uplifting thoughts and inspiration on faith
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hope: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to believe, desire, or trust; to place trust; rely in or on; one of the three main elements of Christian character; It is joined to faith and love, and is opposed to seeing or possessing; Hope is an essential and fundamental element of Christian life, so essential indeed, that, like faith and love, it can itself designate the essence of Christianity; Jesus Christ is the actual object of the believer’s hope, because it is in His second coming that the hope of glory will be fulfilled.
In the lives we live in flawed human bodies even the best of us can experience times of deep sadness, loss, depression, hurt, and disappointment. Having these feelings does not make you weak or unworthy. Sometimes circumstances look bleak even when there seems to be no reasonable or logical explanation. Finding yourself in low times puts you in good company with some of the Bible’s greatest heroes of faith.
Job 6:11 What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?
Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope.
Job 14:19 As water wears away stones, And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So You destroy the hope of man.
Job 17:15 Where then is my hope? As for my hope, who can see it?
Job 19:10 He breaks me down on every side, And I am gone; My hope He has uprooted like a tree.
Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
Psalm 119:81 My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word.
Psalm 119:114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.
Psalm 119:116 Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Psalm 119:166 Lord, I hope for Your salvation, and I do Your commandments.
Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait on the Lord, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him.
Jeremiah 17:17 Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom.
There are many stories in the Bible of those who were weary, in physical pain, mental and emotional pain, sad, depressed, and facing a wall of hopelessness and despair. Romans 15:4 tells us that [ For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.]
God lets us know that these people cried out to Him and that He answered them and blessed them. Often the blessing came after much pain, struggle, patience, crying out, and waiting. Romans 5 gives us some perspective on hard times:
And not only that, but
we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character;
and character, hope.
Romans 8:24-26 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
It’s true that knowing and believing and trusting that the sun will come up in the morning does not make the night any less dark but trusting in God and leaning on His promises gives us hope. He urges us to wait patiently. Trust Him. Believe. Have faith in His loving kindness and tender mercies. Seek Him. Come to Him with all our cares.
Jesus never died so we could have a religion. He came to show His limitless love and to provide a way to bring us back to the original state of perfection God intended for His creation in the beginning. God sent us the Holy Spirit to live in us, to comfort us, to perfect us, and to work through us for the building of His kingdom.
God made a way for us to come boldly before the throne of grace and to call out to Him as a loving father in the time of trouble. His greatest desire is to have a close, intimate, personal relationship with each of His children.
God is not keeping a record of the translation of the Bible we prefer. God doesn’t care which denomination of church you attend, and quite frankly, He’s not taking attendance to make sure you went to church. God doesn’t expect you to fix you, that is the job of the Holy Spirit and you couldn’t fix you even if you wanted to try.
God already knows every thought, every care, every hurt, every disappointment, every dream, and the intent of your heart. He wants you to talk to Him about all of it.
God is a lot less interested in how many Bible stories you know or how many dissertations you can write on symbolism or the end times or angels than He is about you spending time in His word as a means to get to know Him. That’s why He gave us His word in the first place.
The Bible is the living word of God. If you don’t believe so then start reading it with sincerety of heart. You will come to find that the longer you read the more the scriptures open up to you and the more the wisdom of God is revealed to you as your heart opens and desires to know Him. You will be shocked and amazed when it dawns on you that you have read that book cover to cover multiple times and would have insisted you hadn’t missed anything and then you open it and BOOM! something brand new God is showing you.
It’s exciting. It’s life changing. It’s the gateway to understanding. Learning about Who God Is will change your life. It is impossible to draw near to God and not be changed forever.
It’s good to be a person of faith. Maybe you identify yourself as a Jew or a protestant or a Catholic. Maybe you are Baptist or Methodist or Lutheran. Maybe you consider yourself “spiritual” or a “good person”. None of that matters much to God.
God is interested in you as His child. He wants to be your father. Jesus is God’s Son and the Messiah but He’s also our brother and our friend. Drawing near to God as His child is much different than speaking of a divine supreme entity in third person. Referring to God as God is different than knowing God as Papa, Abba Father, Daddy.
Custom and tradition tells us to come before a sovereign bowed low in subject humility but God tells us to come boldly before His throne. Yes, we do honor and revere God. It is wise to do so. True Biblical “fear of the Lord” is reverential AWE. Amazement at Who He Is.
Ideally we show deep respect to our earthly, biological fathers but we also should be able to run to them as children believing that they love us, care for us, have our best interests at heart, and are ready, willing, and able to help us. Sadly, too often this has not been the experience of children with earthly fathers but God promises that it is the experience we can expect from Him.