By Gavin John, Communications Officer AE South Africa

We almost always enter a new year in ‘hopeful expectation’ of one better than the battles of yesteryear we see in our rear-view mirror before changing lanes or setting course for the new one! But where does our HOPE come from? lessons learnt? fresh optimism of human nature? ‘Positive influencers’ on social media?

The songwriter calls it for me…

In Christ alone, my HOPE is found. He is my light, my strength, my song.

This Cornerstone, this solid ground: firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

Christian HOPE comes from trusting God in all circumstances, especially in times of trial and tribulation, which we are certain to encounter in the coming year – some new and unexpected in our ever-changing world. We are equipped and ready though, because Christ lives in us, the HOPE of glory! Christian hope, though unseen, is never lost!

‘For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.’ (Romans 8:24-25)

Christian hope, though unseen, can always be trusted!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Christian hope, though unseen, does not put us to shame!

‘And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)

Christian hope, though unseen, is part of God’s plan for you!

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

‘And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait? My hope is in You.’ (Proverbs 39:7)

Sisters and brothers, as you set your course for 2024 in ‘hopeful expectation’, my encouragement to you is to travel in the safe lane of CHRISTIAN HOPE – in Christ alone!

What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease. My Comforter, my All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand.

May you be refreshed, renewed, reshaped daily in this new year – for worship, for witness and for service!

God bless you all!