It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed my absence, but I have missed you. This season has been full to overflowing and I’ve been battling sickness through it all. Yet, it’s been a wonderful season filled with hope and I’m excited to share some with you.

With all that’s been happening in our world lately – wars, hurricanes, floods, shootings, and the loss of jobs and homes, many people are looking for hope. Is the answer more legislation, gun control, more government funded committees to study the problems? No, those only affect the symptoms of our problems. Those who hate will continue to hate, regardless of what weapon they use, spewing their anger on everyone in their path. No, what we need is to treat the source of our problems – the gaping wound we inflict on ourselves when we turn our backs on God.

We need to turn our hearts to God, seek His face, love Him, and obey Him. He is our only hope. The word study I’ve been doing on hope recently has reminded me of this fact. Using a Bible concordance, I am reading every verse in the Bible that contains the word “hope.” I chose to use the Message paraphrase of the Bible for its gritty, no nonsense wording, and even though it’s taking a lot of time, it is SO worth the effort. I’m getting a new perspective and stronger grasp on hope, despite the trials and heartaches of this life.

Let me share three favorites from just this morning, as well as a few others that have renewed my spirit to face this New Year. Perhaps you would like to begin your own word study and write the verses that mean the most to you in a journal. Respond to them in prayer – what questions do you have? What needs? What despair? Open yourself up to God; I guarantee you He will meet you wherever you are and bring you new hope and healing:

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope.
Lamentations 3:19-21, Message

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
Lamentations 3:25-27, Message
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst. Why?
Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
Lamentations 3:28-31, Message

Other favorites:
·         1 Samuel 2:8-10
·         Psalm 39:7-10
·         Psalm 119:81-88
·         Psalm 131:3
·         Psalm 143:7-10
·         Psalm 146:3-9
·         Proverbs 24:13-14
·         Isaiah 33:2
·         Isaiah 49:23
·         Isaiah 51:4-6
·         Jeremiah 51:41-48

 Savor these words of restoration. And lift up your head. There is hope for 2013!