5th December 2013

The Gift of Hope 

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
 

As Paul writes his letter to the church in Ephesus he gives the Christians there an opportunity, a brief moment, to assess who they are, where they had come from, and where they were going. 

In Ephesians 2:11-13 (NLT), he tells them; “Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth…in those days you were living apart from Christ.  You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and did not know anything about the promises of God, in fact you lived in this world without God and without hope; but now you belong to Christ Jesus!” 

Notice that while they lived apart from God, they lived their lives without any hope whatsoever! We have all been there; at some stage in our lives, we also—‘were without God and without hope in the world!’ But now we serve the Lord Jesus Christ and the great God who will fill us with hope because that is what He wants for us as his children; because he is the God of hope. I might just mention that the Greek word for hope is elpo, which means “to look forward to with pleasurable confidence and expectation.” 

Notice the great blessing that this wise old Apostle passes on to the church at Rome, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NKJV Italics mine).  He introduces an incredible idea in this passage—that we “may abound in hope.” He means that we “may have enough to spare, a supply that is overflowing, excessive beyond measure.” 

In a world where many people would just like to have a ray of hope, we have been given hope in abundance—plus—all joy and peace! When our loving God gives us gifts it is with overflowing generosity. 

Prayer
Our generous Father, thank you that you know we need this gift of hope, with all joy and peace added, in our lives. Pour it down upon us abundantly that we might live a life of joy and peace filled with great hopefulness.
Amen
 

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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