"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 NIV
We repeatedly hear a few words in the Bible; love, hope, grace, and redemption. We can use all of these in one sentence to summarize God's relationship with humanity. In his love, God created humanity, and through his grace, gives humanity hope for redemption.
We give God thanks for this hope. Not because we are worthy, but because we need it. When Satan tells us all is hopeless, as Christians, we know this is not true. Satan is a big liar. We have hope in Jesus Christ, and by placing our trust in him, we find joy and peace instead of despair. It is the Holy Spirit, God's gift lovingly given by his grace within each of us, that is the source of all our hope.
Hymn 368, in our United Methodist Hymnal, "My Hope Is Built," describes beautifully the hope we find in Jesus Christ. Here is the first verse and refrain.
My hope is built on nothing less than
Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the
sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is
sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
God, our solid rock, we give you thanks for your love, grace, and redemption. In particular, we give you thanks for hope. We know that by placing our trust in you, no situation is hopeless. In the midst of despair, you fill us with peace and joy. Please help us as we share your message with others, that they may recognize the hope found in you. We pray this in the name of our righteous Savior. Amen.
The United Methodist Hymnal Book of United Methodist Worship. The United Methodist Publishing House, 2001.