I’m so excited to share some hope with you today from one of my favorite authors, Jessica Thompson. She has been so kind to share some gospel encouragement with us as we head into the new year! Enjoy!
Often when my boys are playing video games I hear them yell out in agony and the very next thing I hear is the game starting over again. The failure of a poorly thrown virtual pass is erased and the score is once again 0-0. We all love a restart. I think this is why we love January 1st so much. The old is gone. The new is here. The score is 0-0. I don’t have to be reminded of the failures of 2015 because now 2016 has come. Time to begin again.
Here’s the thing though, our hope is not in a fresh start with better results. Our hope is not in our ability to get it right this time because honestly, we will continue to fail over and over again. What can we hope in? The prophet Jeremiah asks this same question in Lamentations 3:17-18 “my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.’” But then the Holy Spirit reminds him of where to look and then he pens, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”(22-23) In the Christian life, every morning is like January 1st, it is a new start. The failures of yesteryear, yesterday, yestermoment were gone before they were even committed, erased by the blood of the Lamb. His faithfulness brings us hope.
My default is that my faithfulness brings me hope. When I can look at my success and say, “See I did it before I can do it again!” I am trusting in myself. I am living as though my will power is my hope. The truth of the matter is that my will power is so broken that Christ’s body had to be broken in order for me to find forgiveness and acceptance. As long as I am trusting in myself I will either be proud (Yep, nailed it again) or depressed (I will never get it right). But when I forsake my self-trust and learn to trust in His faithfulness alone I will have a new hope every morning. New mercies. Same love. Forever faithfulness. That is what our God has promised us.
So when you fail today, tomorrow, in the next five minutes stop and pray that the Holy Spirit grounds your heart right here, “there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” (Message paraphrase)
Our hope for 2016 is always Him. A God who never changes, never gives up on us, and promises to always forgive. That hope pushes me towards him every single time. It pushes me toward loving God and loving others. Our eternal hope is Christ himself.
Jessica is an author of several books and a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism and to live in the truth that in the gospel there is joyful freedom awaiting them. Jess has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace and Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions. She has also written Exploring Grace Together and Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus. Jess believes the truth that salvation is “naked confidence in the mercy of God.” She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1995. Together they have three teenage children.
Connect with her at www.givethemgrace.com or on Twitter at @thejesslou.