, we will be in for a big disappointment. But if our hope is in Christ’s kingdom that cannot be shaken, we will be standing on solid ground. As the fallen world crumbles around us, let us not be moved from the place of giving thanks, worship, and reverence and awe to God (v. 28). When you see God as a consuming fire burning up all the wood, hay and stubble around you, take courage and comfort in the fact that, that which is truly God’s work will not be lost.
We all need a good dose of hope as we move into the new year of 2012! Let’s not allow the pruning process to cause us to lose confidence in God’s Word. Instead, may the root of hope in us find nourishment deep in the soil of God’s faithfulness so that new sprigs of faith will spring forth, bearing new and mature spiritual fruit in our lives. People of God! Let’s renew our hope in the Lord and start a new year with expectations of good things to come. God bless!
Scot Painter is the pastor of Father’s Heart Fellowship in Hampstead, North Carolina.