Well, “‘Tis the season” and “The Weather Outside is Frightful” are almost around the corner, and I’m already beginning to hear the groans. “I hate the freezing weather and the gloomy skies.” “I hate that it’s dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home.” “I hate the snow and ice.” Okay, okay, I get it. I do. Well, maybe I do. Personally though, I don’t mind a little bit of cold. I mean it’s not like it’s Alaska cold here, right? And I kinda like snuggling up with a cozy sweatshirt, nestled in with the family at home with a nice warm fire. And the snow isn’t so bad really. It sure makes everything look so pretty and peaceful. Maybe winter’s not so bad after all.

Okay, before some of you start sending hate mail, I realize that Ohio winters aren’t for everyone. There’s a reason so many “snowbirds” travel south for the winter. And I suppose that Seasonal Affective Disorder could possibly be a real thing.

Actually, I wonder if some of that isn’t more situational than the seasonal. (I think I just found a new hashtag:  #SituationalAffectiveDisorder.) Anyway, whether seasonal or situational, here’s something I know to be true:  So much of how we feel about something is based on how we choose to think about it. Two people can be going through the exact same circumstances and can experience it in two totally different ways: one with a positive outlook and one with a negative outlook. Most of the world would simply see it as being an optimist or a pessimist, but as a follower of Christ, I think it’s much more than just seeing the glass half-full rather than seeing it half-empty. The Biblical word that separates the two is the word HOPE. It is a way of looking at anything and everything knowing that God is going to bring about the best possible outcome no matter how much Satan manipulates it, or we mess it up ourselves.

In Romans 15:13 Paul prays this, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” He must have known what a difficult 2020 we were going to have and that we’d need that encouragement, right?! He may not have, but God sure did! God knows what we’re going through. He knows what YOU are going through; right now! He knows your fears, your failures, your uncertainties, and discouragements. He knows and sees it all. He is eager to pour out His hope into your life. You just simply need to ask. He won’t always take the difficulties away, but He will ALWAYS give you all you need to get through them and grow closer to Him in the process.

May His hope overflow into every area of your life!

~ Pastor Mitch