Athlete, Focus on Hope

Focus on Hope

25  “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

Acts 16:25 (NIV)

Paul and Silas were just thrown in jail for removing a spirit from a girl. Yet while in jail, they prayed and sang praises to God. So many times, when we find ourselves in hard or difficult situations, we automatically want to throw ourselves a pity party. We get depressed or angry and experience all kinds of negative emotion. Yet Paul and Silas sat in jail praying and singing hymns. They knew the Lord would not forsake them, and they kept their hope. Athlete, the Lord will not forsake us either. He is always with us in the good, the bad and the ugly. We can cling to and focus on the hope we have in Christ.

Did you notice what happened to Paul and Silas? The other prisoners saw their situation and heard how they responded. When we do something out of the ordinary, people will watch and listen. When we pray and sing to God during hard times, others will notice. What better way to use our hard situations than to glorify Christ?

Prayer to consider today: Father, I know I will experience hard times or uncomfortable times. There will be times when I will want to throw my own pity party. But I know I am not a spoiled toddler. I am a child of a King. Lord, let me embrace with dignity whatever you have me go through. Let me be an example to everyone who sees me in the rough patches so they, too, can cling to You when hard times hit them. Thank you for never forsaking me and never leaving me. Thank You for walking through the dark with me.

Reflect: When rough patches come, what is your initial response?

Challenge: Stop what you’re doing. Put your phone down or move away from your computer -- right now -- and thank God that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Thank Him for always being with you. Thank Him for who He is and for His love for you.

Outreach Challenge: Look around you. Do you see someone who may be going through a hard time or is just overwhelmed with life? Ask to see how you can serve that person (a meal for a family with a newborn, a gift card for diapers or food, go grocery shopping for someone, babysit so parents can go on a date for just the two of them, mow someone's lawn, etc. Be creative!)

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