Pastor Paul Rieger

New Year, New Hope

New Year

New Year, New Hope

There’s so much surrounding the new year, especially all the new and exciting things and opportunities. We make our resolutions to make ourselves new, whether that’s exercising, changing habits, healthier eating or whatever else.

There’s so much we hope in. If you’re not aware, I’ve been using studies produced by the Bible Project for Sunday Morning Bible Study and Confirmation. They do these phenomenal overviews of books of Scripture with cool visuals to engage the learner. I’ve personally learned so much from these. Another thing they do besides overviews of books of the Bible are word studies. The people of the Bible Project are biblical scholars but also language scholars, and they did a great study on the word “hope.” Now, using their lesson, I want you too to consider what hope should look like in your life for your new year.

What Should HOPE Look Like in 2020?

When we use hope, we talk about being excited for something or anticipating something. Hope in Hebrew is “yakhal” and “qavah”, both meaning wait. Noah had to “yakhal” for the waters to recede from the ark. But “qavah” has this idea of tension with it, as if something is being pulled to its limit and it’s about to break. It’s a feeling of tension while you wait for something to happen. Think of a farmer who waits for the harvest. He must wait and hope in the harvest. There is tension, there is excitement, there is expectation, and there is waiting.

For us as Christians, this is all focused on the person of Jesus Christ. It’s not about being optimistic, looking forward in our wait for God. For us, it’s actually about looking back. We look back to who God has revealed Himself to be. He is patient, loving, and full of promises. He was patient with rebellious Israel and with us as we rebel even more. But more than that, He is loving as He takes this rebelliousness and crucifies it and rises to bring life to all people.

So now we wait and we wait in hope. Looking back to the God who has shown us who He is: patient and loving. But He has also brought us the promise of salvation. Those who trust in Him, those who walk in His path, those who call on His name, will be saved. This now is our hope.

Do not feel like I am shaming you for hoping in the new year and the many new opportunities you are excited for, but rather include with it your hope in God. We tensely wait for Him to take us to perfection, where we will be better than we could ever make ourselves.

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