Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hope against Hope

Last week, pollsters said 43% of Americans have little hope the economy will improve any time soon. Today, a poll in USA Today says two-thirds of Americans are hopeful the economy will improve within the next year. What does this tell us? First, not to trust in polls, and second, “hope” is subjective.

The Bible says “deferred hope makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). Hardly unique to our generation, hopelessness has characterized humanity since Adam and Eve hoped for the better things Satan promised! Hoping in anything but God (banks, stock market, government, or people) promises disappointment.

God calls us to a hope founded on His integrity, promising “a hope that does not disappoint.” Listen to this translation of Romans 5:3-5, from “The Message.” We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

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