By Carol Round
“Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18 .
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS) – How often do you hear the term “the good ole’ days?” What does that expression mean to you? For me, born in 1953, it refers to the following: the front doors of our homes—and many times the back door—left unlocked. There was no need for expensive alarm systems. We didn’t worry about burglaries. Instead, our greatest concern was a neighborhood child who might walk in without knocking and discover someone in a state of undress.
I long for “the good ole’ days” when children could leave the house after breakfast, play all day with neighborhood kids and return home just in time for supper. Parents didn’t worry that we’d be kidnapped. In those days, schoolyard arguments ended with “double dog dares,” instead of automatic weapons. A sense of peace and security prevailed. For me, those indeed were “the good ole’ days.”
While those “good ole’ days” weren’t perfect, I don’t think our world was in the current state of brokenness it’s in now. How can we find hope in this broken world?
While some constantly complain about the brokenness in our world, I’ve learned it does no good. We can’t change it but we can change our outlook on life when we place our hope in the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Renowned priest and author Henri Nouwen once said, “Our life is full of brokenness–broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives?”
Finding hope in the New Year means seeking His presence each morning. To view each day of the New Year with hope means having an open mind and heart to where the Lord may take us, knowing with full confidence He is always with us.
Being open to new possibilities, realizing that there’s no limit to what God can do in our lives, can open our hearts to renewed hope. Hope can also be found in this new season when we prayerfully consider God’s plans for us in 2015.
The New Year, full of hope, lies before us as we move ahead, trusting God always has a plan and purpose for what we will experience. Remember He has a reason for what He allows into our lives. Finding hope in the New Year when things look gloomy requires us to trust Him completely for each day’s provision. He knows what we need and He is always faithful to provide.
Have you experienced brokenness in your life? Maybe it’s time to ask God to show you what unconditional love is all about.
John 3:16 tells us, “God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, would have everlasting life.” If you’ve never really understood that often quoted verse from the bible I ask you to read it in context by starting at the beginning of John and reading straight through. If you never understood unconditional love I pray that you will by the time you finish the reading it.
In fact you could start the New year by realizing how very much God does love you and asking Him to forgive you for ignoring that love which he has offered to you throughout your life. Say a simple prayer something like this:
Jesus, please forgive my sin. I know I haven’t done everything that I should with my life and I’ve often ignored your attempts to be a part of it. I know that you died for me and that you have a plan for my life. Please teach me your ways and help me to live my life for you, free from the fears of this world and the next. I want to be ready for eternity with you to know true love. Amen
Congratulations, if you have prayed this prayer, the Bible says, “ Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cr 5:17)