Got HOPE? Share It!
by youth pastor Christina Fischer
Each of these devotional blogs entries is meant to be read on your own or if you have family or friends you live with, to be read together aloud. A suggestion is to do this after you have dinner around the table together. At the conclusion, please spend time in personal reflection or in sharing with one another your answers to the questions at the end. Be sure to conclude with prayer.
Read Romans chapter 12
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:11-13, NIV)
Throughout the past several months, my family has been in a time of transition. It has been extremely stressful in a variety of ways, and I have been so thankful for the people of God surrounding us with their love and prayers. Their constant prayers and encouragement have greatly helped me personally to choose joy, be patient, and remain faithful in my prayer life.
While packing our home the past few days, I found a souvenir coin I had purchased from the 2017 Nazarene General Assembly. Engraved on the back were the words, “Got HOPE? Share it!” Putting the coin in my pocket, it quickly became a constant reminder of the way He has been faithful and has carried us through this time of uncertainty.
The verses in Romans 12:11-13 spoke to me today as I reflected on how God has used so many to step in and show their love in a variety of ways. I can honestly say that this experience of receiving help was humbling. As many of you know, I love to serve and love helping others. It is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world when you can bring a smile to someone’s face or lighten his or her load of worries. To be on the other side of that exchange not only has taught me the importance of not being so proud that you are unwilling to accept help in your own time of need, but also allowing others to receive that same blessing of joy when they can help you out as well.
Let me encourage you, as we all face this time of great uncertainty, to remember the importance of choosing to focus on the hope and joy of Christ instead of the chaos that is surrounding us. Let us all be faithful in prayer for our families, prayer for or communities, and prayer for the lost.
Reflect with someone else or on your own:
- In what ways can you share the joy and hope of Christ with those around you?
- Look back at Romans 12:11-13. Either on your own, or one at a time with your family or group, take turns reading again each verse that mentions joy, hope, prayer, etc.
- Take a minute and share or reflect on how you’re choosing joy and hope during this time. Share how this passage is a reminder to care for others in their time of need.
- Take time to share any needs—spiritual, relational, physical, or other—you may have and then pray a short prayer to God for each one.