Lesson 3 – Intro – April 26 – May 3 Blessed by HOPE

           Remember what Eeyore said to Winnie-the-Pooh when it was snowing outside?  First, he observed in his gloomy voice, “And it’s freezing.”  And then he just couldn’t help himself and added, “However, we haven’t had an earthquake lately”.  Why is it that some people choose to see problems where others see possibilities, criticize where others express gratefulness or focus on the negative when others highlight the positive in a situation?  Is it possible that HOPE could be one of the major factors that make the difference?   Could it be that the Eeyore-like person no longer has a confident expectation that things will get better or that in the end it will be worth the present pain?

           When Paul wrote his letters to the various churches, he reminded the new believers of their blessings and hope in Christ.  He made extensive lists of what Jesus had done for them even before He made the world.  He recounted why God “who is so rich in mercy, and loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of sins, gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead”.  He prayed that they would understand “the incredible greatness of God’s power for those who would believe Him” and “the confident hope that He has given to those He has called”.  He continually reminded them that the anticipation of their future inheritance was the most compelling truth which could help them to wait patiently and live optimistically!  These are the truths that could make the startling difference in their outlook and attitude toward both their present circumstances and their future.

           If Paul were writing to you or your church today, he would, no doubt, remind you of the very same things, wouldn’t he?  Then he might suggest, as the old hymn says, that you “Count your blessings.  Name them one by one. Count your many blessings.  See what God has done.”

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