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A Faith That Hopes

Daily Reading: Romans 15

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15.13)

 

Devotional Thought: "And I don't want the 'Sunday school answer...'"  I've used that line in Sunday school before! What I mean is that I want some thought put into the answer, not just a rote response to the question.

 

In Romans 15.13, Paul mentioned some of the great themes of Christianity: joy… peace… trust… power…  Those certainly are all wonderful possessions of the Christian - even if they are tried and true 'Sunday school answers!'  Hope, however, is the overarching concern of this verse.  Paul even uses that quality to describe God: He is the God of hope.  Hope is not wishful thinking.  Hope is confident expectation; it is delight-filled anticipation.  Hope means that I really do anticipate – hence plan for and build my life around – the blessing of God.

 

As Christians we have hope!  We have hope in this life and hope in the life to come.  We earnestly hope for the return of the Lord and the triumph of light over darkness.  We live in hope that God will deliver us from and through our present trials.  It is hope that enables us to endure.

 

And, we abound with hope!  That means at least three things:

·       I have more hope than I can contain.  The hope that I have in Jesus Christ goes beyond my need or even my ability to comprehend.

·       Hope cannot be contained to just my sense of anticipation.  It runs over, impacting my present joy, peace, faith, endurance, etc.

·       The hope that I have spills out on to others.  People I’m around have their hopes lifted because they have been with me.  That is one reason why it is so important to have Christian fellowship!  We share our hope!

 

I'll take that 'Sunday school answer' any day of the week!

 

Prayer: Lord, may I and all those I love overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 27.7-10

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!

8 You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek."

9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!

10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.

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