Posts Tagged ‘God’

discernment-1

Would it make any difference to you if you could have background knowledge of events before they happened so that you would “know what to do” when the time came? Do you think that just having that understanding might give you more of a sense of confidence in this world because you knew what was going to happen?

I think the easy answer is yes to these questions because understanding is so important when events are happening around us. To possess the knowledge of maybe when to go, or when to stay, or when to speak, or when not to can be the difference between success and failure no matter what our situation.

Many people call what I am describing here discernment. Webster defines discerning as: to perceive by the sight or some other sense or to recognize as distinct or different.

Can you imagine the capability to discern what the intent was in any situation? Can you imagine having the ability to discern what was going on right now, in this age? To actually recognize something you and I see for what it is, and even more importantly, know what you should do about it?

I found an example of this very idea in the Bible that caused me to think about this topic and how this might apply to you and me. It is a very short verse but nonetheless, very powerful in its meaning:

…men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do-200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; 1 Chronicles 12:32

In the research I have done on the Men of Issachar, I have learned that whole books and sermons have been written and preached over just these few words.

The set up for this verse is that the Philistines have killed Saul and David has been anointed King over Israel. He has been living in Hebron prior to him taking back Jerusalem as his kingdom however during his time in Hebron, warriors came from all over to join his army and as the writer of Chronicles tells us in verse 22, Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. One of these groups joining him were the men of Issachar, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. I think it is important to point out here in scripture, they receive special mention because of out of all the tribes; they discerned what God was doing by bringing David to the throne and as a result, they understood the specific circumstances as God revealed to them through discernment.

These men had received from God the gift of discernment and used it in the way He wanted them to. In this instance, they recognized that this was a crucial time – the 11 tribes of Israel were without a leader, without guidance, and a model to follow. This was a time for special understanding. It was a time for real discernment.

But to me, the most compelling part of this verse is; they knew what Israel should do.

 I come back to one of my original questions from the beginning:

Can you imagine knowing what to do and the right time you should do it?

If you said yes, then join the club because who wouldn’t want that ability?

But the reality is guys is that any of us can have this ability and all we have to do is ask. But understand up front from me that Spiritual discernment is far more than a skill, but rather it is a gift from God. Moreover, God can only give it to you if you do the following:

One who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (I John 4:8)

Guys, God wants you plugged into Him for the answers you need everyday and if you can do that, if you will seek Him constantly, daily, all the time, He will give you the discernment necessary to make the right decisions for you and your family.

I will not lie to you. This process takes effort from you. You have to do the heavy lifting by getting on your knees and talking to Him about your life, your family and all the difficult stuff. Your relationship with God is just like muscle, if you don’t physically exercise, your muscles get atrophied and soft. On the other hand, when you do exercise, your muscles stay strong and can bear a tremendous amount of stuff this world will throw at you.

If you exercise your relationship with God, I can guarantee you a different result when you ask for discernment.

There…you now have the answers to the test.

The question is…what are you going to do about it?

 

Until next time guys-

Happy New Year from IronmanStrength!

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Hey Guys-

As I’ve told you before, every now and then I run across a story that fits right into the message here at IronMan Strength and this one no exception. I learned about this college baseball coach a couple of years ago and as I began to research him, I began to understand why he was such a legend in the eyes of so many of his former players as well as anyone else who knew of him.

John Scolinos was born March 28, 1918-2009) in Los Angeles, California and was a Hall of Fame College Baseball Head coach who coached at Pepperdine University from 1948 to 1960 and Cal Poly Pomona University from 1962 to 1991. He died at age 91 in 2009.

Coach Scolinos had a total of 1,198 victories on the diamond and while coaching Cal Poly Pomona, he won Division II national championships in 1976, 1980 and 1983. Along with the aforementioned, he also won six California Community College Athletic Association championships and was named Division II coach of the year three times.

He was even the pitching coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Baseball team that included Will Clark and Mark McGwire, in which they finished as runner up to the Japanese that year.

This story was written a few years back by Chris Sperry and appeared on his blog, http://www.sperrybaseballlife.com/stay-at-17-inches/

I hope you enjoy…

 

“Stay at 17 inches!”

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend.  One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here?  Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who, is John Scolinos, I wondered.  No matter, I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948.  He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the world is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches.  Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.  Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck.  Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible.  I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.  “No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy.  The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room.  “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?” more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said.  “How about in Babe Ruth’s day?  Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?”  Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.

“How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked.  “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here?  How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT!  And in the Major Leagues, how wide is home plate in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?”  Pause.  “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy.  You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target?  We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches.  We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it.  If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice?  When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven?  What if he gets caught drinking?  Do we hold him accountable?  Or do we change the rules to fit him.  Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.  He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something.  When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.  “This is the problem in our homes today.  With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids.  With our discipline.  We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards.  We simply, widen the plate!”

Pause.

Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our public schools today.  The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people.  We are allowing others to widen home plate!  Where is that getting us?”

Silence.

He replaced the flag with a Cross.

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years.  Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves!  And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government.  Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves.  They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries.  They no longer serve us.  And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

I was amazed.  At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.  From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader.  I had to hold myself and others accountable to that, which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today.  It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to…” 

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside. “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine.  Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches.  He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

Until next time guys…

 

Blue sign points the way to happiness

I heard someone the other day make this statement to me about how unhappy his life is and all of the troubles he is going through right now. He said that after all the bad stuff he has had to deal with, he believes now he has paid the price and is due some happy times because he deserves to be happy.

Is that how our lives are supposed to be? We struggle with daily trials and difficulties whether we are married or single. We deal with our kids, our jobs, and our families and once we reach a certain point, the scale tips and then things start to go our way? Is that part of God’s plan?

But what does God think? Does He say, “Well this guy has been on my “bad” list for 6 months but now I am going to switch him over to my good list to balance things out”.

Sometimes I think we work hard in our minds to assume that God thinks like we do.

Everyday, all of us hear that something isn’t fair or, we need to balance that out when all along God never promised us happiness and bliss while here on earth.

I know what I am about to say will not excite anyone but the reality is, who are you or who am I that we would challenge God about anything? The idea that God needs to bring me happiness in this life or else is ludicrous and frankly, just selfish. I have said this before, God is God and we are NOT. If we approach God on those terms, HE WILL NOT HEAR US. The Bibles tells us to, humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:10

There is a character in the Bible that maybe you have heard of or maybe not called Paul. Before he was Paul however, he was called Saul and before he was an Apostle, he was on a mission to exterminate Christians from the early church (Acts 9:1). Saul was NOT a nice guy. But as we see in the same series of verses (Acts 9:1-17), God had a very different idea about who Saul was and how He would use him for His own purposes. God’s intent was to save Saul and use an actual enemy of Christianity as a force for His good.

My main point in using this story today is to simply draw your attention to a single verse from Christ at the point of Saul’s conversion.

For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name. Acts 9:16

When I read this, my first thought was Christ was getting retribution from Saul for all of the persecution he inflicted upon Christians by making him suffer too. But then I realized that was not the case at all, Christ was foreshadowing the many statements that Paul himself would make as he walked his own Christian journey.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

 

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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 5:3-5

 

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.     Philippians 1:27-30 (NKJV)

 

Through his own suffering, Paul experienced an amazingly, intimate relationship with Christ that he would never give up for anything he had before. There are so may examples of how Paul went through prison and torture and still praised God.

Read this from Paul’s own words:

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move.

 I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

2 Corinthians 11:23-27

 

So am I suggesting that we focus on just suffering for God? No, I’m not. What I am suggesting is that my original question is flawed because we are NOT on this earth to be “JUST” happy. God never promised us that. He never told us that life on this earth would be pure bliss and our existence is just about being happy. I do think the world we live in does make that a priority. What God did tell us is that HE WOULD BE WITH US as we walked down the path. One thing I can say with confidence, bad things will happen but in Him, we can find ways to move forward even though we may be in pain. God does NOT owe you or me anything. You have been given a freewill to choose either the easy path or the hard one. (Luke 13:24)

I encourage you to read what Paul wrote about the pain of his life and his journey as a way to help inspire you on yours. (Philippians 3: 7-11) If we can gain the right perspective about our life here on earth and NOT think that God owes us anything, it will change the way you think and pursue God but more importantly, the suffering you may experience along the way will be different. How?

God will use your suffering to make you stronger in Him. I know it sounds crazy but if you rely on God while on the path, He will get you through safely and over to the other side.

I leave you with one more word from Paul:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11

 

Until next time guys…

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Back in 2011, I posted this in honor of the greatest fighter that ever lived. As a result of his passing this weekend, I wanted to repost in his honor. Whether you liked him or not, he changed the sport of boxing with his style and his personality. He was a game-changer and very fun to watch him “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.

RIP Mohammed Ali…

We have all heard of Muhammad Ali and we know that he tended to be controversial because he was so outspoken. What I find interesting now is when you go back and listen to what he was saying, he really knew exactly who he was and exactly what he wanted.

Many of these quotes are truly inspirational but the bottom line is, don’t let other people make up your mind about what YOU are supposed to do OR become…With Christ’s help, you can become exactly who He wants you to be…exactly who you are designed to be…Enjoy these quotes and just a “little” commentary…

1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Without a doubt, life is ebb and flow and most of the time you are relaxed, but every now and then you have to stick up for what you believe in. When that time comes…sting like a bee!

2. “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”

Stop procrastinating and focus on your dream…don’t put off what you can do and be right now!

3. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

In my opinion, Impossible is a cop out. Impossible is for people who like to live inside the box…I prefer to think outside that box…how about you?

4. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If not, pretend you are.”

Confidence starts with you…What can YOU do and what can YOU achieve…? That is 100% up to you because YOU get to choose…

5. “What you are thinking is what you are becoming.”

If you are focused exclusively on what you can’t do, or no focus on the impossible, I can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Stay focused on your dream.

6. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Life is too short to waste time on pursuits that don’t allow you to reach your mountaintop. Focus your energy each and every day on reaching the next level, YOUR next level. Every day do just one thing towards your goal.

7. “What keeps me going is goals.”

Without goals, you are NOT accountable to yourself as well as how do you measure that you’re going in the right direction? Goals keep you focused…Goals keep you motivated…

8. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

Life is all about making choices…You can be whatever YOU want to be…Make the right choices

9. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

A friend of mine told me recently “Life is too short, drink the good wine first”…I like that.

10. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

I have found age to be only in my mind…I work hard to stay young. What do you do?

11. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.”

I am NOT going to give up on you…but you have to help…

12. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

Another way to look at this is “when in doubt, shut up…”

 

So what do you think?

I really enjoyed his quotes and I hope you did too. Yes I know that Muhammad Ali was a loud mouth that never stopped talking but he backed up what he said in the ring. After reading about his philosophy through his words, it sounds like I should have paid more attention to what he was saying.

Guys, I included these quotes as inspiration to help face a new day. I know all of you will face tough times like unemployment, or your hours being cut, or something worse. My words to you are don’t give up, keep on trusting in Jesus Christ for your life’s direction. He really cares and the best part is he will never leave you OR forget you. No matter what your circumstances may be, you are NOT alone…believe me…I leave you with these verses…

If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the LORD, who is my refuge…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalms 91:9-16

 

Until next time guys…

 

 

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For the last several years, I have had the pleasure of working with an atheist who is 100% adamant that there is no God, or any god, in this universe. Her premise is simple; she is here and she makes her own way through life and there really isn’t much after that. Our conversations about this topic tend to be very short because in her mind, there really isn’t another side to this argument. She refuses to accept the notion that there is a higher power and that He created this world from scratch. She tells me what she thinks sometimes, but it just sounds like a rationalized excuse.

Now it has never been my job to judge anyone because they have the beliefs they have. All I can do is share and then let God do the heavy lifting in their lives. What is always hard though is when you think about the physical examples that God has given us to recognize Him as we see in nature or as we learn more about the human body and how the microscopic world functions on our behalf. All these things that we didn’t know but have discovered along the way, they always were there but now discovered, are an example of the kind of Creator we serve.

All of these physical examples have not swayed my coworker into any acceptance of what she sees around here having any connection to a God.

Honestly, that fact alone scares the heck out of me because of these verses:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20

Please inspect these verses carefully and understand the critical nature of what they mean for you, for me, and my friend. God expects us to recognize Him by what we see around us. This verse explains that, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen and separated from what has been made.

In other words, what MAN has made versus what God has made.

Man builds a skyscraper. God creates a mountain. Man discovers DNA. God invented DNA. Man can perform surgery on the human body. God created the human body.

Do you see the difference?

Then there are the constant physical examples like Yosemite, or the Pacific Ocean, the miracle of birth with your own children…all these examples around you that if you wanted to, you can try and make an excuse, or labor to explain all of what you see because of just science, but I speak the truth when I say to you…You cannot go about your daily lives living in ignorance.

As the verse clearly explains…In Gods eyes, we are without excuse. We have our time here on earth to get this right. We don’t get a “do-over” and we certainly don’t get a chance to explain to Him why we didn’t choose to believe when we had the chance to. We have the here and now. One time through this world and that is it. We get to choose 100% of which direction we should go and where we spend eternity is determined by what we believe.

This post is NOT intended to upset you, but when I see Gods word communicated so clearly for this generation, I put it into a blog so you can see it also.

My only goal is that you too will look around you at the examples God has shown us as examples of His presence and see for yourself.

Would you do me a favor and look closely first and then make your decision?

 

Until next time guys…

 

hope-hand

I am not sure if it’s just me, or is there a significant amount of difficulty, adversity and even downright despair in what I see around me right now? Life does tend to be ebb and flow most of the time whereby good and bad problems drift into our lives and then subside (yes, I believe there are good problems, like having so much work you don’t know where to put it all). But in my worldview, I see despair in both friends and family where there should be joy.

I believe that despair is one of Satan’s most powerful weapon because if he hits you at just the right moment, you literally feel no hope…or in other words, you feel despair. Do you remember when you were a kid and you wrestled with your siblings or your Dad and there was always the time when everyone “piled on” leaving the one on the bottom to scream in pain? That’s what Satan does when you are struggling with anything…he piles on driving you into despair.

Did you know that despair is the complete loss or absence of hope? I find that definition interesting because as a child of God, there is always hope…am I correct?

But yet honestly, who hasn’t felt despair even as a child of God? I think we all have, which tells me a couple things:

  1. Satan is alive and well on this earth and seeks to kick your butt anytime he can.
  2. How much are you actually trusting God during this difficult time?

Now, I completely understand that despair is an internal battle for control over what you are feeling inside. Satan is pouring every possible bad thing he can onto you and God is looking to you to reach out to Him and just hang on. That unseen battle is real and I know many of you have felt it before.

despair

I have a very good Christian friend right now in the midst of this type of despair. He is at that time in his life where his Mother requires an assisted living facility to help with her care but she doesn’t want to go and his fear is that she gets there, she will die. My friend is agonizing over this decision and it’s driving him into a bad place in his life. He feels there is no hope.

As is always true in this blog, I have a couple of verses I want to share with you and then some simple knowledge to pass your way. The first scripture is from Paul who frankly, lived a very hard life once he became a follower of Christ…NOT an easy one. Please note that this verse is clear about life…that he may have been down, but he was not crushed, or in despair. In other words, life is hard…but when you hang onto God, you can get through it.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)

Secondly, here is word from my favorite Bible character, David.

May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you

(Psalms 25:21 NIV)

Simply put guys, despair is a bad place to be and it will take God to get you out of it. That means no only prayer on your own part, but prayers from family and friends. As mentioned, you are in a battle and Satan wants to be victorious over you. He knows that beating you will have the trickle down effect on both your wife and children. In other words, everyone will be miserable. THAT IS HIS GOAL…and you need to recognize that.

I challenge all of you today to hang onto God and to trust in Him for hope. If you recall the story of David, he was near death to many times to count, but as the verse above states, “his hope was in God”. He recognized that without Him, despair would soon come.

I further challenge you today to claim Gods hope for your own life and climb out of the depths of despair. I understand that right now, these may be just words to you, but know that GODS WORD DOES NOT RETURN VOID.

Cling to Christ and what His Word says and He will cling to you…

Until next time guys…

 

Hope-2-570x3791

Very near 3 years ago, I wrote this post based upon what I sensed and felt going on in the world at that time; sadness and destruction. As I listen and watch the world news over the last few days, with all of the horrific death and destruction in France, Belgium and the Middle East, I once again seek God for the very same thing…hope.

I cannot provide anyone with the reasons why all of this is happening other than simply the Bible talking about “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:31, 1 John 5:19) prowling around seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8) those who don’t resist him. Believe me my friends, NOW IS THE TIME TO RESIST HIM. Don’t give up but rather look to Him for your hope.

God’s word is clear…”I will never leave you or forsake (forget) you” (Joshua 1:5)

So here again, are my 5 reasons we can have HOPE right now…

By its very nature, the word hope concerns the future, our future. However, I am not referring to a simple hope such as, “I wish I had a nicer car or bigger house”, but rather I am talking about Biblical hope, which is very different. Biblical hope consists of an assurance inside your heart or better yet, a firm confidence about future things because of Gods promises and His revelation to us. Guys, real Biblical hope in Christ Jesus is something that is never failing when you place your trust in Him. In fact Paul tells us in Romans 15:13;

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, Biblical hope is inseparably linked with a firm faith in Him. They go hand-in-hand with one another. As a result, what is yielded is a confident trust in God that is unshakable when the adversity of life hits you like a wave….(Like right now).

So with all of the chaos our world is throwing at you every single day, I wanted to give you some actual reasons why you can still have faith and HOPE that things are going to still be alright…So here are my 5 reasons for all of us to have HOPE right now…

  1. God is still on the throne – He hasn’t gone anywhere. He is still alive and at work in our world. I know it is very easy to look at what happens in this world and say God is dead or may he is just sleeping because I have heard that before. But I assure you He is alive and well and knows exactly what is happening on this earth.
  2. With man, things are impossible…but with God, ALL things are possible (Mark 10:27) It is so very easy to just give up and give in to all of the adversity that is constantly thrown in our direction because we simply forget Gods promises. Bottom line, God has NO limitations. His ways are NOT our ways and therefore he will not react or think as we do…our response needs to be to simply ask, to trust, and to hope in Him.
  3. You Are Not Alone – As we are told in Joshua 1:5, He will never leave us nor forsake us and I’ve come to realize that me trying to understand the why’s of this world is NOT my job. My job is to completely trust in Him…even though I don’t understand. LET GOD DO THE HEAVY LIFTING. Do you remember the story of Peter when he got out of the boat and started walking on the water to meet Jesus? (Matthew 14:29-30) He was actually walking on water until he took his eyes off of Christ and then what happened? He started sinking fast…and what was his reaction? He cried, “Lord save me!” which is exactly what we are supposed to do…
  4. All of what you are going through right now is only temporary – Weeping may last for the night…but joy comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5). It is easy to “get caught up” with what we SEE. But I am here to remind you that Jesus has prepared a place for all of us IN HEAVEN (John 14:2) and this place we see around us, will all pass away. It is only temporary. Heaven is eternal.
  5. I know how this story ends – All of the difficulty and adversity we face every day sometimes can be overwhelming. In fact, it may seem like the bad guy in this world may be winning. But let me assure you with an overwhelming confidence. Have you ever read Revelation? Because I know who wins in the end. You and I will be victorius.

But you MUST STAY THE COURSE. Don’t give up. Have faith and put your trust in Him and He will give you reason to HOPE…

 

Until next time guys…