Hope of Pardon

We were driving through Brooklyn looking for the way over to Manhattan. My step father hated asking for directions so with my mother’s help he headed towards the Empire state building which we could see clearly above the small buildings around us. The only problem was that we finally ran out of roads at the East river because he had not counted on having to cross the bridge! We shouldn’t laugh too much at him though because in the same way we are all trying to get to heaven but forget that there is a bridge to carry us over and only one: our Lord Jesus Christ!

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all Isaiah 53:6 ESV

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In the Land of the Living

Day 16 of 31 days of Hope

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living Psalm 27:13 

Writing 31 days of hope has been both a spiritual challenge and a journey to deeper faith in my life. I have found along this new and sometimes difficult path that Hope is the light that shines in my dark places. Hope has meant looking down the road waiting for the results of tests and the response to treatments for my wife’s battle with cancer. Hope has been holding hands in the hospital when no one else was around. Hope has been both the first star that shone in our new night sky and will one day give way to the sunlight of a new day dawning.

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God created all of us to live with a passion and the desire to spend eternity by his side. That life is assured only by the cross of Christ  which for our soul is the anchor of all hope. No matter the situation we face today; this hope remains. This hope is not so fragile that it can be blown away by the wind, washed away by a flood or burned up in the fire. This hope is the tangible enduring belief that by God will carry us through. This hope is the certainty that He is good even when nothing good seems to be in sight. Real hope is seeing ahead to His goodness. True Hope through Jesus Christ is to know that He walks by our side through the valley of the shadow of death till we come out into His sunshine in the land of the living!

Future Hope

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.     Jeremiah 29:11

“How sweet to hold a newborn baby

And feel the pride and joy he gives”

Go the lines from the Gaither song “Because He Lives” The sweetness of holding a baby is nowhere seen more powerfully than in a nursing home. Sadly there are few people willing to bring their babies in so the staff provides lifelike dolls for the residents to cradle. They gently rock their baby and their faces light up with smiles. It is almost as if God has built into us a response of hope for the future every time we see a tiny baby.

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But our hope for the future is not based on babies, or baby dolls. True eternal hoe is based on the promise of God’s word. Whether sitting in a nursing facility or standing in a cap and gown waiting to graduate from high school our future hope is always in the love of God. His plans for us are to give us hope. His plans for our future are always for our good. We can trust Him to our final breathe here on earth, knowing that in a moment we will be breathing in our first breathe of heaven!

 

 

 

Hope of Heaven

31 Days of Hope Day 4 

This fourth day of hope focuses on heaven. While many of us talk about heaven, its reality presses in on our hearts as we approach the final years of life. There is no greater light to shine on our winding path than the hope we have in heaven. After all it was a hope given us by Jesus, who for the joy of heaven, endured the cross for our salvation!

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living Psalms 27:13

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I see myself at heaven’s door

I can hear its hinges creak

Around its frame a light shines out

As it opens before the King

I fear before His Holiness

Yet such peace is on His face

Then He stoops and rests His hand on me

He speaks and my heart begins to race

What have you brought He asks

From the life you lived on earth?

Not too much I sadly said to him

And I struggled to begin

 

Well, there were the mission’s trips

And every day I prayed

And regularly I read your word

And all the tithes I gave

When I stopped he paused  and said

These aren’t why angels sing

These were not your deepest heart

But just temporary things

 

But the forgiveness you gave your parents

For the divorce that left you alone

And the love you shared with the strangers

When you opened to them your home

And the tears of repentance you wept

And your confession of faith in the dark

These are the things that I treasure forever

And for these there will be a crown