Week 5/Day 2: Hope

Day 2: One Hope

There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV

Carol says:

Accepting my new self-image of being one who is hope-full based on acts of faith, I come face to face with the truth of where I’ve been placing my hope. The way I have allowed the enemy to discourage me with disappointment after disappointment.

Because hope in Christ never disappoints, I see I have not been placing my hope in Him, but in what I hope He will do for me. For my loved ones. This is not the same as having Him as my One Hope. It is using Him as a means to get what I hope for.

It’s time to do some repenting and re-evaluating of where I am placing my hope.

Stacy says:

My oldest son and I were riding in the car when he asked a tough question, When will this situation ever change? It might just end in death. And then he quietly says, I don’t know how you do it.

I was a little taken aback by my reply. Son, it will continue until God has completed the work.

I’ve considered it many times. Asked the same questions my son asked me. But this time, when I answered there was no angst or anxiety. I realized in that moment my once displaced hope has been re-placed, put in the One Place I trust will never disappoint.

Even weirder to me still is the peace I found in those words and the twinge of joy seeping deep into my heart. This season is not easy, and I too realize it might end in death. But not eternal death. For I have faith and believe in God’s promise to draw others to Him no matter what it takes.

How do I do it? my son asked.

The answer is clear. I. Don’t!

It’s the Hope that lives in me. He does it all!

There are many things to place hope in these days. Money. Family. Success. Power. Health. Fitness. Education. But there is only one hope which will never disappoint.

Read the following verses. After reading, not where hope is placed and the result.

Putting our hope in ill-gotten gains (what the world might call shrewdness or short-cuts) or our own wisdom comes to nothing. They are foolish. Putting hope in a quick wit and the ability to talk your way out of anything, is also a foolish hope.

When nations rely on military might, but don’t have hope in God, they will not come out on top. Idolatry, relying on anything other than God, causes us to miss the hope found in His steadfast love.

Read Jeremiah 17:13

What happens to those who forsake God and put their hope in anything else?

What have they ultimately forsaken?

Those who forsake the hope of Israel are put to shame. They are written in the earth: ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Their names not found in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15), for they have turned away from the Fountain of Living Water.

Read Psalm 39:5-7

What is the length of man’s days? What is your lifetime before God?

Who should we wait for?

Life is short compared to eternity. A mere breath. Anything temporal is but a temporary gain, a lot of energy and trouble spent for nothing. The only sure hope we have is found in Him.

Not only is Jesus the hope of Israel, He is the hope of all nations (Matthew 12:18-21). He alone came to save us from sin and death to give us eternal life. He makes peace between us and the Father. When we hope in Him we are never disappointed or put to shame (Romans 5:5).

We talked about hope being wrapped in waiting. Expectant waiting. But not only do we wait in a sense of time, we also wait in service. A la a waiter at a restaurant.

Consider the duties of a waiter who waits tables. List them below.

From this perspective of serving, what are you waiting on? Who or what are you serving with a sense of hope?

Is it worth the waiting? Is it worth serving? Why or why not?

In Day 1: The Heart of Faith we talked about the hope of Abraham, the father of the faithful.

Reread Romans 4:13-18

What are the character traits of the God in whom Abraham believed?

How can these traits fuel hope and faith?

Faith is the key to the promise of grace and its guarantee to all Abraham’s offspring – those who are his children by faith. As with all promises, its fulfillment is tied to the character of God. The One in whom Abraham believed. He is the One who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not exist.

When faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen, then the One who has the power to bring to life what was dead and speak into existence what never existed before, is a good place to plant your hope.

Our God, through Christ Jesus, makes the way for life to be ours, even when we are dead in sin, and to fulfill every promise He makes.

He is the only One worth the wait. He is the One Hope for all creation.

Talk It Out

Talk it over with yourself:

Make a list of the things you are currently hoping will come to pass.

Consider the things you wrote above from a perspective of waiting. Are you hoping more in Christ? or the fulfillment of the hopes themselves?

Talk it over with God:

Ask God to reveal misplaced hope in your life and to move your heart to wait solely for the blessed hope found in your Savior.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV

Exercise Your Faith

Hope:

Define one specific hope you have, something you desire and are waiting on. Write it down on a notecard or piece of paper.

Fold it up. Draw a cross on it.

Surrender this hope to Jesus. Begin to see only Him and not your desired hope.

Reflection Scripture: Creative Journaling

Gather your supplies, and your creation from the first day.

Invite the Holy Spirit into your time of reflection.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13 ESV

What do you notice about your previous reflection experience? Now consider what it reveals about hope.

Is the hope you created yesterday scattered in many places on the page?

Continue the process of coloring or drawing as you reflect on the hope that is within you… your One Hope.

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