Wednesday, October 30, 2013

what is hope?

i hear a lot of talk these days about hope. our president ran on the theme of "hope" and "change." the church has picked up the baton, not to be outdone by the political rhetoric, and shouts out, "there is hope in Jesus! you can have hope!"

the only problem is, both the world and the church seem to promise that this hope is anchored in our circumstances changing and somehow life getting better, easier, and more secure now, or at least very soon.

i like the sound of this as much as anyone else. i have had a hard year and a half, quite possibly the hardest of my entire life. there were prayers that i prayed that weren't answered the way i had hoped. and if i am not careful, i could easily slip into accusation against God for being the One to cause "hope deferred that makes the heart sick." i had wanted horrible circumstances to change now, and had even come to the Lord asking for that change.

but the danger of the message that hope is anchored in change of circumstances, and linking that to hope in God, is when things don't change, when the worst possible outcome of a terrible situation comes true, our faith is left shaken.

true biblical Hope is so different than the insecure ground of just desiring our circumstances to change.

praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. these have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 peter 1:3-9

our Hope is always to be anchored in the return of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. our living Hope is not that things will change now, but that He is resurrected and will resurrect our bodies too and give us an inheritance that will never be taken away. sometimes circumstances do get better. sometimes miracles do happen. these are meant to point us to the day when He restores all things that were lost or taken, and that day is when He returns. these wonderful answers to prayer are never to anchor our hope in now. the bible is clear that all our Hope is to be placed in our beautiful Savior coming for us. maybe our misplaced hope is the reason why the Spirit and the bride are not calling out in a unified cry, "come!"

so if you are battling fear right now, if you feel like your hands are not cut out for the task before you, and your knees maybe giving out from under you from all the pressure and pain in your life, listen carefully to what i have to say:

be strong.

do not fear.

your God will come.

He will come with vengeance.

With divine retribution He will come to save you.
(isaiah 35:4-5)

this you can count on.

in this world we will suffer great tribulations. we will be wronged by other people, we will experience grief and heartache, and we will feel loss in the deepest sense of the word.

right now, you may be experiencing more pain that you even thought possible, crying more tears than you thought humanly possible to cry. He will not leave you as an orphan. He promised He would come back and make the wrong things right, and He will. not only will be return all that was stolen, but He will even raise up the bodies that sickness, disease, and death sought to destroy. every wrong will be made right. 

we cry out for God to do the miracles now, and rejoice when they do come. but regardless of if they come now or not, we keep our Hope set on His return.

and He. will. come.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

simple woman's daybook 10.9.13

for today:

outside my window... it is a beautiful fall day. the trees are just starting to turn their warm red and golden tones, but still have patches of green intermingled. the wind is biting though. i had a dream last night that the wind was going to stay. let's hope that isn't a God dream.

i am thinking... about so many things. i haven't blogged for so long. i am sorry friends. it has been one of those seasons when i just needed to step back and be silent. i needed to write in the paper journal sitting by my bed. i needed to process without any friends reading over my shoulder. i have missed this space though.

i am thankful... for the Lord's faithful provision towards us. we had a very hard couple months - some of our hardest since we started living on missionary support 4 years ago. i have to say that i had very hard days when i wanted to doubt the Lord's ability to provide for us. so immature of me. He still came through, even with my threatening doubts, and has been so merciful and kind to even take care of the things on my heart. i am so thankful today that His goodness has nothing to do with me. He is who He is and i get to benefit from that reality.

remembering... my dad. i have been remembering him a lot. so much of him that i am missing right now.

from the learning rooms... we have survived our 1st month of homeschooling. it has been quite the adventure. with 5 kids, i just have the littlest 2 along for the ride without doing any specific activities for them besides their own drawing pads. i just can't plan and manage one more thing right now. we are making it. i have so much more in my heart i wish we could do, but i think we are at least learning and becoming closer to each other, which is good.

from the kitchen... even though this is my favorite season for the kitchen, i haven't been motivated to cook or bake much. i have made granola for an easy breakfast lately. i love honey, maple syrup, molasses, good butter, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and big chunks of coconut in mine.
i am wearing... a light grey short sleeved turtleneck chunky sweater, dark jeans, gray sweater boots, and my hair up in a back knot.

i am creating... some christmas gifts. if i am going to do homemade, i better get started or it just won't get done.

i am going... to go on a date with my hubby tonight. i love time with him one on one. i am such a quality time person, even more now with 5 kids than i was before kids. i am sure glad that i still like him as a friend even after being married 11.5 years.

i am reading... through isaiah again, and picked back up my intense isaiah study. i was about halfway through, so i am about done reviewing what i had done before and about to start in on going deep in the rest of the book. i just love this book. so rich. so deep. so full of hope.

i am hoping... that i can participate in the annual turkey trot here. i got out of the rhythm of running for several reasons, and am trying to get back into it with the cooler weather.

i am hearing... matt gilman's last set at the international house of prayer. did you know you can download your favorite sets now? i am so happy about that. this set is on july 3rd, 2013 if you want to look it up and listen to it yourself. so full of hope.

around the house...we are trying to switch out clothing sizes and seasons for the boys. one thing i am thankful for is i have been able to hold onto clothes that the older boys have grown out of to pass on. just a lot of work to go through the closets for 5 little boys to see what fits and what is the right season.
one of my favorite things... is the color of the trees during autumn. just gets me every year.

pondering... eternity. i mean, really, i am. i think the more i experience the pain of this age, the more i want to anchor my heart in the time when He wipes every tear away. there is so much that is so hard to understand right now. there is so much injustice that happens. there is so much loss and grief. i don't think it is escapism to long for Jesus' return even more when bad things happen. He is the Promised Seed that will reverse the curse of death forever, and take away all grief and pain.

a few plans for the rest of the week: we have a homeschool co-op we are part of on thursdays. it feels like a lot of work, since i have to mobilize all the troops to get there are also teach writing to a class full of kindergarteners and 1st graders. but my kids really enjoy it, so we do it. it has been worth it so far.

picture for the day:

go here to 5 minutes for faith to read a post i wrote a couple months ago and haven't been about to share here yet. it is on my thoughts on heaven anchoring my heart right now.

i am linked up with other lovely ladies at the simple woman's daybook.  

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