Tag Archives: Hope

Reasons for Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1-6 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

More Reasons to be Thankful from Al Bryant

  1. We thank God for life and health. These we share together. When plague strikes a city, terror reigns. Thank God for conscious well-being and supply of daily needs.
  2. We are thankful for the benefits of civilization, for ordered government, for scientific improvements, for education, good streets, institutions of benevolence, industry, and art. America has done much to improve the lot of the common men and women like ourselves. We must share it with the world.
  3. We are thankful for a Christian environment where temperance and goodwill are encouraged, and fellowship with kindly folk is possible for us all. What would we be without the church, the open Bible, and the Gospel of Christ? These are values beyond man’s power to estimate.
  4. We are thankful for faith in the midst of tragedy. There is a God who understands and cares. Dark and mysterious is our life, but His way is good and true. Our trust is in our salvation.
  5. We are grateful for the vision of better things to be, for the promise of Christ’s kingdom and universal brotherhood in Him. It is our highway from despair, cynicism, and degeneracy.
  6. We thank God for the hope eternal. This life is but the seed of a life that will blossom into unimaginable glory according to the promise of God.

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Bad News

Seems like all we see is bad news, either in the news or social media. God gives us hope and peace when we feel hopeless or distressed.  bad news

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Discouragement

How do you meet discouragement? If we wonder sometimes if God is there, look to Paul’s words in 2Russian soldiers preparing for the Battle of Kursk July 1943 Thessalonians and know that our Father is still by our side.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”              2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

At times we need what is right in front of us but we either don’t see it or fail to reach for it. Our discouragement matters to God. Take it to Him. Allow Jesus to reveal Himself to you.

Godliness is of Value

godliness value“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive,because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:7-10

Every day we should have situational awareness that our hope is in a living God, no matter what the news tells us or our mood of the day is, we should train ourselves to that hope.

Timothy reminds us that Fidelity (faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support) and Momentum (the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity) in the present life brings us closer to the life to come.

Seeing The King On Palm Sunday

hosanna“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Today is Palm Sunday. We picture ourselves welcoming the King into our city and into our hearts. He tries to make his intentions known by coming, not on a great stallion, but on a lowly donkey, meek and humble.

I wonder how many here look upon this lowly Servant- King and feel that this is just a thin veneer, and that beneath this lowly exterior there is a terrible power and authority which is just waiting to burst out against you if you slip in any way. I wonder how many feel that it is not really the deepest pleasure of this King’s heart to serve his people and meet their needs.

I wonder how many feel that he’s riding this donkey of lowliness as a kind of camouflage. And once he gains a foothold, he will throw off his rags, pull out his sword, and storm forth to do what he really loves to do, namely, judge and destroy. Of course, some will be saved—the few who somehow could please him. But that is not his heart’s desire. He is basically angry—always angry. And the best we can do is stay out of his way, and maybe, if we keep the rules well enough, we could sneak by him when he is in one of his temporary good moods.

God’s Deepest Delight

Jesus is at pains to help you not feel that way about God. And I want to draw your attention to one verse, namely, Luke 12:32, because every little piece of this verse is intended to help take away the fear that Jesus knows we struggle with, namely, that God begrudges his benefits, that he is constrained and out of character when he does nice things, that at bottom he is angry and loves to vent his anger.

Luke 12:32 is a verse about the nature of God. It’s a verse about what kind of heart God has. It’s a verse about what makes God glad—not merely about what God will do or what he has to do, but what he delights to do, what he loves to do, and what he takes pleasure in doing. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

The phrase “good pleasure,” is a verb in Greek: “to be a pleasure” or “to be pleased by.” You could translate it: “It pleased God,” or, “God chose it gladly.” In other words, God is not acting in this generous way in order to cloak and hide some malicious motive. The word “good pleasure” utterly rules that out. He is not saying inside, “I will have to be generous for a while even though I don’t want to be, because what I really want to do is bring judgment on sinners.”

The Lord’s meaning is inescapable: God is acting here in freedom. He is not under constraint to do what he doesn’t really want to do. At this very point, when he gives his flock the kingdom, he is acting out his deepest delight. This is what the word means: God’s joy, his desire, his want and wish and hope and pleasure and gladness and delight, is to give the kingdom to his flock.

Love to the Uttermost Devotional Readings for Holy Week
John Piper

The Coming Christ

candles-4Zechariah 2:10-11 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.”

Jesus came to establish His Kingdom. We, as believers, have seen Jesus and we have been impacted by our encounter with Jesus Christ. This calls for exuberant shouting and gladness because of what he has done and continues to do within us. Because of this, we have more reason than anybody to be a people of exuberant praise.

God is in the business of restoring our hearts to such a degree that we can be people who receive grace and forgiveness. Because of God’s great love, we can be people of hope even in the desert places of life. We can be people who are living testimonies of God’s splendor, and we can be people of praise because we know the hope of our Coming Lord.

The Coming Messenger

candles-3Luke 1:46b-55 “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;  he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

As God’s very own, we are called to be messengers of the salvation brought through Christ’s first coming and the hope, for those who believe, of His Second Coming. We can see our selves as God’s representatives in the world – to be living examples of God’s forgiving, transforming power in the life of a believer.

Drink Water. Drink More Water

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you …

What first lays hold of the heart in the morning is likely to occupy the place all the day.

As we thirst for God, we open our eyes, first thing, to His understanding and long for His righteousness. We are convinced that nothing in this world can satisfy our wants and desires except a potion of God. When faith and hope starts our day we consider God’s mercy and loving kindness, devoting ourselves fully to being the kind of person in whom God can entrust His power.

We can accomplish a great deal through our own efforts and hard work. The implementation of programs and mission strategies can produce results, but there is no greater satisfaction than to see the hand of God move as we take our initial start of the day drink of His goodness and allow Him to move us in such a way that only He can get the credit for what is done.

As we lie in bed at night. We can reflect in victory knowing we consciously clung to Him, confident He is the One that upheld us.

Jesus said, On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let Him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of His heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37–38.

“Drink water. Drink more (spiritual) water” !!!

drinkwater