I’ve never been one to pick a word of the year. Not that I have a problem with it, but my tendency would be to feel like I had to stay camped out on that word even if God was moving me toward something else. If that makes sense.
What I have been doing though is using alphabet building blocks to spell out a word or phrase as a visual reminder of a specific truth. I’ll call these “here and now words,” since they are simply whatever God is impressing on me for now. It’s amazing since paying attention how frequently in Bible study and everyday life the present word or theme crops up.
My first word, after being given the set of blocks was “weakness.” If you read this blog regularly, or follow me on Instagram, you may remember I wrote a couple posts about God showing me weakness is strength since it is in our inability and need that we see his power and might. Well, I’ve seen my need alot lately. And seeing who he is for me in my weakness, it is now “hope” that I’ve adopted as my “here and now word.”
I first encountered “hope” as a recurring word at Christy Nockel’s Night of Hope Christmas Concert. She likened her story (and song) of the Amaryllis, a flower that blooms in the winter when everything is cold and dark, to God’s love breaking into the sin and darkness of this world in the person of Jesus. The Light of the World who came to give hope.
After the concert I listened to the Amaryllis song over and over again so it’s no surprise really that when the handmade Christmas card (pictured above) arrived, “Hope” jumped out at me, There it is again. Ever since clinging to hope seems indirectly related to what I’m reading, my conversations and circumstances. Like I said, “It’s amazing since paying attention how frequently… the same word or theme keeps cropping up.”
So to realize in picking back up 1 Peter (which I literally started reading in September, but put down for a couple months until last week) that it’s all about living hope is not random. In fact it seems the reason I never fully got through it in the fall is because this message is what God wanted for me now! How cool is that!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
This hope is not found here, but assures us of something so much greater. This hope reminding us to keep an eternal perspective can change the way we view things now. This hope we are called to by the God of all grace and is met in Christ who himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish. This hope does not disappoint!
Therefore, as Peter concluded his letter, “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” Peace. Perhaps my next “here and now word.” What about you? What’s your word, or what inexhaustible truths are you seeing in his word?