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January 19 

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(From Gifts from God devotional. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2020)

Hope and Right Living

That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments…

Psalm 78:7

Focus on Christ

I hope we will have world peace. I hope there will be no smear campaigns in the political election. I hope that when I get to work someone has caught up on all my work. I hope that all my bills will be paid by a friend who knows I need a little help. These are examples of wishful thinking, not Christian hope.

Hope does not depend on setting your mind to believe something long enough that it comes true. That is simply wishful thinking. When Christ becomes the center of your life, hope is one of the benefits of that relationship.

To have hope that things will go well in your future is positive thinking, but it is not the same as keeping God’s commandments. There is a direct connection between hope and keeping His commandments. Your spirit is inspired with hope as you keep doing the things Christ asks you to do. Obeying Christ brings fulfillment to a true believer. It is a joy to keep the commandments when you love Christ. Obedience to Christ doesn’t necessarily make life easier, but obedience to Christ makes living in the Spirit easier. Christ said that if you love Him, you should do what He says. This love is evidenced by obedience. Obedience results in a deep hope that knows God will do what He has promised.

Focus on Self

It is when the believer sees his or her weakness that he or she will seek help from the power of God. Anything short of that will turn to self. If you turn to self, then you will either be a person without the hope of God or a person who clings to a deceptive kind of hope. A deceptive hope will perish when a person dies (see Proverbs 11:7).

Wouldn’t you rather be a person who has a hope that is anchored to God? When you are, you will realize that God’s Love is not rationed out a little at a time, it is poured out to an overflowing capacity into your life. God’s Love ultimately brings true abiding hope.