HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT

August 25, 2010Read: Romans 5

"Hope does not disappoint." --Romans 5:5

I've always loved today's theme verse. Read it again. I've purposefully held out the surrounding verses, because I want to focus on this phrase for a second. See, when the world mentions the word 'hope,' its tone is usually one of question or doubt. I hope I get an "A". I hope she likes me. I hope nobody notices. I hope....

Well, the bible says that strength comes to those who hope in the Lord. No question there. No sign of doubts. It's a done deal. Why? God...will...come...through...for...us. How do we know? He died for us. That's why Paul said in Romans 15, "May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace." Look up and read the verse again out loud.

Are you in need of a sure thing? When dreams allude us and people fall short, and all we want is a glimmer:

"We know that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." --Romans 5:3-5

It's the ultimate catch-22. If we invite the God of hope into our hearts, He delivers it on impact.

And you know what they say about hope.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars

You don't need to pour your life savings into mass-produced energy bars. This tasty recipe from PrayFit contributor Dana Angelo White (www.danawhitenutrition.com) gives you plenty of fuel for your day -- and without the fancy wrapper.

Ingredients: Cooking Spray 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups rolled oats 2 cups crisp brown rice cereal 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots 1/2 cup chopped dried figs 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions: Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, peanut butter, maple syrup, canola oil, brown sugar, cinnamon. Stir and cook until mixture just begins to bubble, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. In a large bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, peanuts, apricots, figs and salt. Pour peanut butter mixture over oatmeal mixture and stir gently with a spatula until well combined. Transfer to baking dish, cover with parchment paper and press firmly into dish. Allow to cool completely (mix will cool faster in the refrigerator). Cut into squares or bars and serve.

Calories: 240 | Total fat: 10g | Saturated fat: 1.5g | Carbohydrate: 30g | Protein: 6g | Sodium: 70mg

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is the nutrition expert for Food Network.com and the Healthy Eats blog. She is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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