Hope always near

Hope always near

13May 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.”

This is a short introduction to the preaching series, “Hope always near”, a series centring on the significance and practical importance of Christian hope in struggling well with life. Its biblical grounding is Romans 15:13 above. It will be a series centred around certain biblical characters as discussed in JI Packer and Carolyn Nystrom’s 2001 book Never Beyond Hope. We will be preaching this series from 19/02/17-26/03/17.

ISIS. Terrorism. Muslim immigration. Donald Trump. Brexit. One Nation. There is much in our news today that promotes fear and even a sense of hopelessness. A politics of fear, not only of these matters but of the violent response to them (both physical violence and verbal violence) can lead to dominate society and communities. What can we look to for hope and a more confident, even secure, sense of the future?

Closer to home we can find joblessness and unemployment, financial strain and housing unaffordability, family breakdown and relational stress, health struggles and the hole left by the death of loved ones. Our yearning for a sense of confidence and hope is multiplied by our personal circumstances as much as the nightly news and social media updates.

Sometimes that yearning for hope can be centred on our circumstances – desiring our families being well settled, achieving our goals at an individual level, or even our church CrossLife, clearly moving forward. When these are the centre of our hope, and we don’t feel such circumstances (or others) are moving positively in the direction we hope for, we can be left feeling shipwrecked on the sharp rocks of despair, wondering if we are beyond hope and drifting quickly in the rip of despondency and gloom.

This is no way to live. This is not God’s way for us to live.

And so we are preaching this series at this time at CrossLife to remind ourselves of the ground of our hope. And indeed the fact that God is ever present, near and accessible despite any circumstances. We are never beyond hope. Hope is always near.

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