|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The power of hope”
Our Bible verse for today: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Don’t be an Eeyore.”
Are you a hopeful person? Do you live with an eager expectation of good things to come? Is your disposition sunny and upbeat? Perhaps the answer for you depends on the context. As a Christian you should be hopeful regarding your eternal inheritance in heaven and it should show. But perhaps you’re less hopeful regarding things going on in this world, such as with the economy, or politics, or your health; and maybe about such things you come across pessimistic and even sour.
So, perhaps I should rephrase the question as, “Are you a hopeful person in general? Does hopefulness and an eager expectation of good things to come describe your general demeanor and your overall approach to life? Generally speaking, are you an optimist or a pessimist?”
To be hopeful means that you have a confident expectation that your desired outcome will happen (or at least you look for silver linings in dark situations); but to be hopeless is to be dismal and bleak. That definition of hopelessness reminds me of the character Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh series. Winnie is a bear; Eeyore is an old grey donkey. Winnie is usually upbeat and positive, but Eeyore is always pessimistic and gloomy. No matter the subject, Eeyore finds something negative or depressing to say about it. When complimented on his tail he replied, “Well, it’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it.” When someone said “Good morning” Eeyore replied, “Well yes, good morning – if it is a good morning, which I doubt.”
We all know people who fit the Eeyore mold. Even Christians. But that shouldn’t be – especially not for a child of God. And especially not now, as our nation and our communities are increasingly troubled. If we’re going to be effective at winning people to faith in Christ and drawing them into Kingdom life, we won’t do it by being a bunch of sour old donkeys muttering and mumbling about how bad things are. Instead, we need to show people how it is that Jesus empowers us to live victoriously, positively, joyfully, and with great hope, even in the midst of a troubled world. When Isaiah said in the passage quoted above that our hope in the Lord would strengthen us and enable us to soar like eagles, he was talking about in this lifetime, now, even with all the trouble that’s brewing around us.
All this month we’ll explore what this hope is that Isaiah was referring to, and how we apply it in a practical way in the world in which we’re living. A Christian shouldn’t be an Eeyore.
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