We had our Christmas program in church yesterday. The choir sang two beautiful arrangements of Silent Night and The First Noel. There was a violin solo and a piano solo which were both incredible. I'm amazed at the talent in this ward. There is talent everywhere, but we seem to be abundantly blessed in this particular place. The entire Bishopric spoke in between musical numbers. The talk that I loved was about HOPE...I thought it was especially appropriate given the events of the weekend and the Christmas season.
"The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward. UAdd a NoteHope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear."
"Hope is not knowledge,17 but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future.18 It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance."
"We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future."
I love that. I know that hope pushes us forward. It motivates us to do more than we think we're capable of. I have felt the driving power of hope in my life. I am grateful that hope makes tomorrow look brighter than today. And I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who provided a Savior so that we can all fully experience the reality of that hope.