Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

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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…

 

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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…

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Guys, I don’t know about you, but as I look out on this landscape I see in front of my right now on my television screen I find myself looking toward heaven in anticipation of what God has in store for this earth. Honestly in my eyes, things appear to be bleaker as I have ever seen and I believe that the tide of evil is moving in our direction. So in this hour of concern as to “what can I do about this” again I look toward heaven and present the very same question to God and my overwhelming response is to seek Him.

I remember reading this in scripture:

You will seek and find me if you seek me with all of your heart. “I will be found by you”, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:13-14a

Remember that simple promise guys:

If you seek me you will find me…IF…you seek me with all of your heart.

If I was to go back and look at some of my favorite characters presented to us in the Bible, one of the main characteristics of all of them was how they continually sought after God through both the good and the bad times of their lives. The ominous cloud that is on the horizon is NOT the first time that Gods people have faced danger and survived. Consider this story back in the Old Testament in 2 Kings where the Assyrians were camped outside the city of Jerusalem for the sole purpose of destroying them. At that time Hezekiah, the King of Jerusalem, earnestly went to God and prayed an amazing prayer in chapter 19:14-19…you need to read this story because in his GREAT hour of need, where he feared for his life and the life of his people, he sought God and God heard him and delivered them from sure death from the Assyrians…JUST like He can do for you.

Guys, I understand I am calling your attention to a story from the Bible and its hard to relate to something that happened 2500 years ago but please understand that the God of this story is the very same God that I am asking you to seek now.

Don’t become disillusioned with seeking a God that you can’t see because the Bible is very specific about this as well:

So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corin. 4:16

imagesSo what am I really saying here?

I am here to be a voice of hope for you even in this hour of confusion and despair. How can we possibly have hope when things look bleak? Because you are not in this by yourself and I will continue to throw scripture at you because that is where we Christians are called to draw our strength from…so read these:

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

And finally:

Don’t worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him. Then God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood.

Philippians 4:6-7

Guys my challenge to you today is to begin (or continue) in earnest to seek God with everything you have and I can guarantee that you will be rewarded with an internal peace for both you and your family to rest in as we move forward in these uncertain times.

Until next time Guys…

imgresOur God is still on the throne (Psalms 47:8) – The God of the Bible…well…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…(I have heard that before) But I assure you…He is alive and very well.

With man, things are impossible…but with God, ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:21). 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 ask and to trust.

I don’t have to understand everything – I’ve come to realize that my trying to understand the why’s of this world? that is NOT my job. The more I try to understand, the more frustrated I become. My job is to completely trust in Him…even though I don’t understand why (Proverbs 3:5-6). 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…

All of what you are going through right now is only temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18) – We need to remember that what we see is only temporary and what we cannot see…well that is eternal. Even though things may look very dark in the night remember that weeping may last for the night…but joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)

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 is winning…But let me assure you with an overwhelming confidence…I know who wins in the end.

 

Until Next time Guys…

Joe the Smog Guy

Posted: February 26, 2011 in Inspirational
Tags: , , ,

In California, we have this really cool thing we get to do called getting your car smogged. Every 2 years I get to find a smog station that can get me in on a weekend, typically because I never have time during the week and smog certify my car. That is always the part that is the most nerve-wracking to me…will my car pass the test? I have taken to using a more secured approach by changing a few key maintenance items on all my vehicles to ensure they pass first time through…but I digress. You don’t care about my cars or my smog checks stories except for maybe this one.

Recently, I had 2 of my vehicles come up for their scheduled smog certifications at the same time and I happened to find a guy whose name is Joe, on a Saturday morning who was not busy and could handle both of my cars…great news. I took care of the first one, then ran home and got the second one, which happened to be the car my wife drives all the time. Why does this matter? Her car has a sign on the back that has a remembrance declaration on the back about our dearly departed daughter Kylie who went home to be with God a few years back.  It also proclaims the years she was here mentioned as well so as Joe went to drive the car into the stall to begin the test, I noticed him pause to read what was on the back window. When he was finished he came over and commented on Kylie and asked me what happened. As I spoke to him, I could tell he was impacted by her and how sad her story was so I took that moment to share a few things about her but also how we have moved on since we lost her. I told Joe flat-out where I draw my strength and even though our situation was and still is amazingly difficult, we still trust and believe in Jesus Christ. For the first time in a long time, I spoke to someone who was very open to hearing what I had to say which I have to say, gave me confidence. I gave Joe more information about my church and service times and we shook hands and said goodbye.

What I came away from this encounter was God didn’t need me to convert Joe, he needed me to simply talk with Joe. Joe was interested in how does one deals with a significant loss and I, well have experience in that area. I spoke from my heart and Joe knew this and he responded accordingly. It reminded me of the verse in 1 Peter 3:15 –
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

I do have a hope and it is strong within me…I hope it is strong within you as well. I leave you with this…anytime, anywhere God may call you to share your faith and your hope. In my case it was two men, standing in a smog station speaking about Him…Iron sharpening iron…