Author Archives: hope

About hope

The Lord has blessed me with life and in living each day I have found the struggles, joys, and triumphs to be each an opportunity to encourage those around me.

When I fail…

It occurred years ago, but it was in the wee hours of the morning that I faced it.

I’d failed.

There had been an opportunity to reach the lost with the love of Christ Jesus and I’d totally missed it.

Rather than show grace and mercy, I stood on my rights and quietly, but firmly asked the offending party to leave.

I wish I’d handled it differently.

I wish my mind had recalled the Lord’s words:

Matthew 5:40 NKJV — “If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.”

The naked truth is, I lost an opportunity to shine the love of Jesus.

So, what does a follower of Christ do when we’ve failed?

We repent.

1 John 2:1-2NKJV — My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

We remember the truth.

1 John 1:7 NKJV — But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

We walk in the forgiveness of Christ and seek another opportunity.

1 John 2:5-6 NKJV — But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

For a soul redeemed by Christ, is one who admits the sin, but chooses to walk away from the continuation, doing whatever is required to put an end to the sinful behavior.

Matthew 5:29 NKJV — “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

The consequences will remain, but how we deal with them is completely different.

1 John 1:8-9 NKJV — If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

For me, it is learning from my error, made so long ago.

Looking honestly at my incorrect motivation in the moment, confessing my error, and taking whatever steps are required.

Leaving the past in the Lord’s hands, rejoicing in His forgiveness, and humbly choosing thankfulness for the painful lesson.

Living today, understanding my failure, but being defined by my Savior.

Philippians 1:6 KJV — Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

While I look forward to that, I am encouraged to live in today with my utmost devotion to the One who makes me perfect in Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Lord, thank You for truth which surpasses all understanding. To know that You love me, You forgive me, even though I have never deserved it! To walk with You in humility and love is the best and most wonderful gift. Lord, You know of my failures. Lord, You know of my struggles to do what is right. Please continue to teach me Your ways, to lead me in Your paths, to be honorable before You. Lord, You understand better than I what this day holds, please help me to walk with You and to love as You do. May my life bring glory to Your name. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Patience, a precious fruit

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4 NKJV

Difficult words to swallow.

Difficult truth to digest.

Yet, this words are a promise, not a judgement.

For the Word is clear, following Christ Jesus is costly, He suffered and so shall we.

Therefore, these words, this truth, is a gift to instruct.

When we fall into various trials we can find hope that God is using it to teach us many traits which the child of God should have.

One of the most profound being: patience.

It’s something we learn.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5‭-‬8 KJV

It’s also a fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

The word long-suffering is often translated as patience.

The scriptures are full of those who patiently waited upon the Lord.

My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
James 5:10‭-‬11 NKJV

Thus, for the follower of Jesus Christ, we can find perspective in the truth that God builds our character and provides bountiful fruit from the seasons which we walk through with Him in patience.

Knowing this truth means, we do not merely endure the trials, looking for the end of our lives on earth, but rather we await the return of Christ our Lord, understanding the blessings of patience and steadfast obedience through times of difficulty.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
James 5:7‭-‬8 NKJV

Not only do we anticipate the return of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to live daily bringing glory to His name and shining the truth of His Word to those around us.

For the patient faithful servant of Jesus Christ understands why they are waiting upon the Lord.

God has promised great things to His own.

Revelation 3:10-12 KJV — Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Let us, each one, look to the promises of the Lord with encouragement and expectation.

For the fruit of a life lived wholly unto Jesus is beyond the value of earthly things and to those who serve with anticipation it is a sweet reminder of the promises God’s Word gives.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2‭-‬4 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the promises to those who rest in You and endure the various trials and tribulations with patience found in Your Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, I long for my life to be honorable before You and that I might bring glory to Your name. Thank You for allowing us to share in the marvelous work You are doing each day in the hearts of people. Please continue this same work in my heart. Lord, please help me not to chafe at times and seasons, but rather to embrace each circumstance with joy and gratitude, understanding that this is how our hearts learn well. Thank You for Your wondrous works. Thank You for Your blessings. Lord, thank You for Your promises. May we eagerly await Your return, redeeming the time, for the days are evil. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

…sudden terror…

Proverbs 3:25-26 NKJV — Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

The truth for the follower of Christ is, trouble will come, but we don’t need to fear it.

Matthew 10:28 NKJV — “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

When we place our lives in the salvation of Jesus Christ our souls are safe.

Matthew 10:32 NKJV — “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.”

Through this truth we can find security in the eternal life through Christ with the Father.

Psalm 56:10-11 NKJV — In God (I will praise His word), In the LORD (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 118:4-6 NKJV — Let those who fear the LORD now say, “His mercy endures forever.” I called on the LORD in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Any troubles, trials, or difficulty we experience on earth is merely temporary and we have God’s Word as well as His Holy Spirit to guide us, comfort us, and hone us through these things.

That is not to say the pain here is trivial, but rather we have peace knowing we don’t suffer alone.

1 Peter 2:21 KJV — For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Rather than fearing what may come, let us be strengthen by the examples set before us.

Jesus first and always.

His disciples and those courageous first believers we read about in the book of Acts, as well.

For Jesus, Himself gave us truth to cling to no matter the circumstances:

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV — And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Jesus not only gave His instruction on how we are to live, He promised to be with us, always.

Romans 8:31 KJV — What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promise. Lord Jesus, please help each one of us to live for You this day, shining the light of Your salvation through our lives. Lord, please let no unwholesome word come out of us, but only that which would benefit those who listen, that we might not grieve Your Holy Spirit. Lord, please help us to love You and love others as You do. Lord, please teach us what is right, true, honorable, and holy. Please show us any iniquity, that we might put away anything which would cause us to stumble. Let there be no unclean thing residing in us, our lives, or our homes. Thank You, that we do not need to fear the future. Thank You that we do not need to fear wickedness or sudden terror. Thank You that we have the security of Your salvation and the comfort of Your truth. Please use us to spread the truth of salvation and the only true hope to a lost and broken world. Lord, thank You for all Your blessings. May our lives bring You glory and honor and praise! May many more come to faith and assurance in Your salvation! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Because God knows…

…and we trust Him.

Our family has been in quarantine since last Thursday.

My husband started running a fever and went to the doctor.

Although we’ve not heard back as to the test’s results, per the doctor’s instructions, we are remaining home.

My husband’s condition was met with many kind offers of help from friends, family, and nieghbors.

And it wasn’t a one time thing.

We’ve been blessed to have people texting us with prayers, concerns, advice, and offers of help.

As my husband has improved I’ve been able to rejoice with all as I sent texts letting others know of his progress.

Throughout these days of illness, our family has been comforted, not just through the love of others, but also through the Lord.

Every step of this has been covered in prayer and carried by the peace which surpasses all understanding.

It’s not that we are unaware of the dangers, nor are we allowing fear to drive our reactions.

It’s actually a place we’ve found as we’ve traveled the road of health issues.

No matter what we are experiencing, no matter how severe the physical issues, our expectations, our family has learned to praise God and trust Him.

It’s not easy, nor is it something which comes naturally, rather it’s a choice and an opportunity.

For God knows what we are going through, and we can praise Him during it all, look to Him for guidance and wisdom, and lean upon His Word.

For He is trustworthy!

Psalm 4:5 KJV — Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 119:50 KJV — This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

2 Corinthians 1:3 KJV — Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your wisdom, direction, and provision. Lord, my heart hurts for those who are suffering, especially the helpless and the hopeless. Lord, please bring wholeness to their hearts and minds that they might find comfort and rest in Your salvation. Lord, please continue to save us from sin and to redeem the lost. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please shine the light of Your gospel clearly into their hearts. Let them see the truth is only in You, salvation only through Your sacrifice. Lord, please heal the sick, restore the broken, return the prodigal, and bring back integrity and truth. Lord, thank You that You understand the ways of the foolish and You offer righteousness and truth. Please break people out of the captivity of sin and wickedness, bring them to Your light, Your truth, Your Word. For as the waters fill the sea, the Earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of You, Lord! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

January 14, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.
Psalms 119:49‭-‬50 NKJV

Psalm 119:76 KJV — Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

Romans 15:4 KJV — For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word and the comfort within. Lord, thank You for the hope we find through Your sacrifice. Lord Jesus, thank You that we can praise You day and night and never come to the end of reasons to praise You. Lord, truly, You are great and greatly to be praised! Lord, I praise You for Your faithfulness, for Your mercy, for Your grace, for Your wisdom, for Your Sovereignty, for Your goodness, for Your holiness, for Your love. Thank You for being all we ever need. Thank You for supplying all we require and then some. Thank You for choosing to use the weak, the feeble, the unimportant, the humble, the meek, and those least expected to work through. Thank You that You do not see as man sees. Thank You that You are not fooled by useless trappings or the facade. Thank You that You are truth and You have given it abundantly to us. Lord, please help us turn to You when we need. Lord, please help us to put off the fake, the false, to step away from lies. Lord, cleanse us from all unrighteousness and reveal Your truth to us daily. Lord, please continue to hone our hearts and minds, that we might not sin against You. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Amen.

January 13, 2022

The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; The world, and they that dwell therein. Psalms 24:1 NKJV

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7‭-‬9 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth within. Lord, thank You that no matter the circumstances, You are in control and Your way is best. Lord, I lift up those who are sick and hurting, those who are helpless, the captive, the lost. Please touch each one. Please bring them comfort through the truth of Your salvation. Lord, please help all of us to realize that You alone are the truth, the way, and the light. Lord, humble our hearts before You, that we might not sin against You. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for salvation. May we rest in You and do just as You have instructed. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

It’s loving one another

John 13:34-35NKJV — “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus made it clear.

It’s loving one another which testifies of our identity.

Not what we have.

Not where we live.

Not our occupation.

It is loving as Jesus has loved.

That is a tall order.

Jesus loved to the death and beyond the grave.

His disciples did too.

Church history records each and every one of the eleven (Judas the betrayer committed suicide) was persecuted for their devotion for Jesus Christ and only John survived these persecutions.

All the rest died for their love of Jesus.

And through their testimony innumerable people were saved.

These eleven men proved Jesus’s words were true and they are just as true today.

It is through loving as Christ loves that we show ourselves disciples.

1 John 2:5-6NKJV — But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

1 John 3:11 NKJV — For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, please help me to love as You do. Lord, please guide and direct my heart. Please grant me discernment for today and wisdom. Lord, thank You for Your love and for Your example. May our lives shine the truth of Your love, that others may come to know You. Thank You for Your wondrous works. Thank You for healing, provision, understanding, and salvation. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

It’s not just you…

but those who come after you.

And afterward when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever from the blood of Abner the son of Ner: let it rest on the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house; and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falleth on the sword, or that lacketh bread. So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. 2 Samuel 3:28‭-‬30 KJV

Joab’s action bore consequences which would be felt by his children and grandchildren.

This truth is seen elsewhere in scripture as well. (1 Samuel 3:11-14, Exodus 20:4-5)

The warning is clear, if we choose to sin, we are choosing pain and suffering for ourselves and our family.

Sin doesn’t sting only the person choosing it.

Thankfully, Jesus Christ broke the cycle of sin and the suffering which goes with it.

Through Christ we are cleansed!

But this doesn’t mean we can choose sin and then not feel the consequences, rather it means learning to stop choosing sin.

Romans 6:15 NKJV — What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

Ephesians 5:10-11 NKJV — finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Romans 6:23 NKJV — For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus, through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit wants to cleanse us completely.

He guides us with clear instruction, that we might understand what is righteous, honorable, and true. (Phil. 4:8, Gal. 5:22-23, Exodus 20:1-17)

He gives us warning of the ways of the enemy, that we might recognize evil and know how to respond.(1 Pet. 5:8-9, Eph. 6:11-13, Jas. 4:7)

He grants us the responsibility and privilege of bearing His name and His message, that others might know and choose life eternal.(1 Cor. 1:4, Gal. 2:20, Mat. 28:19)

How we live today really does matter.

For it is in today we make the choices which ripple into tomorrow.

Ephesians 5:15-17 NKJV — See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your salvation! Thank You for saving us from sin and death. Lord, please help each one of us to be wise, not foolish, not short-sighted. Please teach us how to live for You in today, redeeming the time. Lord, please remind us to seek Your face and to humble ourselves before You, for it is not on our own strength or in our own understanding where we should be walking, but in You for all things. Lord, please break through any lies the enemy has deceived us with. Please shine Your truth into our hearts and minds that we might see clearly and walk in obedience to You. Lord, thank You for Your patience and love, for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for breaking the cycle of sin and bringing us out of the ways of darkness. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Beginning with prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV — pray without ceasing,

It’s one of many instructions given to the Thessalonian church.

The message is profound, but often questioned.

“How do I pray without ceasing?”

It’s a two fold instruction.

First, we are to live our lives completely surrendered to Jesus Christ, we are to abide in Him.

John 15:4 KJV — Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

We abide in Jesus by following His commands and growing in our relationship with Him through time in His Word and prayer.

This abiding isn’t a now and then thing, but something we do throughout our day.

It’s a life which is dependent upon Jesus Christ, not their own efforts.

Proverbs 3:5-6NKJV — Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

We should not stop seeking our Lord’s will, no matter our activities or location.

Yet, the other part of this is our responsibility as children of God to intercede.

Prayer without ceasing means we lift up those requests the Lord places on our hearts until He answers.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:1‭-‬8 NKJV

Intercessory prayer is a response to the Holy Spirit’s leading and should be an out pouring of our love and devotion to Christ.

For Jesus, Himself, prayed for others. (John 17:6-26)

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
John 17:20‭-‬23 NKJV

Both abiding and intercession begin with praying.

Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV — “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Let us begin each day with prayer and be blessed by offering Him the first fruits of our day.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word and Your instruction. Lord, thank You that You want a personal relationship with each one of us. Thank You for the privilege of prayer. Lord, to be able to seek Your face daily and to stand before You lifting up others is such a wonderful gift! Lord, please help me not only to look to my own interests, but to the interests of others. Please help me to begin and end my day with prayer, seeking You throughout. Lord, please help me to be honorable and loving before You and others. Lord, please keep me from those things which grieve Your Holy Spirit. Lord, please help me to be wise and discerning, not blind to sin or my own areas of weakness. Lord, please protect me from the snares of the enemy. Thank You for Your love, Your righteousness, Your faithfulness. Please teach me today and help me to be an example to others, that they might long to be closer to You. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

January 8, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalms 127:3 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your gift of children. You have made such a wonderful blessing when You created mankind and set us in a family. Lord, thank You for godly fathers and godly mothers. Lord Jesus, thank You for those who love You and walk with integrity and truth, loving as You have shown us in Your Word. Thank You for those who are standing in the place of father or mother to those who are in need of such. Thank You for the older fathers and mothers who continue to be examples of integrity, truth, honor, self-sacrifice, and godliness to those younger than themselves. Lord, my heart longs for each child to be treasured and cared for as You intended. Please help the fatherless, the needy, the orphan, the abused. Please restore justice and righteousness. Lord Jesus, please teach each one of us how to walk in Your ways. Thank You. Amen.