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As we look to the New Year, we are hoping that 2011 will be better than 2010. In order to for the New Year to be everything it can be, we need to have goals for 2011. I’ve named our first message series for the New Year “Achieving Godly Goals.”

I know that people make all kinds of New Year’s resolutions. However, we want our goals for the New Year to be first of all from God. Secondly, we need God’s help to achieve those goals.

You’ll see that I chose a chess board as our background for this series. Chess is not a game of chance, but a game of skill. In the same way, life is not happenchance. If you live your life with godly wisdom, if you aim to achieve godly goals in 2011, you will be a winner.

Now, in order to achieve godly goals, you’ve got to have hope that good things are coming your way. Some people may be hoping for a pay raise in 2011, others are hoping just to keep their job, while others are hoping to get a job. All kinds of hopes are represented in this room today. These kinds of hope are a wish that something good will happen in the future. Sometimes these kinds of hopes come true, sometimes they don’t. These kinds of hope are based on people’s wishes, which is an uncertain foundation for hope.

Today, I want to talk about Hope for the New Year. We’re going to be talking about the hope that comes from God, not just our wishes. The hope that God gives, the hope the Bible talks about is not a hope centered within yourself and your situation. It is a hope centered on the firm foundation of God Himself. Without hope, life is meaningless, just a depressing journey to nowhere.

If you don’t have a lot of hope for the future, God wants to give you hope for the New Year this morning. God wants you to be filled with excitement for the plans and purposes He has for your life in the future. God’s gift of hope is centered on the person of Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:12 (NIV) And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”

Who is Isaiah talking about here? He is talking about Jesus. Jesus is the one who rules over the nations. Believers from all nations have put their hope in Jesus. The hope that is centered in Jesus is not just a wish. The hope that is centered in Jesus is a certainty. Hope in Jesus provides stability for your life and your eternity.

This New Year, what are you hoping for? Most people have thoughts like “I hope that this happens or that this doesn’t happen in the future.” What is the object of such a hope? There is no object. Most people’s hope is simply hope in hope. The hope that we’re going to talk about today is a hope with an object, it is a hope centered in the person of Jesus Christ.

Listen to or watch my January 2, 2011 message Hope for the New Year.

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