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.
This is day 11 of 31 days of Hope. The hymn In the Garden begins with the line “I come to the garden alone – while the dew is still on the roses. That quiet garden time is what we all need to recharge our hearts with hope.
For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not Isaiah 30:15
Hope that will carry us through the battlefield of life is a gift we receive in the quietness of our time alone with God. When Jesus taught about prayer He said:
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret Matthew 6:6 ESV
Noise is like angry storm water that pours over the dikes in our lives! In Jesus’ day that noise took the form of dawn till dusk work days, family expectations and the corrupt Roman government’s demands. Maybe your noise comes from TV or continually checking your status on social media. Whenever it enters, the sounds of this world have a way of blocking out the still small voice of Jesus. When we hear more of what everyone else thinks than what God has to say we rush into our day without the spiritual reserves of quietness and hope. God is waiting to give us hope and His strength for what lies ahead. So when you go to that quiet secret place with your heavenly Father, please – don’t forget to close the door!