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Monday, June 8, 2009

Hope in the Lord

"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."

- Stephen Covey

"If you fear God, you won't fear humans."

- Albanian Proverb

"[God says], do not fear, for I am with you;do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you;I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

- Isaiah 41:10 (New International Version)

"For I am mindful of the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. You call upon me and come and pray to me, and I heed you. You seek Me and find Me: Now you seek Me with all your heart and I am at hand for you, says the Lord..."

- Jeremiah 29:11-14a; Matthew 7:7

I don't think there is one person reading this who hasn't seen the turn that our nation, and even our world, is taking. On every news channel we see reports of unemployment rates skyrocketing while the value of the dollar drops and signs of a “New World Order” become more and more obvious.

Maybe you yourself have been laid off, maybe you don’t even know where your next meal is coming from, or maybe you’re reading this from a homeless shelter.

I don’t know your situation, but God does.

Regardless of how you are or aren’t being affected by the situations in the world, we have all been in places in our lives where we didn’t know what was going to happen next, or how we would handle it when it did. Have you ever felt like you’re just waiting for “the shoe to drop?”

My fiancé is like that; he likes to prepare for the worst and expect the worst. I, on the other hand, I used to feel like that, but, in recent years, now consider myself to be a bit of an optimist. You see, I went through a period in my life where I sincerely didn’t know if I was going to make it to the next day.

My depression crippled my life, forced me into a reclusive state and caused me to teeter on the brink of self-extinction on many an occasion.

Are you in that place now?

Do you wonder to yourself, "Is this life even worth it?"

"How do I really know that there is a heaven?"

"How do I really know that all this pain, suffering, heartache is going to be worth it in the end?"

I have an answer for you: have hope. The only thing (let me repeat, the only thing) we can depend on in this life is the hope that is offered through a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Think about it: your family can and will let you down, your health will eventually cause you issues, our government is unreliable, and money, well, we all know about that one. The only thing we can rely on is the hope that has been given to us through Christ.

This past presidential year, both candidates used “change” and “hope” a lot in their campaigns. Yet, the change and hope that was offered is, at best, a Band Aid – a temporary fix to a permanent problem. The state of the world has always been in unrest. There has always been violence, crimes, hate, poverty, etc, and we all know those conditions aren’t improving. However, when all earthly hope seems lost, we pick up God’s Word and, from cover to cover, the potential of hope increases.

The great heroes of the Bible eventually only find their strength in the Lord; their hope increasing as their dependence on the world decreases, turning fully to the Lord for strength. In their lives, and in our own, the only way hope is achieved is when we stop putting hope into the things of this world, and placed instead, fully, into the Lord and His promises. Think of it this way – which would you rather invest in now – Wall Street, or the streets that are promised to be paved with gold? Which would you rather place your hope in the hands of – bankers or hands scarred with nails that paid the debt of our sins? The choice is yours. Let us place our hope in He who has sustained us from birth. Let us hope in He who sits on Heaven’s Mercy Seat. Let us place our hope in He who is the shepherd for our wandering spirits.

“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:18-22)”

Let’s Pray:

Father God, we thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the hope that we can cling to in times when the weight of the world feels like more than we can bear. Send Your Holy Spirit to surround us with His presence to be our ever present helper in times when we are weak. Help us to truly lean upon the ever lasting arms of Christ when we no longer have the strength to walk on our own. Truly, we place all our faith in You Lord, our only reliable source of hope. It is in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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Blogger Denise said...

beautifully said my friend, love you.

June 8, 2009 at 3:22 AM  
Blogger Beth in NC said...

Great post Allison. Fear is a horrible tormentor. God help us keep our eyes on Him and not on the situations around us.

Thanks for sharing!

June 8, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Lynnette Bonner said...

Great post - Jesus is the only hope and change we need!

June 8, 2009 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

In knowing that Joy is only obtained through Jesus it really puts every thing this world is going through into perspective. The clouds may cover the sun and the night may fall but the sun is still there shining. Just as the world is going to seem dark, the Son is always there shinning. I can't imagine my life with out Him. Great post =O)

June 8, 2009 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Tracey Olivier said...

Hi Allison,
Have just discovered your blog a week or two ago, and have been really blessed. Things are tough here in South Africa too, but we are also seeing God Arise! I suppose the darker it get the brighter He shines in and through us if we have hope. Bless you for being a beacon in a dark world.

June 9, 2009 at 2:48 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Allison! What an incredible post! AND what timing!!! As I cried out (literally) to the LORD this morning...HE heard my cry with the words from the scriptures you shared!!!

I have been struggling in the deep pit of hormonal depression---but I call on HIS name...and HE HEARS ME!!! AND you wrote this UNDER THE DIVINE inspiration of His anointing....I BELIEVE IT!!! For me.

Thank you for this blessing of Word today!

June 9, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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