Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. — Romans 5:5 (NRSV)
The new year seems to be a hopeful time for most people. It represents an opportunity for a fresh start. All too often, though, the hope with which we begin the year wanes more quickly than we imagined. After the joy and celebration of Christmas, we resume the routines of work, family life, community involvement, and school. The same old patterns can fill our time and sap some of the freshness and hope from our year.
This is not to say that hope fades entirely. Faith in God calls us to live lives of hope and to be beacons of hope for others. The hope we find in God is lasting in a way that the hope of a new year can never be. Hope in God grounds us in the eternal awareness of God’s abundance, mercy, and love. The challenge is to embrace and live out this hope day by day.
Throughout this issue, writers give us glimpses and offer examples of how they find and sustain their hope in God during challenging times and in joyful ones. I pray that these stories will encourage and inspire all of us to find new practices and habits of hope that will keep us rooted in God’s love and help us to become beacons of hope for others in the year ahead.
...devoid of our regular routine and filled instead with uncertainty and a hum of anxiety, my husband and I have found the practice of joining The Upper Room each day at 11am (CST) via Facebook to pray, listen, and learn in community, including my sister in Houston. This is a much-needed healing balm." Join us on Facebook each day at 11AM Central.