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Where you find hope is as important as having hope

Brad McKenzie

I trust all reading this column are doing well and staying healthy and encouraged!  As another week comes to an end, there is a fresh opportunity to reflect and give thanks.  Many in our community are starting to find a “new normal” during these days, but there are also many who are fatigued both mentally and physically.  Whatever your current experience may be, it is my prayer for hope to be alive and well in your existence.

“I hope so,” has become a common phrase many are using when considering present and future circumstances.  Hope is an aspect of life so essential there is nothing able to replicate it.  One of the essential elements of hope comes in where and what is the source of hope.  We must be very cautious of where we find our hope, place our hope, and live in hope.  The only true hope in this life is the hope given to us by the grace and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Romans 15:4 (NIV) “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Scripture is the Word of God given to us so we can know the plan of salvation and the hope given to us through the victory of Christ.  The Apostle Paul tells us scripture was written so we may have both endurance and encouragement in all of life.  If you think about it, endurance and encouragement is a great way to define and understand hope. For Paul, the source of hope is Jesus and we find endurance and encouragement in Jesus through His Word!

Back to our passage from the past couple of weeks.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”

I would like to challenge the idol many worship of self-sufficiency and living life based on our own human wisdom and understanding.  When we depend on our ability to figure life out and base wisdom on our own wisdom, we will often be disappointed and have very little hope.  So again, the source of our hope is so essential in living in hope!

So, it is a fair question for all of us to consider: “where do I find my hope?”  If your hope often falls apart and often disappoints you, most likely your hope is found in the wrong place and more importantly the wrong source.  The good news is it is never too late to change the focus of our source of hope!  Today is the day you can decide to put your hope in Jesus!  The only real hope we can have in this life is when we fully trust in Jesus Christ!

Our community needs hope!  I am going to ask you to continue to help me in spreading this great news by sharing Proverbs 3: 5-6 this coming Monday through Friday at 3:05 pm.  This could be through social media, a phone call, email, text or even a note you mail to someone.  Let us flood our community with the call to trust in the Lord and in trusting, help or friends, family and neighbors find the hope we have in Jesus!

Trusting in Him Together!  You are valued and loved!

Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.