Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes the world seems like a dangerous place. It would be easy for us to give up and give in… except there is hope in Jesus Christ. In Jesus God has revealed the power and presence of Divine love in our world. For those New Testament Christians who not only faced persecution for their faith, but sometimes even death; their hope remained solidly rooted in faith in Jesus Christ. Here are several passages that guided them in their day … and us today.
Lord, open my ears to hear your Word. Open my eyes to see your truth. Open my heart to embrace your love. Amen.
Monday – Romans 5:1-5
Paul is writing a letter of introduction to the church in Rome, so they would understand what he believed and what he preached. This passage ends with hope, but begins where? Can you trace the path from the beginning to hope? And why does Paul say this hope will not disappoint us? Does this hold true for us today? How?
Tuesday – 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
Depending upon which version or translation you are using, the word hope may only appear one or two times. Yet, the theme of this passage is how the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us hope – in this world and the next. How does faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ give you hope? How does it change your perspective on truth and reality?
Wednesday – Colossians 1:15-23
There’s a promise in verses 22-23. What is it? Paul talks about the hope of the gospel. What is it? How is the “hymn” of verses 15-20 connected to the message of the gospel? This is why I believe that any message that does not center on the person of Jesus Christ is not Christian and not Biblical. Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation and the heart of our hope.
Thursday – Titus 2:11-14
Titus was a young associate of Paul’s, a young pastor Paul would put in charge of churches when Paul traveled on to the next mission site. This letter is Paul’s coaching for young Titus. What does Paul teach in this passage? In whom is our hope? Is our hope to be realized immediately? If not, what do we do in the meantime? How does that shape your agenda today?
Friday – Hebrews 6:1-11
This passage is dire warning to those who slide away from the truth revealed in Jesus Christ, but hope for those who persevere. The writer makes a promise in verse 10. What is it? What are the writer’s instructions in verses 11-12? What does that mean for you and the responsibilities you have for this day?
Saturday – 1 Peter 1:3-9, 13-16
Where does this living hope come from? What is the pivotal event that reveals the power of this hope? Trials and troubles do not tarnish this hope. Quite the opposite; challenges refine our faith and our hope. It is what God wants to do in us, while working through us. So in whom do you place your hope? How does this impact the way we live our lives at work, at school, at home?