HOPE! We certainly need it! We are living in difficult times when truth is under attack, God is under attack, and we are under attack. As we began this year of 2018, I thought it would be good to reflect upon some basic truths that can give us hope. I selected ten and I pray they will be helpful to you. This month we’ll consider five and next month, another five.

1. SCRIPTURE IS A TREASURE CHEST OF HOPE
Romans 15:4 says: “Everything written before our time was written for our instruction, that we might derive hope from the lessons of patience and words of encouragement in the Scriptures.” We all need hope; we all need encouragement. Scripture tells us that’s exactly why it is written …and it works!
The Lie of the devil is: “You can’t trust the word of God. Did God really say that? “(This is as old as the first pages of Genesis!) In 2 Tim. 3:16 we read: “All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching…” My advice is to find some Scriptures that give you hope, and keep going back to them over and over again.

2. JESUS IS ALWAYS WITH US
In Matt. 28:20, we read the last words of Jesus in that gospel: “And behold I am with you always, to the end of the world.” Jesus didn’t leave us! He is present through His Spirit, His Word, His Church, and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. It’s a tremendous consolation to know that Jesus is with us, in our boat when the storm is raging. The Lie of the devil to us is: “Jesus is gone. You are all alone. You are on your own, so make the best of it.” In Jeremiah 29: 13, The Lord says, “When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.” We are not alone!

3. JESUS WILL NEVER ABANDON US
In Hebrews 13:6, the Lord assures us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This verse comes right after it says that we should not worry about money. The Lord cares for us and will take care of us. The Lie of the devil is: “Jesus doesn’t really care what happens to you. Don’t expect any help from him.”
In James 4:8 it says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” And we read in Psalm 46:1, “God is a very present help in time of trouble.” He is always there!

4. JESUS NEVER CHANGES
Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” The same Jesus we read about in the gospels is here today. The Lie the devil tells us is: “You can’t expect Jesus to work in your life like He did when He walked the earth. That was 2000 years ago. A lot has changed and so has Jesus.”
We need to reject the lie! In Malachi 3:6 the Lord says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” And in 2 Cor. 1:19-20 we read: “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ…was not Yes and No; but in Him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.” Praise God, Jesus never changes!

5. GOD LOVES US
John 3:16 has been called “the gospel in miniature” and it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 4:10 we read, “In this is love, not that we first loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation (forgiveness) for our sins.”
So what is the Lie of the devil? Simply this, “God doesn’t love you. That’s ridiculous! Even if He loved you at one time, He certainly doesn’t now after the way you have sinned. Forget it!” We counter with the passage in Galatians 2:20, “…the Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.” The fact that God loves us is a tremendous truth and source of hope. God is infinite; His love is infinite and His mercy is infinite. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; his love is everlasting.”

Let us prayerfully consider these “hopeful truths” and let our hearts rejoice. Next month we will present five more. God bless you!