January 1, 2014


As 2014 begins, I find myself wanting to be hopeful. The new year has a way of producing that in all of us, right? We want a fresh start, a resolution or a fun change, something to look forward to.

It's easy to draw hope from the thought of change in circumstances.
Maybe this year, I will get that ________ [ new job / relationship / good habit / self-discipline / new living situation / etc. etc. ]

But what happens when our dreams aren't fulfilled, when our hopes don't come to fruition? What if we find ourselves in the exact same circumstances this time next year? (or what if our circumstances change for the worse?)

It just points to the fact that we must place our hope somewhere else . . . somewhere that will not disappoint or leave us feeling empty after striving and longing for yet another year.

The Bible talks a lot about hope, but it's hope that is beyond this world. We all yearn to have our desires met, our soul's longings fulfilled. We try to find that in circumstances, in things we can see and touch and taste and feel. But as I've heard someone say - we are eternal, so we need something eternal to fulfill us.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,  where Jesus has gone . . . 
- Hebrews 6:18-20

 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
- Romans 5:5

And maybe this year will indeed bring wonderful blessings - God is our loving Father and He does give us good gifts. That's part of what He does. But, we do not have to put our hope solely in circumstances. We have something far greater than anything this world could give us or death could take away. The greatest gift God could ever give us is Himself - I pray that we would know that, not only as head knowledge, but heart knowledge . . . that our souls would find everything we could ever want or need in Him. That whatever this year does bring, our hearts will find rest and contentment that circumstances cannot touch.

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