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What is your hope for theNew year? What is hope? Is it a wishy-washy, perhaps, or a kind of unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is: to wish for, or to expect, but without any certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire. For example: “I hope I win the lottery!” There is no assurance that you will ever win the lottery! Some people trust in themselves; some in others; in doctors, or in their savings accounts, but all of these can fail. But hope in God is an absolute certainty!

The word for “hope” in Hebrew and Greek is an indication of certainty. Hope in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.”

Our only hope is found in God, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6).

People are always hoping! But many are looking for hope in all the wrong places. The lottery, casino’s, card clubs, and race tracks come to mind. I was behind a man in a market one day, as he cashed his welfare check and bought dozens of lottery tickets. They are just hoping for their ship to come in. When my ship comes in, I will probably be at the airport!

Hope is one thing that keeps us going and gives us something to live for. Without hope we could never deal with life’s problems. We would never be able to bounce back from life’s obstacles. Even the slightest glimmer of hope that our situation will turn around keeps us going. Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.

•Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.

•Hope motivates in the midst of discouragement.

•Hope energizes when the body is tired.

•Hope sweetens when bitterness comes.

•Hope sings when all melodies are gone.

•Hope believes when evidence is lacking.

•Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.

•Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.

•Hope endure hardships when no one is caring.

•Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.

•Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.

•Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.

•Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.

•Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.

My real hope is found in 1 Peter 1:5, where God assures me, I am “Kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Commit the New Year to realizing your hopes!

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