We all desire the carefree, smooth-sailing, easy-living life. And so how do you respond when life gets hard? Jesus tells us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We are also given in the Psalms some guidance on how to live through trying times: Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:5)
Hope is a small word, but it is powerful. Why? Because in hope lies the power to turn to Jesus and live as if we truly believe He has overcome the world and can be trusted with our lives. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
Some people think hope is an emotion, but I think true hope is an intentional decision to believe in Jesus’ reality and power, even when the world seems to be crashing down around you. Norman Vincent Peele said, “That is the genius and the power of hope. It flies in the face of calamity, saying, ‘The world can do its worst to me. But still I will hope. Still I will know that this is the day the Lord has made, and He will take care of me.’”
I think the key to surviving any challenge or difficulty is hope. Hope that Jesus loves you. Hope that He is, right now, working out a solution for you. Hope that the future you place in His hands will be better than the present you hold in your own. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
This coming weekend we will be starting a new sermon series titled “Hopeful Living.” We will be going through the book of 1 Peter. In 1 Peter we are told that though there is suffering in this world, we have a living hope and can rejoice in all things!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
Hope to see you this coming weekend, and please consider inviting some friends to join us.