Building a Character of Hope for 2015 …Written by Rhonda Childs

What are some of your hopes for 2015? Some of us may not have given it much thought. Others may be making a plan now, and be striving for it immediately. There’s the usual hopeful things for this time of year that some people have…such as losing weight, making more money, or even planning a vacation.
Sadly, some people have lost all hope. There are many people all over the world who are homeless, sick, without a job, having no clean water to drink, suffering from human trafficking, and the list goes on and on. Every seven seconds a child starves to death.
I myself have felt hopeless at times. There’s been days, weeks, and months that have been extremely hard and difficult in my life. Each one of us has felt pain and suffering in assorted ways, including the feeling of hopelessness.
My favorite bible verses are Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Sometimes, when I feel weak or helpless, I can’t even remember to go by my favorite verses! God must be shaking His head at times thinking; “Wake up, Rhonda!!” In all seriousness, we are human and have days that can be stressful and hard.
I find that if I start my day on my knees praying and reading my bible, there’s a difference in my day. It may not be a perfect day, but I started it by being hopeful and feeling loved by my Father in heaven. What joy there is in knowing that He cares for me; for all of us, as we are His children. Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Psalm 42:5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
I love people and I know what it feels like to have lost hope, and this makes me suffer for other people who have lost hope. I yearn and pray that in 2015 there is less suffering in the world with more people holding on to hope and thankful for each day!
As Christians, our character, our nature, our disposition, our temperament, our moral qualities should shine bright with the love of Jesus.
I want to share some hope with you from the word of God. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain in what we do not see.” Romans 5:2-5 “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
I pray for you to be blessed with a happy healthy new year. May we all have a character of hope and love. Most of all, I hope for you to have a closer relationship with God. Let our ‘light’ shine so others may come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, giving them hope for eternal salvation.
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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