“…he has called us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”-1 Peter 1:3
In the interest of recommending quality spiritual resources let me introduce you to a 31 day devotional by my friend John Crotts. Hope: Living Confidently in God is just what a devotional should be. John has helpfully curated 31 passages of Scripture that offer the Christian genuine hope in the midst of the real struggles we face in life. Here’s what you can expect to find in Hope:
Scripture as the Basis of Hope
John doesn’t offer platitudes or trite catch phrases. Instead, he grounds each devotion soundly in God’s Word. We are always tempted to be attracted to the new and novel, but what we need daily is neither. It’s only sure sustenance from God’s Word that gives us true hope.
In Hope you won’t find a Pollyanna naïveté about life. On the contrary, each devotion is informed by a realistic awareness of the daily challenges we face. John uses helpful examples drawn from his pastoral and life experience. In short, this devotional is authentic, and that authenticity contributes to its effectiveness. In “When Your Options Run Out” John writes,
“Whatever situation you are facing, even if you feel like there is no way out, consider how your trial is a platform for God to display his power and love for you.”
General and Specific Devos
My favorite feature of this devotional is the balance of general principles of hope anchored in God’s character and the gospel with circumstance-specific hope. You’ll find devos with titles such as “Jesus Has the Power and Heart to Help” and an entire section on how “God’s Character Sustains Hope.” You’ll also come to a section entitled “You Can Face Life’s Difficulties with Hope.” There John offers devos like “When You Feel Abandoned by God” and “When You Are Struggling with Sin.” I really enjoyed the one-two punch of the general and specific devotions.
Lively illustrations and Practical Application
As you read this devotional you’ll also find many illustrations and examples that make reading it a pleasure. These illustrations bring the concepts to life and help the reader envision practical application of the truths of God’s Word. Each devotion ends with a short encouragement to reflect and act. There John offers some ideas for further reflection/prayer and some specific ways to directly apply the passage to your life.
A good devotion is like a good tour guide, it points you to what is noteworthy without becoming the center of attention. If you’re looking for a solid and spiritually edifying devotional consider Hope: Loving Confidently in God by John Crotts.