As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. Mark 5:36 KJV
The phrase is often repeated, “Don’t give up hope!” or “There’s always hope!”, as if hope is something independent of our circumstances. But hope never walks alone. Hope is always accompanied by her sister faith and faith links hands with love. Jesus doesn’t just say ,”Keep on hoping!” He walks with us and his presence by our side gives us the faith to be greater than our fears. How wonderful it has been to share this week with our grandchildren as my wife awaits chemotherapy. There simply being with us has helped us have faith to believe greater things and put fears outside the doors.
So this Sunday morning ask yourself if there isn’t someone you could walk beside in faith. Just your faithful presence may be what God will use to hold hands with hope and help them on their journey.
31 Days of Hope Day 12
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV
These days as I have sat for hours in the hospital or doctor’s office with my wife I have felt anything but strong; and not courageous at all. I have felt overwhelmed, weak and alone. We often look to the Bible character of Joshua as a tremendous example of courage but I wonder if as Joshua was mourning the loss of his friend and mentor Moses if he felt alone/ I wonder if as he faced the daunting task of leading a million or more of the children of Israel into the promised land if he felt weak at the knees. Could Joshua have felt afraid? I believe he did! What other reason would God have come and commanded him not once, not twice but three times to be strong and courageous?
If like me, you are facing life changing events that are out of your control then know that we have hope this morning not in our own bravery and muscular faith, but in God’s unfailing strength and His promise to be with us. We can draw courage from the eternal and unshakable promise that the enemies we face are no match for our God! He is not at all surprised by our weakness. He is not impatient with our faltering steps. But like a good father teaching His child to walk in faith He stretches out His arms today and calls. Take another step! You can do it! Be strong and be very courageous: I will be with you!!
31 Days of Hope – Day 12
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:6-7
Whether you are facing life from inside the four walls of a nursing home or the four walls of your apartment or house our need for God’s help doesn’t change. There are hours we all pass through when we have lost patience and through tears of frustration hope seems far away. But God’s presence and promise to take care of us as our shepherd and provide for our needs hasn’t changed.
At that very moment when we can feel the dark shadows closing in around our world God stands close and anxiously waits for us to leave our anxieties and needs at His feet. He will not stop caring for us when the cares of life press in. He will not abandon us when we feel alone. He hears our worried thoughts and listens to our prayers. He stands ready to come to our aid. He has not failed, forgotten us or written us off. Our great Savior guides us through every night and carries our hope in His hands.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV
For residents in a nursing home life can sometimes feel like a place of total defeat. You can see it in the stooped shoulders or hear it in the angry reactions to small annoyances. In our own home as we are passing through my wife’s battle with cancer I am finding myself facing the same struggles. I feel like a rowboat caught in the tidal wave of serious illness and family turmoil. That is exactly the situation which the disciples faced as the accompanied Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had asked them to pray with him for one hour; but the Bible tells us that
And when He rose from prayer He came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow. Luke 22:45
They were overcome by sorrow, but not their master. Jesus had prayed till His sweat fell like drops of blood. Jesus had continued interceding even when they felt defeated. In the same way He is interceding in heaven for you and I today. Neither our sorrow nor our despair will cause Him to abandon us. He will come and awaken us. He will carry our burdens. He chose in that dark garden to pay the full price for our sin to give us hope. It is that hope which lies behind the cry:
O Grave where is your victory? Death where is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15:55