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Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 (NLT)

“I hope”

Two little words ripe with expectation and emotion.

“I hope the car starts this morning.”

“I hope the doctor calls with good news.”

“I hope the job offer comes through.”

“I hope the bank accepts our offer.”

“I hope my son/daughter grows up to love God.”

“I hope [fill in your own words here.]”

The inherent problem with hope in the physical realm is that it almost always involves something in the present, in what we can see, hear or touch. Often times ‘hope’ is focused on the results of some action we’ve taken or tried to take in order to make our lives more complete, more whole, more comfortable.

But hope built on earthly standards is often subject to the whims of others. But in God’s economy hope isn’t about this world, it’s about eternity. Too often it’s easy to build our hopes for today on our own ability to accomplish something. We look to our past experiences to build future hope. That’s all fine and well if our past is squeaky clean, but for those of us who have a past littered with broken relationships and missed opportunities, building a hope for the future on the efforts of our past is risky at best.

“I hope the grades I got in school get me into the college I choose.”

“I hope the boss looks at my work record when he considers that promotion.

As a believer in Jesus Christ our hope is on the past, but not our past. Our hope is built on the past work of Jesus on the cross and the empty tomb. Our hope is built on spiritual position in Christ and not our ability to live up to someone else’s standards.

When our hope is built on what Jesus can do for us and with eternity in view it makes the troubles of this world pale. It’s the hope of our future, not the regrets of the past or the fears of today that give us joy and patience. It’s our walk with God built on study, fellowship and prayer that empowers us to forge ahead when the battle seems too big for us to handle.

Leave your past mistakes at the foot of the cross. Seek divine power to put your focus on the hope of our future with Christ. Let his word so richly dwell within you that you are able to withstand the attacks the enemy throws your way. Hopelessness comes from focusing on the past and present. Hope comes as we focus on eternal values and goals.

PRAYER: Father God, my past seeks to cripple me. The present tries to wrap me in worry and fear. Empower me by your Spirit to set my focus on a future with you. Give me patience to endure and wisdom to know how to pray as I forge ahead on this journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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