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Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

This thing called hope

Posted Friday, September 7, 2012, at 8:10 AM

Those who read this column on a regular basis know that I certainly do not us it primarily as a platform expressing my Christian beliefs (though there are many who think I should). However, there has a been a lot of talk about "hope" lately and I felt compelled to weigh in on the conversation.

Scriptures are filled with references about hope; some are very positive and some are of a more negative nature -- especially those which talk about a lack of hope. For instance, Proverbs 13:12 tells us that, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life."

We are also told that waiting on the Lord brings us hope.

We read about the importance of waiting on the Lord -- of hoping for an answer. Psalm 39:7 says, "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." And in Psalm 130:5 we read, "I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope."

In Psalm 38:15, the Psalmist reminds himself -- and us -- that we are to hope in the Lord, for he is the answer. And he calls himself to task on being sad and depressed in Psalm 42:5 when he asks, "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall praise Him for the help of His presence." And he gets back on track in Psalm 72:14 -- "But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more."

In the New Testament, we see hope in action in the form of Jesus throughout the Gospels. Later, in the Apostolic Epistles, we are once again reminded of the hope we have in God.

Romans 15:13 -- "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Hebrews 6:19 -- "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil ..."

Hebrews 10:23 -- "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful ..."

I want to use this column to remind you that hope does not come from anywhere but the throne of God. Not from regulation, not from legislation, not from a specific political party, not from Capitol Hill and certainly not from the Oval Office.

I will close by simply adding one more bible verse. Be blessed!

"Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord." --Psalm 31:24

Note: All scripture references are form the New American Standard version of the bible unless otherwise noted.

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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.
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