Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hope Filled Joy and Peace

 "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written:  'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 15:1-6

The time between Christmas Day and New Years Day is always spent pondering the past year and looking forward to a hopeful future.

What is the meaning of hope? - Hope: to have confidence; trust.  To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. To cherish a desire with anticipation (Merriam-Webster & Yahoo Dictionary Search).  Hope sounds like it is selfish "to wish for something" but in the verses above it clearly states that we are to put others needs before our own "each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up."

Let's face it - we live in a selfish society and the desire to put other people's needs before our own is a constant struggle.  However, we receive encouragement and strength to endure the difficulties through the Bible; God's Living Word.
Have you ever noticed how catching a hopeful attitude is?  People gravitate towards someone who is positive, encouraging & optimistic - hope creates unity.  Hope brings people together - one will never be alone if they are hopeful.  On the opposite side - have you ever noticed how someone who has a hopeless attitude is avoided?  People dread being around someone who is negative, pessimistic & depressed.  A hopeless attitude builds barriers and creates loneliness. 
It is this "hopeful spirit" that will unify Christians together "so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I love the verse below!  When God fills us with His hope - we will be joyful & peaceful.  God's love will overflow from us through our actions and our words.
 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13
Be hopeful in the New Year, putting the needs of others before your own therefore glorifying God!
New Year, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for

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