If you pay attention to the way we speak and the way we act, we're always hoping for something.
"I hope our company does well this year" / "I hope he isn't mad at me" / "I hope God answers my prayer" / "I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow" / "I hope this sickness isn't something serious"
As human beings, we hope. It's our default setting. We attach our security and our sense of peace and rest to something every day. The question is not whether we hope, but what holds our hope.
I want to give you five principles about hope as we kick off 2016. I "hope" this devotional will help shape the way you think about your life in the new year.
1. You Hope In Something.
You could argue that the life of a human being is propelled by hope. From the little momentary hope of the young child for a new toy to the profound hope of the adult for meaning and purpose, we all hope. We all place our hope in someone or something, and we ask that person or that thing to deliver something to us.
2. Hope Is A Lifestyle.
Your hope shapes the way you live. Your hope causes you to make the decisions that you make. A lack of hope causes you to feel stuck and unmotivated. Confident hope makes you decisive and courageous. Wobbly hope makes you timid and indecisive. Hope is not just something you do with your brain. You always live your hope in some way.
3. Most Of Our Hopes Disappoint.
We all do it: we place our hope in things in this fallen world that simply can't deliver. Your spouse can't make you happy. Your job won't make you content. Your possessions can't satisfy your heart. Your physical health won't give you inner peace. Your friends can't give you meaning and purpose. When our hopes disappoint us, it's a sign that we've put our hopes in the wrong things.
4. There Are Only Two Places Of Hope.
The theology of hope is quite simple - there are only two places to put your hope. You rest the hope of your life in the hands of the Creator or you look to the creation for hope. We've been exchanging the truth about God for a lie and worshipping and serving the creation rather than the Creator since the Fall.
5. Hope In God Is Sure.
When you hope in the Lord, you not only hope in the One who created and controls the universe, but also in One who is glorious in grace and abounding in love. No one can satisfy like Jesus. No one can bring rest like the Father. Only the Sovereign King provides an unshakeable foundation for hope.
So as you begin 2016, remember that you're always hoping. Be aware of the false hopes that try to distract your soul, and run to Jesus. Only He provides hope both now and forever more!
- What disappointed you in 2015?
- What does that disappointment reveal about your false hope in creation?
- Where are you at risk of chasing after false hope again in 2016?
- What steps can you take to chase after true hope this year?