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     Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another on to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Heb. 10:23-25

     Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11; May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Rom. 15:13

     Dear Lord Jesus, as I meditate my way through this bunch of gospel admonitions, a couple of key things stand out to me. On one hand, I’m convicted about the importance of holding onto the hope you’ve won for us; which a living hope, an anchor of hope, a glorious hope. Our hope is certain, but we certainly need to grab it, coddle it, and treasure it. I’m not afraid of losing it, but ignoring hope is certainly a possibility.

And I’m so thankful you’re not calling us to “hope against hope,” or to hope in hope, but to hope in you. For God has made promises you alone can keep; in fact every promise he has made finds its “Yes!” in you (2 Cor. 1:20). You are faithful and you are loving, and that’s all I need to know. Not hoping, is not an option. Life is messy, but you are good, and very near.

Lord Jesus, these Scriptures also convict me about the importance of being a lot more intentional and regular in bringing encouragement to my friends, family members, and those you put in my way. As the great Day of your return approaches—the Day when all hoping in part will give way to the fullness of hope—fill my mouth with words of encouragement, healing and hope. Our words have the power of life and death; may mine be like kisses from heaven; the balm of gospel goodness; well-timed and well-chosen; an extension of your tear-wiping hand. Help me engage my heart before I open my mouth, Jesus.

Very specifically, to whom would you send me today? Who needs a visit, a Skype call, a text, an email, DM, a whisking away for an unrushed cup of coffee? Put names and faces before me who need the encouragement you alone can bring, Jesus. May the glory of the Day of your return bring the grace of encouragement to this day. So very Amen I pray, in your great and loving name.



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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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