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Live In Hope


Here we are again, and the most asked question is “How did we get here so soon?”  “Where has the year gone?”.  The only things that get new each year are the memories, especially for those whom we loved and have now gone to the great beyond.  Not forgetting the new aches and pains, oh yes, each passing year brings the deterioration of the body, but there’s a scripture that addresses that reality.  2 Corinthians 4:16 Amplified Bible tells us “Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid].  Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day.” 

Truth be told, at the turn of the year, we are generally in a state of ‘flux’.  Last year I described it as nostalgia.  This is usually because we reflect on (hope, triumphs, failures, pains, joy, sadness and unfinished matters) all at the same time, while looking forward and planning for (always better) in the new year.  We are not (humanly) designed to operate in this manner, hence a state of ‘flux’ ensues, especially if we have lost someone dear.

If the editor permits, I will briefly mention three persons (of blessed memory) with whom I had the distinct pleasure of serving on the Teaching Service Commission of the British Virgin Islands.  All of them were long-standing, hugely impactful educators and so much more.  On August 6th, 2022 we lost Kirlin Connor-Lettsome.  On October 5th, 2023 we lost Jennie N. Wheatley MBE.  On November 24th, 2023 we lost Dr. Lydia Hodge-Pickering.  The loss of these giantesses cannot be overestimated.  Since this is a ‘Faith’ article it is appropriate to mention they were all given final rites in the Methodist Church where they no doubt worshipped the King of Kings, Jesus.

Isaiah 57:1-2 Amplified Bible says “The righteous man perishes [at the hand of evil], and no one takes it to heart; Faithful and devout men are taken away, while no one understands that the righteous person is taken away [to be spared] from the disaster and evil.  He enters into peace [through death]; They rest in their bed (graves), each one who walked uprightly [following God’s will, living with integrity].”  The essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that those who die in the Lord are eternally BEST OFF!

2024 is upon us! It’s a Leap Year!  For all the beliefs and fancies about leap years, it remains an opportunity to reset, refocus and renew our faith, hopes, dreams and relationships with each other and of course, with God.

There is a saying that prayer is the one thing that goes to the future and waits for you.  A popular New Year declaration is “Lord let all of my disappointments, become divine appointments…in Jesus’ Name”.

For some couples, this is the time they seal their relationship in marriage.  May those nuptials be forever blessed by the Christ of Christmas.  For some, it is simply a time to slow down and unwind.  For many, it is the family gatherings, church activities, community celebrations and spreading seasonal joy.  And yes for some, a time of loneliness and melancholy.  Whatever your experience, likely not mentioned here, may you live with the hope of a brighter tomorrow.

There is no way for us to know the future (in fact a preview might be too scary), however, we can all live in faith and hope.  These two intangible qualities are freely available to all.  Our Eternal Father in His infinite wisdom made certain qualities equally accessible to all of us.  Love and forgiveness are another two such qualities.  If we endeavour to apply such qualities to our daily pursuits, then our qualification for eternal peace in God rises much higher and our fellowman enjoys the richness of peaceful relations with us.  All things considered, that’s what the essence of life should be, enjoying it with each other.

Why hope?  Because the state in which you began 2023 may not be the state in which you begin 2024, it is either better or worse off.  However, living in hope engages that inner strength that it can be better, not worse, and it can increase if already better.  There are no negatives in hope because it is a word of progress no matter the circumstance.

A word to remember for 2024.  Psalm 119:116 Amplified Bible “Uphold me according to Your word [of promise], so that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope [in Your great goodness].”  

I encourage you to also read Romans 5:1-5.

Pray without ceasing, it works. Happy, Blessed and Successful 2024. LIVE IN HOPE!