So the groundhog has seen his shadow and that means we hunker down for another six weeks of winter. For us here in the Midwest it’s been a polar vortex winter: bitter cold the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. Another six weeks of cold and snow? Many can’t wait for spring and along with it sun and warmth.

In life there are often seasons of waiting and hoping. The cold cruelties of life chill our spirit. It feels as though our faith goes into hibernation. Where is joy to warm our hearts? Still, we don’t give up hope because just as surely as spring follows winter, when God speaks his Word hope revives.

Are you in a “polar vortex” of pain and despair? Does it seem as though God has gone into hibernation and doesn’t care about your life? Hear God speak to revive your faith:

“Through [Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:2-5)

Do you want to be close to God so that he can warm your heart during your time of waiting in the winter of sin and guilt? Then remember your baptism for it is there that the Holy Spirit took up residence in your heart. Hear a sermon because through God’s preached Word our heavenly Father puts hope in our hearts. Receive Holy Communion because under the bread and wine Jesus is truly present to “strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting” through this salutary gift.

“How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.” – Hosea 11:8

+ Pr. Jim Schulz

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