At this very moment, we all can easily think of the dreams and aspirations we desire to make a reality. These dreams, desires and aspirations deep within our souls overflow with excitement as we think about fulfilling them. This anticipation is hope.
Hope is the one element that drives every action we take. Really think about this for a second. Every single action you take in your life is the direct result of hoping for a desired outcome. You go to work 50 hours a week because you hope to provide a good lifestyle for your family, an athlete struggles through endless hours of training with the hope of winning the championship, and if you are single you go out with your friends at night with the hope of meeting someone. Even the actions we do not like are driven by the hope of avoiding pain.
What you place your hope in will drive the actions you take. If you hope for success, your actions will be success driven; if you hope for compassion, your actions will drive you to help others; if you hope for God, your actions will drive you closer to God. But, of course, what we place our hope in may not always have the purest motives. If you hope for lust, your actions will drive you to use others for a cheap thrill.
Because what we hope for motivates our actions, hope in return forms our character. What we hope for signifies the purity and motive of our heart. If our hope is in status, superficial relationships, and the love of money, then what does this say about our heart? Most likely that you are selfish, self-centered, and materialistic. However, if our hope is to grow, helping others succeed on the way, meeting a spouse that is loving and faithful, and raising our children to love God and others; then this signifies that our hearts are filled with compassion and love.
God has Abundant Hope for Your Life
As one begins to learn about the Christian faith, there is one hope we can all be excited for: God has an abundant plan for your life that is greater than anything you can imagine! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.” Before you were born, God created you for a specific plan in which you will thrive on earth and then live in eternal paradise with Him in Heaven. As God created you, He formed desires and longings deep within your soul that coincide with this plan. This is where your dreams and aspirations come from. He also gave you all of the talents and resources needed to overcome every obstacle that stands in the way of this plan. This is the basis of Christian hope, that God created us for an abundant plan, and through our faith in Christ, we will overcome every challenge and walk into this plan. John 10:10 says, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Unfortunately, I know this is difficult to accept, as many of us find ourselves in dire situations. Our past regret, emotional pain, illness or financial difficulty may appear so big that we feel it is impossible for God to help us. Sometimes our constant disappointments makes it hard to believe God wants us to live abundantly. Others may believe it is “God’s will for you to be miserable and holiness is boring and isolated”. In life we will face various crosses and challenges, many of which rightly appear unjust. Jesus warns us that life will bear great suffering. But what God does promise is that, through our faith in Christ, we will always have the grace and power to overcome any challenge we face. This is where your hope needs to kick in. Wherever you find yourself today is completely different than where God wants to take you, and He has a plan to walk you into the abundance of Christ if you let Him.
God is always ready to do something in your life that is bigger than you can imagine; just study all of the Christians and saints who have gone before us. He was too short, but Russell Wilson became a Super Bowl Champion; doctors advised for him to be aborted before birth, but Tim Tebow lived and became an NCAA national champion and Heisman Trophy winner; the media and her political opponents chastised her for her policies and color, but Mia Love became the first African American Congresswoman in Utah; Mother Teresa broke the barriers of poverty to help millions; Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of an America that based on human dignity and not race, and Abraham Lincoln defied members of his own nation to give every American the opportunity to pursue happiness and liberty. These are just some of the millions who have used their faith to do something extraordinary. Their hope was in their faith, and this created a drive so powerful that it overcame immense adversity. This is the hope God has for you.
Ephesians 3:20: “To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of”. Get excited, be passionate about it and place your hope in it! These are not just mere words to make you feel better, these are actually promises written in the Bible for you to tap into. This is a promise that is repeated over and over in the Bible, and this is the same promise that millions of Christians throughout the world are experiencing today. It is a divine right for you to claim and walk into as a child of Christ. Believe in it!
Activity for Today
Walking into the blessings of God and into the Christian faith begins with hope. Throughout the day, just take a minute to read the following Bible verses about the abundant hope God is calling you to. Often we hear of a great hope, but this hope loses power when negative thoughts arise. The second a negative or discouraging thought enters your mind, immediately remind yourself God has an abundant plan for your life, and reaffirm these Bible verses to help you realize how God desires for you to do things greater than you can imagine.
Bible Verses on God’s Abundant Plan for You
Ephesians 3:20-21 To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever! Amen.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
2 Corinthians 8:9 – You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; rich as he was, he made himself poor for your sake, in order to make you rich by means of his poverty.
Phillippians 1:11 – Your lives will be filled with the truly good qualities which only Jesus Christ can produce, for the glory and praise of God.
2 Corinthians 9:11-15 – He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us. For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. And so with deep affection they will pray for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown you. Let us thank God for his priceless gift!
Revelation 19:7-9 – Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. She has been given clean shining linen to wear.” (The linen is the good deeds of God’s people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And the angel added, “These are the true words of God.”