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
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.
Day 9 of 31 Days of Hope
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory Colossians 1:27 KJV
One of the great religious mysteries of modern times is the unraveling of the story of the shroud of Turin. The shroud’s history is a bit uncertain though its present location in Turin Italy since 1578 is fairly well accepted. That the shroud carried the images which we know of today was not commonly known till the late 1800’s. There have been films, treatises and television reports made supporting various conclusions about the origins, authenticity and meaning of the shroud. One thing is clear however from the debate: no one’s mind is easily changed about who Jesus truly was by an historical artifact.
Just before Jesus went to the cross rose from the Last Supper table and began to wash His disciples’ feet saying:
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet John 13:14
Yes Jesus did leave us a living artifact behind: He left us His spirit to come to live on the inside where it could never grow old, be destroyed or forgotten. Yes there is a great biblical mystery on display today. But this mystery is not whether the face of Jesus can be seen in the shroud of Turin but rather that His face can be seen in us!
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses Matthew 8:17
If we think that God is so intimately concerned with our physical needs that He has counted even the number of hairs on our head. We have a great hope that whether in this life or in the next; God will heal every disease, restore all that is broken and renew our youth like the eagles!
Whether sitting in a wheel chair in a nursing home or confined to a bed with a tracheotomy tube in order to breathe, Jesus offers the hope of complete and entire healing as one part of His promise of eternal life. That promise may be overlooked or forgotten by we who are in perfect health, yet God does not forget. The same Jesus who was moved with compassion for lepers, the blind and the lame has promised to wipe every tear from our eyes. He not only has compassion for our aches, pains and disabilities but the Bible tells us that He took all of these onto his shoulders and carried them. If we continue reading in the chapter of Isaiah that Matthew quotes we see that in the very next verse that it is by His stripes that we are healed. God is so very concerned for every one of our pains and infirmities that He allowed a whip to fall across the shoulders of Jesus. As He was wounded again and again we were being healed. Weak arms will be lifted, failing voices will sing again and deaf ears will hear the shepherd’s voice! Yes we have the hope of healing! When the temporary things of earth have passed we will stand strong and eternally young in the presence of our ageless King!