Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5
"Build it and they will come," says a young farmer to his wife in the movie "Field of Dreams." So he prepares a baseball park in a cornfield. As the story unfolds, players from the past come to life, and spectators do arrive--all in fantasy, of course.
How extravagant can we become in our dreams, our plans for the future, our hope for better days? Christian faith allows us--yes, bids us--to expect great things from God. But God has also given us reason, a mind. He wants us to exercise good judgment in all things.
In our prayers we may come with all boldness and confidence before our heavenly Father as, in Jesus' name, we make our needs and desires known. As we do this, we exercise our faith so that, whatever our suffering, we produce perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, as Saint Paul teaches in Romans (see Romans 5:3-4). That is how we Christians grow in godliness. That is how we maintain the upward look of faith as we keep our feet on the ground.
In harboring and expressing our hopes, desires, and dreams, we do well to remember what God has promised to grant us. He will not grant us things that are harmful, foolish, or fanciful--not a thriving ballpark in the midst of a cornfield. We may pray for temporal gifts: good health, a beautiful home, a well-paying job, and everything that comes under "daily bread" in the Lord's prayer, but we pray for these things with the condition that God should grant them if they are good for us and in accordance with His will. We let God choose the time and manner in answering our prayers.
For spiritual blessings, on the other hand, we pray unconditionally, knowing full well that He wants us to have them: forgiveness of sins, strength to serve Him, strong faith, and hope. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, once for all suffered on the cross so that we might have them.
PRAYER: O Lord God, grant me and the people around me the blessings we need for daily life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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