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We hear of dirty four-letter words. But there are many positive four-letter words as well. Words as; love, best, calm, cute, grow, heal, these are just a few. One great four-letter word that I like is hope. The standard thought for the word, hope, is a feeling or thought of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. For me, hope is much more than a desire or expectation. Hope is a powerful four-letter word.

Perhaps, like me, you receive many personalized emails using the word hope in the opening line. “I hope you are fine…” “I hope you are doing well today.” Perhaps you begin many of your personal emails this way. Anyone who has received an email from me over the years (and there have been several thousand) will have to admit, not one of those began with the word hope in a similar sentence.

You see, to me, the word hope is reserved for my faith and trust in God. God Word, The Holy Bible is chocked full from front to back with His promises of life abundant to me. This does not mean I will never go without trial, hardship, harm, or disease. I will face those all my life just like you and every other person on earth.

What God’s Word does promise is even in the midst of these hardships and trials, God will walk with me through each one. No matter what I am facing personally or what pandemic the world is facing, God’s Word assures me of His loving arms protecting me. No matter what I die from or when, God knew long ago, before my birth. And as a child of God, He has prepared a place for me that is greater than anything here on earth.

I often share at funerals I share, “Death is but a door that we all must walk through at some time. And for those who trust God as Savior and Lord, walk through that door into the open arms of Christ, our Savior.” I am pleased to live and serve God. I am grateful that He allows me to be part of His work. But I trust God and take Him at His Word.

My hope is in Christ. Yet, my hope is not in a desire, but an actual promise. God’s promise to prepare a place for me. When I use the word hope it is much more than an expectation, it is the fulfillment of God’s promise in my life. Therefore, I reserve the word hope for that very purpose.

I do not use the word hope in emails or common speech because it is a special promise from my Lord. A promise that I not only desire to be fulfilled but that I have been assured.

So, how do I begin those personal emails? I trust you are well and having a great week in Christ. Not only am I reserving the word, Hope, by using the word trust, I also exhibit the confidence that no matter what you are going through, God’s arms of love and comfort are around you. I trust because I have confidence in God.

I end this post the same way: I trust you are well and having a great week in Christ!

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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