I love a fresh, new calendar and the hope a new year brings. But as I sit at my computer writing this post, I must admit, sometimes I need more than a new year, new goals, or a gym membership, especially if the last few years have been hard. I need Hope Himself to wrap His arms around me and assure me everything will be okay. That only happened tangibly once. I felt invisible arms. But most of the time, the closest I get to feeling His assurance is when I’m studying His Word. Scripture is my hope generator. It keeps my hope lights on when life seems dark.
Studying Hope Incarnate’s Names
If you need hope, join me this year in studying the names of Jesus. I believe studying Jesus, Hope Incarnate, will be a faith booster for us all. Following the theme of the names of God in 2023, 2024’s posts and reading plans will be wrapped around the names of Jesus: Savior, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, the Resurrection, Good Shepherd, the Way, Truth, and Life.
Even though “Hope” is not an official name for Jesus in Scripture, all other hope pales in comparison to Him. He is the only Hope that lasts forever. The only expectation that brings everlasting, deep joy and contentment. Everything else is fickle and temporary and comes with its own set of challenges. But not Jesus.
The Power of Hope
Demons submit to Hope’s name. And all who call on His name are made whole.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Romans 10:13
But “Jesus”, the name the angel Gabrielle instructed Joseph to give the child conceived by the Holy Spirit, is known by many names—not only Savior (which is what “Jesus” means.) Each name found throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation represent his character, his position, and his power. He is Immanuel (probably my favorite). He is God with us. We’re never alone.
Hope is alive
I passed by a sign that read, “Fear is contagious, but hope is too.” That’s fitting to our times. So many are afraid, and I know some are losing hope. All of us have experienced those times when hope seemed to be distant and fading. Maybe you’re there now.
I know what it’s like to lose hope. I’ve experienced the grim diagnosis, the closed door, and the lost dream. I also know fear. Fear and hopelessness mixed together color the world in hues of gray, and a colorless world nurtures despair. Despair chains us. It hisses through the fog, “Nothing will ever change.”
Don’t believe it.
Don’t believe the demon of despair.
The beauty of growing older is that with my gray hairs and earned wrinkles I’ve gained the power of perspective. I’ve learned to never say, “Well, this will never change.” Time and time again God has changed things at just the right moment. When I felt doomed to a life of loneliness, emptiness, or pain, God sent a friend, a physical therapy exercise, or an opened window (after the door shut.)
My list could go on and on. I’m proof of God’s goodness and faithfulness, but I’m not alone. Many of you know what I mean. You’ve seen the unthinkable happen. Please share with us in the comments to encourage others!
Five Things to Help Find Hope Again
Through the years, I’ve discovered five things that help me find hope again. You may not like them very much, but if you’re filled with anxiety or despair, I pray you will try.
- Surrender your plans and dreams to His. Surrendering the plans and dreams is a nice way of saying, “Give up.” Stop trying so hard to make it happen. Trust God has a better plan or a better way. Beloved, I’m right with you. I have to surrender my plans and dreams almost on a daily basis.
- Trust His Goodness. We won’t be able to surrender the plan until we trust His goodness which is simply a choice. It’s a prayer away. “Help me trust you are good and want good for me.”
- Shift your focus. Take your eyes off today and place them on eternity. I prayed for many years for “eternal perspective.” The problem is not God’s faithfulness, it’s what or who our hope is in. If the flame of hope is almost extinguished, change perspectives. Look beyond today. Paul wrote these words while in a prison cell: “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” Romans 5:5.
- Write down His faithfulness. Keep a journal in 2024 of God’s faithfulness in your life. Sometimes we need those acts of kindness and faithfulness memorialized in ink, so we can look back through and be encouraged of how He’s come through for us before, how prayer was answered.
- Read the Bible daily alone and with others.
Daily Source of Hope
Remember, hope that’s seen and experienced is not hope. As the scripture says, “Who hopes for what he already has?” So, if you’re in the middle of the now and not yet waiting to experience the reality of your hope, consider using this daily source to breathe life into your waning trust and expectations. It’s a 31 Day Bible reading plan. Yes, the internet is filled with reading plans, but you landed here, so maybe the Lord knows you need these scriptures every. single. day.
Click on the image or printable here.
Instagram faith fridays
Don’t do faith alone. I know it’s not the same as in person but join our fellowship on Friday mornings on Instagram. Just follow me (@wordsbyandylee) and watch for me to go live at 9:00 AM ET. Grab your coffee, Bible and journal, and let’s dig into these scriptures together. If Instagram is not your thing, you can watch the messages on my YouTube channel. If Facebook is your preferred Social Media, my Instagram posts directly to my FB page.
My Prayer for us
Dear Jesus, We are so thankful for the hope you brought into the world. You told us that this world was full of problems and trouble, but you have overcome the world of fear and strife. You promised an abundant life for us, and that life is filled with hope. Some of us could really use an extra dose of your kind of hope–your everlasting hope that gives us peace no matter what we’re going through. We need a glimmer of light. Silence the voices of fear and despair, and lead us to scripture that will reignite the flame of hope inside our hearts and minds. We love you. Help us trust your goodness and faithfulness. Thank you, Jesus, amen.
Other New Year Articles: