Find Your Hope and Encouragement In God’s gift of Grace!

Hope has been the reoccurring theme over these past few weeks. When there is so much despair with anger, hatred and misinformation in the air our nation and world seems to be without hope. Wars, division, outright disregard for the truth becomes disheartening and frightening. As we see election day approaching we wonder if there is any hope to a good and and a hopeful future. Turning on the television seems to only provide fodder as fuel to the negativity and hopelessness that many are feelings in this critical time.

Hope comes from turning off the airways and opening our eyes and hearts to God’s Word. The Word who is life! It is more life giving when we face the uncertain future with hope rather than with despair and disbelief. The anxiety and suspicion subsides when we allow our faith, trust and belief in the Word of God to be our source for encouragement and opening us up to experience God’s grace filled love. My thoughts very quickly move to familiar scriptures to reinforce and strengthen the notion that those who are in Christ Jesus our Lord can find encouragement to be hopeful again. Let our study, reflection and embracing of God Word bring us to a place called Hope!

Hope resounds in God’s Word listen to the prophet Jeremiah:

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

The words of the prophet are encouraging as we hear them allow them to take root in our hearts. Our hope is not found in flesh and blood, in words spoken to bring fear, or as an angry banter, rather hope comes from the God who is resurrection and life. Seven brothers along with their mother rather than forsake their traditions and their faith find courage from the hope of resurrection and new life. So too in the Gospel when the question arises as to the resurrection from the dead Jesus reminds those who doubt that God spoke of this truth in being the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, for God is the God of the living and not the dead. That for them and for us their is hope for living because of the power of the resurrection in Jesus Christ. This has the ability to be a new Hope for us even today, a new encouragement and a new grace.

“It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;

2 Maccabees 9:13

Hope is the message that Paul gives to the people of Thessaloniki. This major city of the Roman Empire a small struggling community of followers of the new way were constantly being mistreated, arrested, and many falsehoods about Jesus’s returning were spread. There was great hostility to the church but the faith grew and Paul wrote to encourage them because he was unable to return to visit. This the second of two letters written from Corinth are the first of the New Testament books. They found hope in the suffering and mistreatment from Paul’s encouragement in the faith.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Hope is the source of our encouragement and strength. Do not be dismayed, each of us as Christians and citizens must have the courage to do good in our duty to the common good. This weekend is Souls to the Polls weekend. Let us work to bring about a society a community that witnesses to the good that can come forth when people of faith see in each and every person value and dignity. We have the means to make our community and society better, but our hope comes from Christ who strengthens us and through whom grace abounds.

Hope enables us the move beyond the hype, the misinformation and lies that are perpetuated. No matter the final outcome we are encouraged by the truth that no matter who sits in the seats of government Christ is eternally seated on the throne of a grace and “We know that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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