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  • Tabitha Caplinger

The Thrill of HOPE

Christmas is supposed to be a merry time. Its supposed to be all about joy and giving and hope. But it occurrs to me that while I am wrapping gifts and baking cookies and decking the halls, not everyone is so joyful. Some are grieving. Some are lonely. And some have simply lost hope.

The dictionary defines hope as, "the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best:" If that is hope a lot of us lack it. Maybe just for a day but unfortuantely there are those who have a hard time finding much to hope for any day.

Situations arise and we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We get caught in the darkness of our own fear and anger and pain and lose sight of the goodness of God.

Yes, I said that. We don't think its what we do. Especially if we are good Christians. We are supposed to be full of hope. But when bad things happen its difficult to believe they will get better. EVen when we love God we have a tendency to place our hope in circumstance rather then in Christ.

Don't get me wrong, the thing you are hoping for (the job, healing, a relationship) is ok. Its ok to hope for things. But our hope should be rooted in Christ. When we learn to do that it doesn't matter the eventual outcome. Our circumstance become uncircumstantial to our attitude, to our hope and joy.

Real, lasting hope can't come from things. It comes through the Spirit of God living in us. When we learn to abide in Christ hope is a natural side effect. Catch that word abide. It is to remain, stay, continue. It is a giving ourselves over to Jesus, completely. Not just a passing acquaintence but a deep, growing, 24/7 relationship.

I don't know where you find yourself today. I don't know what pain and sadness rears its ugly head, maybe more so during the Holidays. I don't know what you have so long been wanting and needing that the wait has taken its toll. What I know is that Christ in you is the hope of glory. It is only through a real relationship with Jesus that you can move beyond circumstances and into a hope that is unexplainable.

Maybe you don't believe in all that. What would it hurt to give it a try. I'm not asking you to put your hope in people, or church, but in Jesus. to really give Him the chance to make a difference in your heart and mind. Not just for this season or situation but for a future that He has promised you.

My prayer for you is the words of Romans 15:13, "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."

PS: For those who are saying, 'yeah, well, I do have a relationship with Jesus and still can't seem to find a lot to hope for right now." I give you the words of David in Psalm 43:5. "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? HOPE IN GOD; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God." David went through some rough times. And he didn't always feel like God was there. But despite what he felt he chose to rely on what he knew. And that was that God is faithful and good and working behind the scenes. So when he got down, and scared and angry and all the things we get he reminded himself to hope. He spoke to his own spirit, his own heart and mind and told himself to choose hope. You have that same ability. You can speak to your own heart, mind and emotions and tell them to praise, tell them to bless the Lord, tell them to HOPE IN GOD.

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