This time of the year thousands of people will make New Year’s Resolutions, but most of the time by the time January is over the resolutions are forgotten. (I know, I have failed in keeping them in years passed too.) Why? I believe it is that we are trying to do what is right in our own strength or will power. We are resolving to do something that has, for most, defeated us many times in the past. Good examples are losing weight and getting in shape. Most KNOW what we should do, but doing it consistently is our problem.
We as Christians are to be a people of faith. Faith starts with hope. Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The Greek word translated hope root word means “to anticipate, usually with pleasure … or confidence.” (From New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary) So before faith we must expect/hope that God will provide the strength to continue doing what we need to do.
Ps 33:18-22 - Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, 19 to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. 22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.
We see in the Psalms passage above that when His children fear (respect and revere) Him and hope in His mercy, The Lord will deliver from death and famine.
Then in verse 21 the prayer because of His mercy He will “be upon us” or bless us, “just as we hope in” Him. The Lord lives in each and every child of His! He empowers each one of us to walk with Him and serve Him for His Glory. We simply need to believe Him to equip us with His power to enable us to live for Him. Hear what the Psalmist says to us about our need to hope.
Ps 31:23-24 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. 24 Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Ps 38:15 For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.
Ps 39:7 "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Ps 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God
5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Then in Proverbs there is a great statement about hope.
Prov 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Sometimes I believe we want God to just empower us so greatly there is no effort on our part to accomplish what He wants us to do in us, like lose weight. We have the power of the Holy Spirit in us to do great things. We must simply walk in hope and believe in His power for the ability to overcome the obstacles that stops us from doing and becoming what we know God wants to accomplish in us.
Rom 8:24-25 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
1 Cor 9:10 For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
I finish with one more thought on hope.
Rom 12:12 “rejoicing in hope”
Our lives are to be a time of rejoicing, walking in hope, trusting in the love and grace of our Lord for us.
(All Bible verses are from the New King James Version)