White Knuckle Christianity

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 so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

Some days you wish you had never gotten out of bed. The inspiration from Sunday’s sermon is long gone and the rest of the week glares at you from the calendar. You can’t even find hope at all, much less abound in it. You had great hope Sunday afternoon. You were gonna make some changes, step it up, recommit yourself to your life’s purpose. You even set your Bible on the edge of the table to remind you to read it. But by the time that early alarm rang, the enthusiasm had dwindled. What happened to your hope? Shouldn’t it last longer than that?

 One lesson all Christians must learn is that we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength. If we appear to be succeeding by our own efforts, we puff up with pride. If we fall flat, we slink off in defeat.  We can’t even love God the way we should. Only God can love God like God should be loved. And only God can live according to the standards He sets for us. He set it up that way on purpose—to highlight just how badly we need Him. We hang on to hope by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. The more we yield to His direction, the stronger our hope. We don’t try harder, we surrender more. The more our lives are yielded to Him, the more we can abound in hope. The hope that lasts longer than Sunday’s sermon.

Are you worn out from trying to “act like a Christian” in your own strength? Don’t try harder; surrender more.


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