Where is that WORD?

I have been stuck searching for a word. No, I am not playing Scrabble or Words with Friends. This word offers much more than points or bragging rights. It is often elusive, and when it is realized I have found this word to be my anchor in the roughest storms of life. This word is HOPE.

People truly thrive when they have hope and hope is the beginning of everything. The Bible brings the message of hope to a world that is broken and hope is the one thing that can change everything. Hope is a prominent theme in the Bible as 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love…” Often we hear messages about faith and we are called to live love, but unleashing hope in one’s life can be the difference between a situation destroying your future and a situation galvanizing your potential. God values hope as it is in the list of the top three human essentials.

In the book, “The Hope Quotient,” author Ray Johnston explores why thriving people soar. Here is how he sums up the book: “thriving people commit to things that produce inner strength and hope.”

We all have things in our lives that can make us sink. Sometimes we can even tend to stay sunk in discouragement and hope becomes a distant, fleeting fantasy or dream. Hope is not an unreliable sensation, wishful thinking, or even an unnecessary luxury. Hope is what gives you a picture for the future. Johnston explains “when hope is thriving, eleven things are unleashed in your life: You have more satisfying relationships. You’re more productive. You’re less affected by stress. You’re more successful. You’re more satisfied. You’re more compassionate. You’re more willing to help people in need. You’re physically healthier. You hold yourself to higher standards. You’re more likely to assume leadership. You’re more likely to see God as loving, caring, and forgiving.”

Doesn’t that make you want to live into that kind of hope? The invitation of the Bible is to develop hope and that hope is rooted in a relationship with God. God offers that invitation when he says,” I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23).

Have you found that HOPE? It can be the best word you will ever find as it can radically change your relationships, your marriage, your kids, your career, your church, your community, and the world.

Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church: “An Alaskan church for people who would rather go to the River.” We gather on Sundays to explore the Unleashing Hope series on 9/28, 10:30 a.m. at K-Beach Elementary in Soldotna. Call 252-2828 or visit www.therivercovenantchurch.org.

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