(my first instalment of 52 posts that reflect thoughts from our weekly conversations at The Village)

I think about all the good intentions people have around this time of year. The resolutions made, the promises said, the ambitious goals written down in journals across the globe. They’re all good and nice and even necessary. I too strategically think about how I can be better in the coming year, especially as I look at some of the places I’ve slipped in the passing year. (for some of my other new years reflections, go HERE)

For some reason, as the two years were transitioning I was brought to a certain part of the scripture over and over again. First from a colleague of mine who works and lives in Africa, and then via my thoughts and prayers, over and over again. I was brought to Romans 15:13 a few days before 2014 was ushered in, and then kept going to it a few days in. The word Hope (and Joy & Peace) are prominent in this text. They are good words – warm words – encouraging words. What really got me is how we aspire for these virtuous words and realities in our lives, but go to the wrong source to get them.

Romans 15:13 says, “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.”

A couple of things that stand out.
1) God is Hope. He is the one in whom Hope is fully realized. Our best and most profound example of Hope is God.
2) We are asked to trust in this God. Why? Because he is Hope. And only this God can fill you with Joy & Peace (two other things people are in demand for)
3) As we trust this God of Hope, he does something beautiful – he fills us (to the brim) with…you got it…Hope.

So amidst all the resolutions, all the ambitious dreams, all the re-prioritizing and de-cluttering of our space and lives, May the God of Hope…fill you with Hope. May the God of Hope…fill you with Joy. May the God of Hope…fill you with Peace. And let that Hope overflow, so that others may see it and be better because of it.

Walk Disney said (in Saving Mr. Banks) ‘We story tellers…we restore hope…again and again and again’. As God does that in us (restore hope), let us in turn do that in and for others.

Happy New Year.