Do not give up hope! Paul did not write to his friends to condemn them but rather to encourage them to live life with joy and great hope. This expanded sentence shows that pressing on in God is so worth it. For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope. Let’s be thankful for the blessings we have received, and with hope wait for the blessings yet to come. And come they will to those who seek to live rightly with God. Anticipate His blessings like a child anticipates a birthday gift. God’s blessings are presents that help shape us to be more like Jesus. Being like Him is very, very good for us.
I’m no longer a kid, but I still love birthdays. Back in 2001 I founded ABC (August Birthday Club) with two friends, and through the years it has been fun to include other women who have August birthdays too. I had a feeling that turning forty might be a challenging year for me so I bought journals that year for my birthday friends and I began to focus on a year of joy. As passages about joy filled my journal, my life reflected that joy with expanding hope. My fortieth year was a great growth year. I was intent on seeking out joy, wherever it could be found, in both the obvious places and in challenging situations too, and in doing so my faith and trust increased. I’m excited about the blessings God still has for me, no matter what my age. Each completed year is evidence of His love in my life as His Presence is the most cherished gift.