Theme of the Week: The Life-Changing Power of Hope
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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Key Bible Verses: I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Dig Deeper: Philippians 3:5-14
What is the difference between people who thrive and people who decline over a long period of time? It's not that they don't get knocked down; it's that they bounce back up. That's true of both people I know personally and those I read about in the Bible:
Jonah started out running from God, but ended up influencing a whole metropolis.
Thomas started out wracked by doubt but ended up taking the gospel all the way to India.
Peter was disappointed with his inability to withstand pressure and was also disappointed with himself. But he ended up a great Christian leader.
John Mark was rejected by a high-ranking Christian leader. He [was seen as a quitter] but ended up tapped by the Spirit of God to [write one of the Gospels].
David bounced back from several devastating failures: moral, leadership, career, and so on. Have any past failures? A great comeback is possible!
In almost every case, whether somebody bounces back or not has to do with one question: "Does that person have hope?" Hope believes in future possibility rather than resigning to current reality. People bounce back when they have hope.
—Ray Johnston in The Hope Quotient
My Response: How difficult is it for me to bounce back after I've been knocked down?
Thought to Apply: Perhaps the greatest psychological, spiritual, and medical need that all people have is the need for hope.—Billy Graham (evangelist)
Adapted from The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston (Thomas Nelson, 2014; thomasnelson.com) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, I pray for people in my life who are drowning in discouragement. Show me how I might reach out to them and offer them hope for a better tomorrow and a better eternity.
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