As we enter 2011, I'm reminded we live in a world full of people without hope. Many have been searching diligently for a job for months, but it seems there are no jobs out there that will even begin to meet the needs of their families.
There are others whose lives have been devastated by illness and disease; still others' hearts have been crushed by broken relationships with fiances, husbands, wives, parents or children.
They have no hope for the future, no hope for their marriage, no hope for their children, no hope for their finances, no hope for their physical condition, no hope for their spiritual state and no hope that anyone really cares!
Some people are hopeful. They are the optimists who call the glass half full rather than half empty.
They choose to believe tomorrow is going to be a better day. They say, "Somehow, everything will work out fine."
However, unless their hope is in Christ, it is just wishful thinking.
There is no basis for their hope, no substance to it, and that kind of hope, sooner or later, will disappoint us.
Paul says in Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Christians ought to be hope-filled, overflowing with hope!
Our hope is based upon the attributes of God's nature. He is omnipresent, able to be everywhere at the same time. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He is eternal and unchanging. He is faithful and true. We can put our hope in him because of who he is!
Our hope rests upon all God has done. His faithfulness to the saints as recorded in Scripture and his faithfulness to us in the past assure our hope for the future. We can put our hope in him because he has proven himself.
Finally, our hope is grounded in God's word.
In Psalm 119, the psalmist repeats time after time, "I have put my hope in your word."
Isaiah 40:8 says, "The word of our God stands forever."
His word declares that he is able to save to the uttermost, he is the God that heals us, nothing can separate us from his love, and he is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.
As Christians, we have every reason to be hope-filled and to share our message of hope with those who need to hear it in the coming year.