Post from the Past: 9 years ago I wrote a post entitled Hope for 2011. As Beryl and I entered a new year once again I realized that the core message of this post still fits. On one level, I’m surprised that my hopes for 2020 remain much the same as 2011. But on a deeper level I see that doesn’t mean my hopes for 2011 didn’t happen; it just means I still long for more of the same. How about you?
“I don’t particularly care for New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I largely ignore them. I appreciate the concept of setting goals for accomplishments we value, but somehow those resolutions seem to become demanding taskmasters, dissipate with time or turn into unpleasant reminders of failure. And why is it they have to start on Jan. 1st anyway? If something is worth committing to, why not start last October?
I much prefer focusing on the concept of Hope, as it’s used in Scripture. The world uses “hope” to mean wishful thinking. Scripture, when referring to God, uses the word “hope” as a sure thing; firm confidence in who God is rather than in my ability to make things happen. (“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1.)
Romans 15:13 jumped out to me in a new way in recent months: “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”. Wow. Several truths stand out to me here:
- God has authority over Hope. He created it, controls it, and grants it.
- God is defined by Hope. The power to bring about what is unseen is a central part of God’s nature.
- He fills us with Hope. He pours it into us, right up to the brim.
- We receive all joy and peace. As we trust him, he parcels out small morsels of joy and peace. If we’re lucky. No! We get huge quantities of them!
- Hope spills out from us. As if filling us weren’t enough, he pours in so much Hope it overflows. He is not stingy with Hope. What if he were to use that overflow of Hope so that it spills over from us onto others?!
- It’s not from us. It’s evident that the source of this influence is not us; it’s the power of the Holy Spirit at work through us.
As we move into a new year I encourage us to think specifically about, not what we wish for in 2011, but what we Hope for. For me they are:
- Embrace God’s presence
- Choose joy
- Encourage and inspire men
What are 3 Hopes you long for God to bring into your life, as you trust in him, that might spill over into the lives of others?
My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, their daughter Gemma and son Calvin. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I’m convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.