Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings and prayer prompts to help you spend time with, and draw closer to Jesus.
Romans 15:13 “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.” (ESV)
Walking in Step with the Companion of Hope
The word “hope" is a simple one, but it’s often erroneously used interchangeably with the word “wish.” While wishes are usually far-fetched and fleeting, the kind of hope Jesus brings us is grounded in the unchanging promises of God. Even though we’re promised an eternity with Jesus in a place that will exceed every imaginable pleasure on earth, finding hope — and continually having it in our hearts — often seems like one of the hardest things to do. The fact is, most of us struggle to feel the hope of heaven when we’re down in the pits of the daily grind. Our faith tells us that we have a hope and a future, but sometimes our circumstances can overrun our hearts and minds and leave us feeling anything but hopeful, joyful, or content. While hope is offered to us continuously through the Spirit of Jesus living inside of us, it takes practice to learn how to access it and experience its power as our constant companion on the road of life.
Hope is something we cultivate deep within us that rises higher and higher the longer we pursue God, and yield our need for control to Him. Hope doesn’t change what we see, like the lens of optimism or pessimism. Instead, hope changes us to withstand the journey on this side of heaven with enduring joy, peace, and contentment. Romans 15:13 says, “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.” When we take the step of faith to actively trust God in every circumstance, from the smallest challenge to the greatest worry, we can experience the supernatural power of hope — but only if we want to receive it. Many times we declare our faith and trust in God, but deep inside we are still unwilling to completely release our grip on whatever is worrying us or whatever we think we need to retain. We go through the act of laying something down at the feet of Jesus, only to pick it back up again for fear of not knowing what God will do with it… or not do with it. The hands of our hearts tighten around whatever makes us feel safe and more in control. Our professed faith and trust become only words and wishes, not actions. The hope promised to us in Romans 15:13 is the result of continually practiced actions — not empty wishes.
The 11th chapter of Hebrews clearly explains and gives examples for what it means to find, receive, and practice hope as a follower of Jesus. It begins with verse 1: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Far from being a shaky, tenuous wish that God might work things out for His people, the verse makes it clear that our hope is assured — or guaranteed — to be fulfilled. We may not have any idea what might happen tomorrow, but we can count on Jesus being there by our side every step of the way. We can count on Him using everything that happens — good or bad — for His glory and for our good. When the reason for our hope is found in Him, we will never be put to shame (Psalm 25:3). The remainder of this amazing chapter is what some have called the Pantheon of Faith or the Hall of Hope because it reads like a who’s who list of Old Testament Biblical heroes who lived with hope in their hearts despite not seeing everything God had promised come to fulfillment in their lifetimes. They believed God’s promises and trusted Him to do what He said He would do, even if they never saw it come to fruition. Hebrews 11 concludes in verses 39-40 with this stunning proclamation for all of us who follow Jesus. "These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them. But now God has invited us to live in something better than what they had—faith’s fullness! This is so that they could be brought to finished perfection alongside of us.” (TPT)
This week as you reflect on the Scripture readings, begin each day by asking God to help you answer this question: What needs to change in my heart, in my priorities, or in my perspective to receive and act upon the hope that Jesus offers me daily?
Daily Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
As you contemplate these passages throughout the week, make time to pray before you read them and then again, afterward. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind. God wants to spend time with you.
Monday - Read Genesis 12:1-4 and Romans 4:16-22. As you think about the faith Abraham exhibited by leaving his hometown when God told him to do so — and without even knowing where he’d end up — what comes to mind in what God might be asking you to do? Re-read the passages again and ask God to speak to your heart about the hope He’s given you to trust Him in seasons of uncertainty. If a specific verse brings you encouragement, write it out on an index card or sticky note to look at throughout the week.
Tuesday - Read the story of Rahab in Joshua 2. Although she was a prostitute, her heart for God and willingness to be used for His glory ensured a place for her among the list of Biblical heroes in Hebrews 11 (see verse 31). She was also the great, great grandmother of King David, which means she was an ancestor of Jesus Himself. As you contemplate her story and very humble beginnings, spend time thanking and praising God for His unconditional love for us, which is not dependent on our own merit, works, or status. Ask the Holy Spirit to use Rahab’s story to give you hope in your own situation.
Wednesday - Read Daniel 6. Spend time imagining yourself in Daniel’s place in the lion’s den. Betrayed by your employer, separated from your friends and family, and facing certain death, what would you have done sitting on the floor of the den listening to the lion's pace and growl in the darkness? Ask God to give you a glimpse of the divine hope that must’ve been in Daniel’s heart for him to have been so calm before, during, and after the ordeal. Spend time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help you release any fears in your heart — both the temporary and the deep-seated ones — and replace them with supernatural hope in His promise to see you through.
Thursday - Read 1 Samuel 1. Prayer was a critical component in Hannah’s ability to hold on to hope while enduring a bitter situation. Romans 12:12 says, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Spend time asking God to show you how to do these three things throughout your day. Start by writing down at least one blessing or promise that gives you hope, one difficulty that requires your patience, and one person or situation to pray for each time you take a break from the day’s tasks or activities.
Friday - Read Ephesians 1:17-21 in The Passion Translation. Read verse 18 several times slowly letting the meaning of the words sink into your soul. “I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of His calling — that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that He finds in us, His holy ones!” Close your eyes and as you sit quietly, ask the Holy Spirit to ignite your imagination with what it will be like to be in the presence of Jesus one day. Ponder what is meant by the “hope of His calling” for you personally. Ask God to show you what He is calling you to do or be today.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore what it means to experience Biblical hope.
Want to Go Even Further?
If you are not already using our weekly study guide with your community group or family members, you're missing out on thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study.
SERMON STUDY GUIDE - ANCHORED - WEEK 1
Watch CF Beyond Sunday this Monday!
After each sermon, our pastors and various church leaders sit down for about 20 minutes to have a lively discussion about the weekend's topic. It will be posted on YouTube and the church website on Monday night, July 6!