The God of hope!

 Hope  Comments Off on The God of hope!
Dec 302017
 

I heard a story about a man who was imprisoned during Napoleon’s reign.

While sulking in his dungeon one day, he etched on the wall the words:
“Nobody Cares!”

A few weeks later-
– through a crack in the dungeon floor, a little green shoot sprang forth, reaching toward the tiny ray of sunlight that came from his small prison cell window.

The prisoner began giving a portion of his daily water to the little shoot and it began to grow.

One morning the man awoke to a beautiful flower.

A tear rolling down his face-
– he crossed out the words, “Nobody Cares!”
– and replaced them with “God Cares!”

The story goes on to tell that his devotion to the flower was reported to the Empress Josephine.
She was so very moved that she convinced Napoleon to set the man free.

How many times do we feel like “Nobody Cares”?

God has planted little shoots of hope in each and every one of our difficult circumstances.
Do you know that?

Perhaps we’re stepping on them, not even noticing they exist.
Perhaps we’re pulling the shoots before they spring forth into beautiful flowers.

God wants us to be released from our prisons of despair.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).

(PA)

Hope does not disappoint!

 Hope, Word of God  Comments Off on Hope does not disappoint!
Dec 062017
 

“Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Our God is a God of surprises!

He tailor-makes every miracle.
He individually designs every life.

Every day is different.
And His every deliverance is unique.

He is never capricious, changeable, erratic or unstable.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Amid the complexity of His manifold ways-
-always there is the solid foundation of His love.

We can always count on that!

The Bible longs for us to understand-
– “what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

According to the apostle John-
– the more we understand the shoreless ocean of God’s love,
– the less we’ll fear the choppy waters of life,
– for “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

If you feel your life is unpredictable and unstable right now-
– focus on His unchanging love!

Thank Him for “the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Resting in the predictable and perfect security of God’s love-
– will bring revival to our souls!

(PA)

The Ultimate Answer

 Hope  Comments Off on The Ultimate Answer
Oct 102017
 

Centuries ago-
One of the Hebrew prophets cried out:
“Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?” (Habakkuk 1:13).

We don’t always know why God allows evil and injustice to happen.
Some day we’ll understand – but not yet.

But we do know this:
We live in a world that has been torn and twisted by sin and evil.

This present world isn’t the way God intended it to be.
God meant for it to be a place of peace and joy.

But human rebellion and greed took over, and all around us we see the results.
And behind it all is the terrible reality of Satan, whom the Bible calls “your enemy” (1 Peter 5:8).

The ultimate answer is Jesus Christ-
– who came to defeat the powers of evil and Satan.

What difference can He make?
First-
He gives us hope right now – hope that even in the midst of life’s worst trials and injustices, He is with us and will help us.
No matter what happens, we are never alone if we know Christ.

Christ also gives us hope for the future.
Some day, this life will end – but if we know Christ, we know we’ll be with Him in heaven forever.

Some day-
– the scales will be balanced…
– wrong will be judged…
– Satan will be defeated …
– and all evil will end.

Don’t put your hope in the passing things of this flawed world.
But put your faith in Christ and trust your life into His hands.

(PA)

Frustrated and fainting?

 Hope  Comments Off on Frustrated and fainting?
Oct 052017
 

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me” (Psalm 138:7).

The Hebrew rendering of the above is “go on in the center of trouble.”

What descriptive words!

We have called on God in the day of trouble.
We have pleaded His promise of deliverance.
But no deliverance has been given.

The enemy has continued oppressing until-
– we were in the very thick of the fight, in the center of trouble.

Why then trouble the Master any further?
Martha said, “Lord, if You had been here my brother had not died.”

Our Lord met her lack of hope with His further promise:
“Thy brother shall rise again.”

And when we walk “in the center of trouble” and are tempted to think like Martha that the time of deliverance is past-
He meets us too with a promise from His Word.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.”

Though His answer has so long delayed-
– though we may still continue to “go on” in the midst of trouble,
– “the center of trouble” is the place where He revives.

When in the hopeless place, the continued hopeless place, is the very time-
– when He will stretch forth His hand against the wrath of our enemies and perfect that which concerns us,
– the very time when He will make the attack to cease and fail and come to an end.

Why should we be frustrated and fainting?

(PA)

Jul 302017
 

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13). 

These words contain God’s command to the believer-

– when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties.

He cannot retreat;

He cannot go forward;

He is shut upon the right hand and on the left.

What is he now to do?

God’s Word to him is “stand still.”

It will be well for him if, at such times, he listens only to his Lord’s Word-

– for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions.

Pessimism whispers, “Lie down and give up.”

But God would have us put on a cheerful courage.

And even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness.

Phobia says, “Retreat; go back to Egypt; it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.”

But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you-

– you cannot follow him, if you are a child of God.

What if for a while you are called to stand still; yet this is but to renew your strength for some greater advance in due time.

Precipitancy cries, “Do something; stir yourself; and waiting is sheer idleness.”

We must be doing something at once–we must do it, so we think–instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something, but will do everything.

Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it, and expect a miracle.”

But faith hears God say:

“Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands.

“Stand still!”

Keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice!

God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward!’

In times of uncertainty, wait.

Always, if you have any doubt, wait.

Do not force yourself to any action.

If you have a restraint in your spirit-

– wait until all is clear,

– and do not go against it.

Wait for His Word!

You shall go forward!!

(PA)