..and thinking and praying…
Well, we are just over a week into the new year, and writers across the internet have flooded the blogosphere with posts recalling the “best of”s 2013 and hopes for 2014. Today, my husband and I started doing some dreaming and goal-setting of our own. As we voiced ideas about going back to school or buying a house someday, I realized there is something life-giving in setting goals and voicing dreams. While we discussed our wishlists, I felt myself get excited about the possibilities in our not-yet-realized future.
Even with the promise of a new year, sometimes life is discouraging, tiring, and overwhelming. Let’s just be real. So as we planned and dreamed of things we’d like to accomplish in the immediate and distant future, our spoken wishes invigorated my soul with hope.
As an apostle for the Living Christ, Paul seemed to know the value of looking forward to the promise of the “not yet.” I think of Philippians 3:14, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, and Colossians 1:5, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel…
The value of looking forward is not in the action of hoping, but rather it is something more objective – the thing hoped for. For my husband’s and my planning, our temporal wishes won’t provide everlasting satisfaction. Though we may buy a house some day, that house will only meet certain physical and material needs for a season of time.
Instead, the life-giving essence of hope is to be found in the eternal. That is what Paul is speaking of above, and is the message of hope throughout the Bible. The substance of our hope is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, the word of truth, namely, the gospel. Do you find yourself discouraged? Is life overwhelming? Think on the gospel.
So as we (and you) are making plans for 2014, and beyond, wish and hope for things with the gospel in mind. May we pursue our goals to the glory of God, for the furtherance of his kingdom, and for the sake of his name.