There are three qualities which always remain as found in 1 Corinthians 13: Faith, hope and love. These make us strong, and when the three join together—when we are full of faith, hope and love—then we are balanced and ready to go forward with what God has planned for us to do.
Did you know that hope is mentioned more than 180 times in the Bible, so it must be very important, but why? Why do you and I need hope? What does hope do for us?
First we need to understand the difference between our casual use of the word hope, and the Bible’s meaning. Often, we talk about hope when something in the future is not certain. We say, I hope I get that bonus or I hope the traffic is not bad. But when the Bible speaks of hope, it means that something in the future is certain. It means you can be confident because your hope in God is firm and secure. For example, when we are born from above through faith in Jesus Christ, we have the hope of eternal life. But that hope is certain and sure; there’s no uncertainty in that hope for our future.
Paul wrote to the Romans, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Our God is a God of hope! He knows that hope is essential for us, as we travel this earthly journey. Our faith is firmly grounded in our God and what he has promised us. Hebrews 11:1 says that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We confidently hope for eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. This is the hope that keeps us going, isn’t it?
When you’re going through deep waters, when life is hard and your heart aches, it is this hope that will keep you going: hope that this world is not your home, and there is coming a day when all wrongs will be made right, when all tears will be wiped away, and when all fear, toil, and sin will be vanquished. That is the hope of every true believer in Jesus Christ. That is the hope that God gives us—because he is the God of hope—and because of that we can be filled with all joy and peace as we overflow with hope.
Did you know that you were not designed to live without hope? I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Now that I’ve given up hope, I feel much better.” Of course, it was meant to be humorous, but nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is, when you lose hope, you lose your motivation, your energy. . .indeed you can lose even your desire to live. But as Christians we have great hope because of Jesus who died and rose again to purchase our redemption, so no longer are we destined to hopelessness. Our lives have been redeemed from hopelessness, not just for our eternity in heaven, but here on earth as well.
But when we lose hope, life becomes very hard. Have you been losing hope lately? Maybe it’s a relationship problem and you’re ready to give up hope that it will ever be right. Could it be a financial crisis that looks hopeless to you, or a health issue? There are many things in this world that can rob us of hope. But God’s Word is full of hope for you if you’re a Christ-follower, and you can overflow with hope even in the midst of difficult circumstances!
The question often becomes, how do you remain hopeful when you can’t see light at the end of your tunnel, when it looks so hopeless? We have to do what is necessary to keep our hope strong, and since hope and faith are intrinsically linked, we increase our faith as we increase our hope, and vice versa. The Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), so hope, like faith, is dependent on hearing and believing the word of God. If you want to overflow with hope and increase your hope quotient dramatically, then it’s back to the basics—hear, read, and meditate on the word of God.
Regrettably, many times we forget this and simply live our daily lives in the drudgery of life rather than in the glorious hope that we have in Jesus. It’s really easy to lose hope in this sin-infested world, isn’t it? That’s why I’ve chosen Overflowing Hope as the theme for our upcoming 30th Annual Weekend Getaway, April 20-22, here in the Chicago area.
We are going to spend this weekend rebuilding our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ and all of his good promises to us. You will be inspired and refreshed as you spend time with other women of like faith, listen to messages and music of hope, and enjoy a weekend of pampering and relaxation in a beautiful setting.
Don’t worry if you’ve never attended one of our weekend getaways before, or even if you are coming alone. You’ll fit right in and find lovely friends as soon as you walk in the door. You’ll love the women who attend, and the sisterhood we instantly enjoy because of Jesus.
Since our hope depends on the truth of God’s Word, every part of our program for this weekend will be totally based on biblical truth and principles, and you will be greatly encouraged as we remind you of the great and precious promises of God on which our hope is built. After last year’s weekend getaway, one woman wrote, “The Word of God is honored at these conferences and presented with excellence.”
I promise that if you will join us and bring open ears and an open heart, you will experience a weekend of building your hope—increasing your hope quotient.
You’ll also meet wonderful women at our Weekend Getaway. Each year we have a wonderfully diverse group of women—all ages, all stages of life, all cultures and nationalities. It is a rich gathering of your sisters in Christ. One woman wrote, “Such a loving atmosphere! Everyone I encountered loved me, embraced me and welcomed me!”
Please make your plans to join us on April 20-22, at a lovely hotel in the Chicago area. You’ll love the fellowship, and you’ll leave with not only a respite from your regular hectic schedule, but also a new understanding of what it means to overflow with the hope you have in Christ, and a renewed commitment to do so.
Let me give you a brief rundown of our program for this weekend:
- Damaris Carbaugh will be with us again. Damaris and I have been ministering together since the early 90’s, and she is so well-loved by the women who come to these getaways. She packs a double blessing with both her wonderful music and her clear and encouraging messages from God’s Word.
- Sherry Harney is a new name to us, but I’ve gotten to know her through her book, Praying with Eyes Wide Open. I met her at our church and immediately knew that she would be such a blessing at this year’s weekend getaway. She’s going to talk about contagious hope and about building your hope through a much more effective prayer life. I promise—you’re going to love her.
- Rhonda O’Brien is a dynamic Bible teacher who will be talking about Patient Hope—because often we’re in God’s waiting room and that’s when our hope is tested. You’ll love her practical, enthusiastic, and humorous message.
- We will again have great worship times together with Donna and Charles Butler and the band that joins them.
- The hotel is luxurious, the food is delicious, and you will feel pampered all weekend!
We work very hard to make this weekend absolutely perfect for you in every way—but mostly perfect for you to have time to hear God’s voice, to be encouraged, to be revived, and to leave with your hope sky high in the great and precious promises of God!
After last year’s getaway, one person wrote, “Speakers and presenters were awesome. What a blessing. I felt God’s presence, love, and peace. He was glorified.” I think you’ll have the same experience, so join us April 20-22, and I look forward to meeting you in person.
Let me close with this encouraging comment from one woman following this last year’s getaway:
This was my first conference and it totally exceeded my expectations. I have been praying for revival in my life and this conference has ignited my heart in ways I wasn’t expecting but God knew I needed! The music, speakers, and workshops were a balm to my tired and dry spirit.