By Stacey Kuszak
I talked with several women last week at the brunch and asked them how their Christmas was. The overwhelming response was “Iʼm glad itʼs over.” Carey alluded to this last week, but we arrive in the New Year exhausted, donʼt we?
What is it about the end of December that leaves us feeling like we are over it? Maybe we are weary from all of the holiday hoopla . . . maybe we are discouraged that the year didnʼt go as we had hoped . . . maybe we are stuck.
But what promise does January hold that canʼt be found in December? I admit I am of the camp that loves to buy a new calendar, a squeaky clean journal and new pens to sit down and plan and dream about my year. As a new calendar year stretches out before us, I think what most of us feel is hope. For a brief moment in time our calendars are blank, our thoughts are new, and anything seems possible. We can change . . . we can do better . . . we feel empowered. Right? We are hopeful.
Iʼm sure if I went around the room this morning each of you could tell me something you are hoping for. It would run the gamut from the usual New Yearʼs resolutions to those of you hoping for freedom . . . a cure . . . healing. Perhaps you are hoping someone in your family would come home. Maybe you are hoping for answers. Or, are you longing for direction?
Our souls yearn for hope. And actually, Godʼs Word has a lot to say about it.
Hebrews 6:18-19 says this:
We who have taken refuge (in Christ) have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have is an anchor of the soul. A hope both sure and steadfast.
This hope God gives us, we are instructed to grab onto. We are supposed to take it and hold on. Have you ever wondered why? Perhaps God knows the bumps and curves coming our way. Maybe He knows the sheer speed with which we will race through this year. Of course He knows exactly when and where we will need this hope of His, so He says come, take it, and hold on.
I love the picture of His hope being an anchor for my soul. If Iʼm being honest, I can get carried away in my own hope. My own hopes and dreams can keep me awake at night. And, if left unchecked, I can ﬂoat away into fear.
Lately Iʼve been thinking a lot about my son who is a senior. He will leave for college in the fall. The past six months have been full of hoping and dreaming, for him and with him, about what his next stage of life will be. But, if Iʼm not careful, that type of hoping
can change into fear as I start worrying about all the little things a mother worries about when her son goes off to college.
Yet, Godʼs hope anchors me. I picture myself slowly ﬂoating away from Him and His hope for me, then suddenly the anchor pulls tight and He brings me back close to His heart and His hope.
The passage in Hebrews ends describing Godʼs hope as sure and steadfast. His hope is a sure thing. Itʼs not the wishful- thinking- of- the -world type of hope. It is steadfast, loyal, ﬁrmly ﬁxed and immovable. Think about what you can do with a hope like that!
The exciting thing about Godʼs hope is itʼs not just available in January, and itʼs not dependent on our abilities and strength. This hope is built on the unchanging God and His trustworthiness. Itʼs not some far ﬂung hope based on our own success or failure. Itʼs an anchored hope–a hope of peace, wholeness, and holiness.
My heartʼs desire is that our Tuesday mornings together would be full of this kind of hope. I pray our worship and study and prayer would anchor us to this God of hope.
- That we could bring our hopes and dreams to Him and align them with His hope.
- That each week we would be encouraged to hold on to this hope.
- That we would leave here hope-full–filled to the brim with what our souls crave.
Romans 15:13 says,
Now may the God of hope ﬁll you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We can live hope-ﬁlled lives. We can have a hope-ﬁlled year. Letʼs believe it. Letʼs live it.
Will you pray with me? God, all of the women sitting here in this room are hoping for something. I know some women here sit quietly, afraid to hope. Some are plain worn out from their own hoping. God, will you bring us a fresh season of hope? Will you anchor us in your hope and keep us from drifting off course? God, your kingdom is full of hope. May we experience it today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.