WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 27, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T LOSE HOPE
BY T. O. BANSO
“And Israel said to Joseph, I had no hope of seeing your face again, but God in his mercy has let me see you and your children” (Genesis 48:11 Bible in Basic English)
The year 2021 is just a few days to end. I don’t know how you’re feeling at this time. You could be feeling excited and fulfilled. This year could, probably, be one of your best years ever. I rejoice with you.
But there are some persons that are ending the year with no excitement. Probably the only thing they’re reluctantly grateful for, after reflecting on the whole year, is the gift of life – the fact that they’re alive. The year was probably a roller coaster for them. Some lived in the valley of the shadow of death! There were no great achievements in the year.
Indeed, the year is about to end but your life is not. Don’t lose hope if the year has not been a particularly great year for you. Maybe your expectations were not realized and hopes were not met. Don’t lose hope. Have faith in God. It’s not too late for you to experience a turnaround; God can give you an eleventh-hour miracle. But in case the answers to your prayers, your hopes and expectations, your plans, and so on don’t come through this year, don’t lose hope.
Trust God that the New Year will be better. Don’t join those who terminated their lives in the year because of depression. If you do, you will miss the great things God plans to do for you in the New Year. God says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version).
Whatever you have gone through this year, don’t lose hope. Enter the New year with renewed hope in God. Jonah said, “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple” (Jonah 2:7 New Living Translation). That was in the belly of the fish. He must have thought he would die there. But the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Whatever problem seems to have swallowed you this year will vomit you in the name of Jesus. The Lord will deliver you. The answers to your prayers will manifest. You will sing a new song and dance. The fish vomited Jonah and he went to Nineveh to obey God after his initial disobedience which led to his problem. God is a merciful God. If you are like Job whose trouble was because of disobedience, repent today. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19 New King James Version).
Don’t lose hope. Hear the prophet Ezekiel. “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’” (Ezekiel 37:11 New King James Version). Please take note of the phrase “our hope is lost.” The house of Israel considered their situation as hopeless.
But the LORD told Ezekiel to prophesy, and he said, “Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,’ says the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:12-14 New King James Version).
Don’t lose hope as this year ends, no matter how discouraging your experience has been. Hope in God for a better 2022. The psalmist says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 43:5 New King James Version). Don’t lose hope; hope in God.
Jacob had lost hope concerning Joseph. He had been deceived by Joseph’s brothers to believe that a wild animal had killed him and he promised to mourn his favourite son till he would die. “And he recognized it and said, ‘It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.’ Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, ‘For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.’ Thus his father wept for him” (Genesis 37:33-35 New King James Version). He continued to mourn.
But twenty-two years later, he was reunited with the son that he had thought was dead. He never knew Joseph had become the Prime Minister of Egypt. “And Israel said to Joseph, I had no hope of seeing your face again, but God in his mercy has let me see you and your children.” (Genesis 48:11 Bible in Basic English). He said this while blessing Joseph’s sons. The New King James Version renders it thus: “And Israel said to Joseph, ‘I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!’” Whatever you’re going through this time, don’t lose hope.
In Luke 7:11-17, the widow of Nain had lost all hope. She had lost her only son. She was going to bury him when Jesus intercepted the funeral procession. Maybe you are about to bury your plans, expectations, or desires concerning the year because nothing favourable has happened thus far. This season, Jesus will intercept you for a miracle.
When Jesus saw this widow, His heart overflowed with compassion. Jesus will have compassion on you concerning your health, marriage, child, business, career, etc. “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother” (Luke 7:13-15 New King James Version).
Friend, don’t lose hope. Naomi had lost hope after the death of her husband, Elimelech, and two sons. The devil was so wicked that he made her children die childless. They left two widows. So there were three widows in the house!
Hear Naomi’s hopelessness: “But Naomi said, ‘Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go — for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me!” (Ruth 1:11-13 New King James Version).
But, in the end, God turned Naomi’s hopelessness into joy. Ruth, Naomi’s daughter-in-law, got married to Boaz, a kinsman of the deceased father-in-law. She gave birth to a child called Obed. Through Ruth, God gave Naomi joy again. Ruth took the child and laid him on Naomi’s bosom, and she became a nurse to him.
Ruth 4:14-15 says, “Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him’” (New King James Version). Verse 17b says the women who were Naomi’s neighbours gave the child a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.”
Mary, Lazarus’ sister, had lost hope. She told Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32b New King James Version). In other words, Jesus came late! When Jesus said the stone laid against the cave where Lazarus was buried should be taken away, Martha, Mary’s sister, told Jesus that by that time the smell would be terrible because he had been dead for four days (verse 39). But Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead when all hope had been lost
Don’t lose hope. The psalmist says, “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more” (Psalm 71:14 New King James Version). Hope continually. Keep trusting in the Lord as the year ends and you begin the New Year.
Study and meditate on the Word of God. Obey Him. Renew your hope by continuing to speak God’s promises into your life (2 Corinthians 4:13). Whatever your situation, count it all joy (James 1:2). Rejoice in the hope of your turnaround or miracle. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says to rejoice always. “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength”(Nehemiah 8:10b New King James Version).
Whatever your experience this year, favourable or unfavorable, hope in God for a better New Year. “O Israel, hope in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption” (Psalm 130:7 New King James Version). God is talking to you. “O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever” (Psalm 131:3 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I thank You despite everything I have been through this year. I refuse to lose hope. I will hope continually and will praise You more and more. I will finish the year well. Thank you for the great things You will do for me as this year ends and the greater things in the New Year.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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