Hope at -11F

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. – Romans 15:13 (ESV)

The sun is rising a little earlier and staying with us a little longer each day.

Major League Baseball Spring Training is underway.

Spring is only 25 days away.  And while 3-1/2 weeks may seem like a long time – especially on a Monday morning when it is eleven below zero outside – that means we are 72% of the way through winter.

Spring will come.  It always does.  The flowers will bloom, the trees will leaf, the grass will grow and green.  The winter doldrums will pass, the snow will melt away.  The warmth of the sun will return.

Life passes in seasons.  This is true meteorologically.  This is true personally.

Nothing lasts forever.

Storms come and go.  Sometimes they dump a foot of snow that has to be shoveled away.  But the sun always comes back.  The sun melts the snow away and warms the frigid air.  The same wind that blows the storm in takes it out as well.

Life is never hopeless.

Hope is rooted in faith, and as long as our faith is rooted in Jesus, we have every reason to hope.  The answer we seek may not be before our eyes right now.  The need may still exist.  The problem may be there awhile.

But do not lose heart.  Seek the Lord first.  Know that there is a reason for what you are going through.  It may be painful.  You may feel as if you are at the end of your rope.  But, remember: nothing – nothing – is impossible with God.  There will be a day when you can see the blessing in the hardship.  Joy will burn away the pain.  The sorrow will ease, the winter will brighten.

Never let go of hope in Christ.  As Paul wrote (in Romans 12:12), “Rejoice in hope…”, because you do have hope no matter what you are facing when your trust is in Jesus Christ.  “Be patient in tribulation…”, knowing He is with you and is not going to allow your suffering to be in vain.  “Be constant in prayer”, keeping Him first and foremost in your heart and mind, seeking His peace and joy and strength, resting in the Lord and His might and goodness.

The sun will rise a little earlier today than it did yesterday, and stay with us a little longer.  We gain more sunshine each and every day.  Nothing lasts forever, except God and heaven and all of His promises and love.

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