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Sustaining Hope and Faith

St. Paul wrote his Letter to the Romans, where the great theme is faith in Christ, ground

of our acceptance by God, who treats all people alike, Jew or Gentile. The Lord is our foretaste

of glory to come - a living spring of hope within us. In this season of Advent, can we have a new

hope and possibly a change of attitude from negative to positive. Hope gives us a purpose and a

reason to keep going. Do we wait with endurance or patience? (Some translations use the word

patience and perhaps one interprets that differently from endurance.)

I appreciate the words on a plaque I saw – “Hope is the ability to hear the music of the

future. Faith is the courage to dance to it today.” As caretakers can we act on these words?

Scripture gives us numerous examples of verses that speak of hope. Romans 15:13, “May the

God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the

power of the Holy Spirit.” I trust that my faith guides me through the twists and turns of life and

am grateful to find solace and joy by trusting God’s word and seeking His guidance.

Isaiah 40:31, “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on

eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” Particularly when we

are weary and losing heart, we need the reminders that Scripture provides that hope gives us

strength and endurance. Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in

prayer.” One of my very favorite verses in the Bible, which says it all! How blessed we are to be

able to rejoice in the Lord always! We are encouraged to keep asking, seeking, and knocking

with the hope that God’s deliverance is imminent.

Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with

God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace

in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast

of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance and endurance, proven character

and proven character hope and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been

poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Much here to

reflect on – peace in God, access to God and to grace, joy in our future, a new perspective on

suffering, plus a confident hope in God that pays present dividends in a continuing sense of His

love for us.

Sustaining hope and faith through this end of the year and beyond may take effort and

as resurrection people it will have unimaginable benefits. May we pray together that this hope

encourages, supports and renews our strength for all the seasons of our lives.

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