Bleak or Blessed?

Have you ever wondered what can make us wake up one day and feel as though everything is going to be fine and feel at peace, but the next day have this sense of doom, while looking at the very same life? Or is that just me?

A project I am writing for had placed “hope” on a list with the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. The info wasn’t trying to say it was in the passage; just that it was a virtue offered to us from God like love, joy, and peace.

As I began to look at this idea on a deeper level, I realized I often struggle with the Biblical concept of hope. Do I believe when I die I’m going to Heaven? Well, yes. But on a consistent basis, am I growing in the promise of God that life can be full of hope—today and on into eternity. And then why can I have hope? The only answer can be because His presence is with me. And not only to feel it, but to actually grow in my belief and reliance upon it. Once again, then why? Because I trust Him more. More trust in Christ brings more hope in Christ.

So having hope requires faith. Can I just quote Jeremiah 29:11 or do I actually trust God to the point of living it out? Is it a bumper sticker or a belief statement?

Who doesn’t want more hope? I have decided I do. As we move into this new year, I want to both inspire and challenge you to think about your own level of hope. Do you believe God has your back? And your front and your sides? Is He in your today? Next week? This year? And, of course, eternity?

I want to have more days in 2014 where I focus on my blessings than having thoughts of being bleak. That certainly won’t mean life will be without its problems, but actually more how I perceive it. My choice to view life through God’s filter or my own. And why would I do that? Only because His presence is with me and I trust Him . . . more.

I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering. —Jeremiah 29:11 CEV

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