Posts Tagged ‘ Hope ’

Wait & Hope

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication!

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Psalm 1301-2, 5 NRSV

Whatever your need. Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

Whatever your hurt. Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

Whatever your concern. Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

Whatever your . . . Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

 

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Healing Scars

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. Isaiah 53:5 NRSV

adhesive bandage on white background I have a few scars. Some are visible reminders of accidents and surgeries. Others are not easily seen, but are reminders of painful or difficult times in my life.

Scars are signs of hurt. They are indicators of pain. All pain comes from some kind of wound. So there’s a story that goes with every scar.

Mountain Crucifix We are not alone in our scars. Jesus was wounded and scarred too. His scars came from a frightening story of betrayal, rejection, suffering and death.

But God wrote a wonderful end to the story of Jesus’ scars. The end of the story transcends the pain and injustice. It tells a story of hope that I need, and I believe you do too.

Dan Stevers has beautifully woven together a story of our scars and those of Jesus. Then he reminds us God’s transforming work that turns suffering and pain into new life, new hope and a reason for joy.

Please click here to view today’s video. Then let your wounds be touched by Jesus’ healing and restoring love!

Remember Who You Are

To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NRSV

MP900403330[1] One of my favorite Disney movies is the Lion King. I especially like the moment the lost lion hears the voice of his father telling him, “Remember who you are.” That moment transformed his life and destiny.

Before that encounter, the young lion had run away from home, sold himself short and ignored his calling. Immediately after it, he began to remember who he really was, and fought to regain his rightful place in the circle of life.

MP900385315[1] When Paul writes the Romans, he asks them to do something very similar. He asks them to remember who they are, what Christ has done for them, and the certain promise they have of a glorious future. I imagine Paul believes that if they realize the truth, they will step up to the plate and answer the high calling of Christ. They will stop wandering, worrying and wasting time, and start becoming the people God created them to be!

Not all of us feel as lost as the young lion who was to be king.  But all of us have times when we lose sight of what is most important. Our perspective gets clouded and our feelings start to toss us around.

Today’s video uses the ideas shared in Romans 8 to encourage us to remember who we are, and what Christ has done for us. Take a moment to enjoy it’s message. Click here to view it.

Then, be the person Christ is calling you to be!

God is Good: All The Time

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! Psalm 79:4-5 NRSV

My life is full of sharp contrasts. At one particular point in my life IMP900289439[1] was enjoying the blessings of God’s goodness, envisioning a road paved with success, and looking forward to a bright and comfortable future. In the next moment I was dealing with a cancer diagnosis, wondering what the future would bring for me and my family.

I’m sure my experience is not unique. Life’s twists and turns toss all of us around. We all have times when we are praising God, and times when we are falling on our knees pleading for God’s help.

Being on the other side of that difficult time in my life allows me to look back and affirm that God truly is great. envious eyeGod is truly good, all the time. Never has my Good Shepherd left me alone. Never has my Savior failed to bring me through. Never has God let me down. Of course the ways God has worked in my life have often been unexpected, and have carried me down paths I never imagined.

Today’s video gives the very personal witness to God’s sustaining goodness experienced by a young widow. She describes some of the challenges she faces after losing her husband to cancer, and she highlights the sustaining power of her faith. Her experience of God’s goodness and trust in her Lord is an encouraging reminder to all of us that God is good: ALL THE TIME!

Click here for today’s video.

From Hurt to Hope

MC900048294Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. John 23:46 NRSV

What worse pain could there be than enduring hours of wrenching pain, while hanging on a cross in the hot sun? What greater suffering is there than being abandoned by everyone and forsaken by God?

Most of us will never suffer anything like Jesus suffered. But what he did in response to that unimaginable suffering shows us a way to turn our hurts into hope.

Jesus didn’t call down 10,000 angels to rescue him. Jesus didn’t curse God and die. Neither did he resign himself to the futility of his situation.

Jesus turned to God and said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” He looked past his troubles to God. He looked beyond the darkness to the light. He put his life into his Father’s arms.MP900422200[1]

What do you do when you hurt? Where do you turn when the the pain of living cuts so deep you don’t know what to do? Who do you call out to when life starts closing in and defeat seems certain?

Why not look to the One who holds the answer to every problem, who gives the strength to endure every situation, and turns death into eternal life!

You and I stand on the resurrection side of Easter. We know that even death has been defeated. We know that pain will pass. We know that God will wipe away all our tears and bring joy in the morning. If that’s all true, then we need to follow Jesus’ example!MP900438486[1]

Do what Jesus did. Look past all your troubles to God. Look beyond all the darkness to the light. Fall headfirst into your loving heavenly Father’s arms!

my Shepherd is my Hope

MP900443194[1]Hope requires much more than positive thinking or a  Pollyanna attitude. It requires faith in the one who holds the future.

That’s why I find myself coming back so often to Psalm 23. It reminds me of the Good Shepherd who leads me, and strengthens my faith in a future that he has already prepared for me.

If you are anything like me, you probably take comfort in those words too. So I invite you to click here to view a beautiful video setting of Psalm 23. Then let its comforting words fill your heart with God’s presence and your day with real hope!

 

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Envisioning Tomorrow

j0178811 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalm 43:5 NRSV

What do you see when you look into the future? Is there a light at the end of your tunnel?

The psalmist knew that what you and I look at today colors how we feel about tomorrow. I agree. When I see circumstances pressing in, and trouble coming my way, pessimism starts knocking at my door.

That’s because my focus starts influencing my feelings, which in turn color my vision of the future. Focusing only on the problems I have, leaves me discouraged. So I need a different focus to be able to feel hopeful, and to see the future God has for me.

Thankfully, my faith reminds me that yesterday’s defeats and today’s challenges are not the only things that determine my future. Even in the most troubling times, I know that God is in control. Not only that:j0443715

God is my light and my salvation. No matter how difficult things get, God is present and involved in my life. 

God is my refuge and strength. God is my help in times of trouble.

Jesus is my Good Shepherd. The hand of the Lord guards me and guides my every step.

I know that if I see challenges, but stay focused on God’s presence and plan for me, I will feel more hopeful, and more optimistic about tomorrow. That kind of focus grounds me, helps me put things in perspective, and keeps me trusting in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness!

Remember, the future will always look bleak, unless God is in the picture.

Let’s join the psalmist by focusing our hope in God, and opening our eyes to a bright and glorious vision of tomorrow!