Today is deemed Martin Luther King Day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who stood for rightness in the fight for freedom and equality for all men. He was very eloquent in speech and inspired many with his life and his fight against oppression. He challenges the generations to dream of equality and reach for it. Where do you have unrealized dreams today? Are you actively pursuing them, keeping them in focus and grabbing onto opportunities to make them happen?
This year my word is HOPE and like Dr. King I need to put my faith and trust in God and walk in Hope. What about you? Have you chosen patience as your word- do you need to purse patience in moving towards the goals God has for you? Have you chosen structure- do you need to form a plan or have a pattern for your daily success? Have you chosen peace- do you need to develop an attitude of peace in your heart and towards those around you this year? Like Dr. King, we want our dreams and goals to be accomplished and we want to glorify God in the process. I came across this verse today that fits in and encouraged me. Proverbs 16:3 in the Message translation. “Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” Keep God in your focus, in your heart, in your prayer life and He will bring you to it and through it this year for your good and His glory!
As we remember Dr. King today and honor his achievements for mankind. think how much God has for you to accomplish and what wonderful purposes He has for you. We know for certain that He has a plan and a purpose for each of us. “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 Put God in charge of your plans and He will align them with His will to accomplish His purposes. His are the best plans of all. Let go this year and let God be in charge. But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.
Do you have verses that are yours? One of my life verses is Jeremiah 29:11. I first connected with this verse when I was asked to choose a verse for my grandson at his baby dedication. God led me to Jeremiah 29:11 and I began to cling to the promises it holds. The connection for today and every day is the hope contained with God’s Words. “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.” This verse tells me God knows me and my future and He has good planned for me. Those things He has planned are designed to give me hope and a positive future. I am convinced that God loves me and wants the very best for me. I am convinced that God is good, desiring the best for me- for my good and His glory. How can I not have hope?
Does this mean that everything will always be good, happy and fulfilling? No. It means that whatever happens in my life, God can use it for my good. Romans 8:28 confirms this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Since I know and love Jesus, I am assured that He can and does use all things in my life for good. In the hard times, it is difficult to be assured of this, but looking back or looking at others suffering we can often get a glimpse of this truth. This calls for our faith and trust in Him.
I cling to the truths of Jeremiah 29:11 when hard times come, when I see amazing things happen, when I look and plan for the future and seek to know what He would have me do. I ask for His help and guidance as His will is perfect His direction is true. Let Psalm 25:4-5 be your prayer as it is mine. “Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
As we look at hope in scripture we see survival hope, hope in His Word and today I see hope in His steadfast love. God’s love is an anchor for our soul and His love surrounds us 24/7. Knowing God loves us- gives us Hope, knowing God is trustworthy and faithful gives us Hope that is secure in that love. John 3:16 reminds us that God’s love is what motivated Him to come after us, free us and send Jesus to suffer and die to redeem us for all eternity. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. This love, eternal and sacrificial is ours so that we may have Hope.
In the Psalms David captures this love hope and puts it into words we can cling to: Psalm 33:18 “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” Psalm 33:22 ” May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 147:11 “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” We see in these verses hope comes from knowing God’s unfailing love because we revere, worship and adore Him. Hope comes when we put our trust in God, and God is pleased or delighted by our reverence and fear. We know that God is love, and the proof of His love is His sending Jesus to save us. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”1 John 4:10
Meditate on God’s steadfast love today and consider how that love gives you HOPE: 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 13:5 “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” Psalm 33:22 “Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
Begin 2020 with Hope rooted in God’s Steadfast Love,
The Bible assures us of Hope in various ways. As I mentioned first we have survival hope, that is filled with God’s promises, mercy, care and love. It is continual hope that never quits and demand our praise because of its consistency and unendingness. Psalm 71:14 “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.”
Today let’s look at the Hope we have in Scripture. Psalm 119:114 “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.” Psalm 119:147 “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.” Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;” The psalmist knows that God protects him, as He says so in His Word. He know that in all of life’s circumstances when he calls to God for help, he knows God will answer as He says so in His Word. He also knows that timing belongs to God and that as he waits he has hope because of God’s faithfulness in His Word.
Do you have Hope because of the assurances God gives in His Word? For this to be true, you have to open the Bible daily and feast upon His Word. You have to hunger to know Him more fully and rely upon His Word. Make it a priority this New Year to join a group that studies God’s Word each week. Perhaps your local church has such a group, if so join and make it a priority. Perhaps you need another place to study, look up the following organizations and see if there are classes meeting in your city. Both groups have studies for men, women and children. These are both Bible base interdenominational, internationally available studies that systematically delve into God’s Word seeking to know Him more fully and to apply scripture to life. Bible Study Fellowship and Community Bible Study classes are both found world wide! Look up you city, country and see if a class is close to you. https://www.bsfinternational.org/ and https://www.communitybiblestudy.org/
Delve into God’s Word in 2020 and discover HOPE for living.