2019 is a year of Hope

The holidays are behind us, we hope you had good holidays in which you personally experienced God’s love. As we begin this new year, we look forward to what is to come. Plans are ready, activities and courses are planned. In everything we do we long for more of God. To immerse ourselves in His Word, discover how we can and may live close to God or longing for a personal breakthrough or touch of the Holy Spirit.

In April 2018 I was visiting friends who live as missionaries in Northern Spain. They live in a small village where they have a view of valleys full of vines. Walking through the valley I passed a large winery and marveled at the endless avenues of vines. The leaves were just emerging, I could see how in just a few months the bunches of grapes would be ready for harvest.

Last week I spoke to the same missionary and he gave a brief inspiration about John 15. It touched me and made me think for the new year. John tells about the vines, Jesus says: ‘I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower’. How could the Father be a vinedresser? It is clear that He knows that pruning is necessary, both for branches that do not bear fruit and for branches that do bear fruit. Pruning makes it grow and bloom.

Now that it is winter, the vines have been pruned and are waiting for the next season. The branches are bare, no growth or flowering is visible. The vine, the base, is fully visible. How beautiful is that? Especially in a winter season, Jesus, the real vine, is fully visible. In the cold seasons of life, in difficult times, it is Jesus who becomes visible in our lives. Where Jesus becomes visible, hope comes into the picture. Jesus challenges us to bear much fruit. To bear a lot of fruit, pruning is a prerequisite.

‘Abide in Me’, Jesus mentions three times that it is necessary for us to remain close to Him. Not always easy even though the question seems so easy. Abide in Him, let us return again and again to the source of life: Jesus. Full of His love, when life is challenging. He gives peace in times of unrest or worries. He gives hope at all times. Another beautiful aspect of this example of Jesus is that God shows Himself in all seasons. Winter, Jesus is fully visible. Summer shows the fruits, this is the glory of God the Father. In every season we are pointed to Jesus living in us. Not from our own strength but Jesus our Hope, He is alive in us.

Abide in Him and live out of His love, the year 2019 is a year of hope!

The Royal Mission team longs for Jesus to become visible in the coming year, in all churches and in everyone personally. Regardless of the season the church is in or the season you are going through in your own life. Look at Jesus, see where He stands at the base. We build on Him. We allow ourselves to be pruned, the dry branches and the branches that bear much fruit. We long to remain in Jesus together in 2019 and share His love with the people around us. That in every part of the church and of your personal life you will experience that Jesus brings renewal by giving hope. Hope for the church. Hope for the teens. Hope for your children. Hope for your marriage. Hope in the dreams that may seem so far away. Hope in your pain. Hope in your successes. Jesus, the Hope Giver, living in us.

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