Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hope


Psalm 25:5
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Hope is a funny thing, isn’t it? So many people see “HOPE” in so many different ways, but for me hope is not about “oh well, I hope this works out” but more like it is in Psalm 25:5 above. I did a little research online and found the definition of hope from dictionary.com, check it out.

hope noun, verb, hoped, hop·ing.
to believe, desire, or trust

I don’t know about you, but this has been one amazingly difficult year, yep, it’s almost been a year. The crazy thing about this confusing, stressful, and trying time is that there has always (yes, I really really mean always) been HOPE. I haven’t understood the journey that God has had our family on, but I have had faith that it was smack dab in the center of His will (not ours) and there is a peace and a hope in that.

I love this verse in
Job 6:8 "Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,”. There has been a Job like experience in my family over the last couple of years…first with my oldest son getting so very sick, having to stay in the PICU for 51 days, almost loosing him, settling back into a new normal, then walking away from a job in ministry that I loved, a church family that was all I had known in my faith life, to a complete desert experience…with lots of “wandering and wondering”. I am so not going through all of this to wallow, but to celebrate the HOPE that God was up to something so much bigger than I, my husband, my kids, and my family could ever wrap our heads around. Isn’t God so awesome like that?

There are over 175 times in the NIV Bible that the word HOPE is mentioned. Did you know that? Eighteen (18) of them were in the Book of Job, can you believe that? Did you ever read the Book of Job? If anyone had cause to question, get angry, fight, yell, give up, give in, roll over, fall down, or just quit it would be Job, and yet in
Job 11:18, it says, “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.”

Tonight we had a BBQ dinner for a wonderful family. You see, they aren’t just any family…they walked with my family when I stepped into full time ministry, when my husband felt the call to leave his six-figure income and become a pastor (which is SO much less that six figures…), were in our first small group, encouraged us to lead with the gifts God had given us, called us brothers and sisters and then continued to treat us that way. They loved on us, challenged us, listened to us, sharpened us, made us laugh (they have such a love for life), let us be us, not pastors, not leaders, not church staff people, just us (flawed, battered, and bruised). We did ministry with this family for four years, did life with them, and walked through the storms of our sons horrendous hospital stay, and also through the desert as they were lead out of ministry around the same time we left. You see, they modeled true Christ likeness to us and showed us how to be all we could be for God.

Are they perfect, absolutely not; there are NO perfect people, churches, or places. In Romans 3:23 it says that “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” and also in Romans 3:10, “As the Scriptures say, No one is good, no even one”. So please know that I am not holding them up on some glorious pedestal, but merely celebrating the fact that God CAN and DOES use ordinary people to do some pretty extraordinary things.
We celebrated the Hope we have in Jesus Christ and His faithfulness in taking this family on the next step of their journey with Him. They are moving this Friday up to Peoria, Illinois to a great church family that is already loving on them, supporting them, and praising God for their new addition to their church family. You see, we don’t have all the answers while we are here on Earth. We have to go to the Word daily, be filled with Christ, and like the words in
Psalm 33:20, We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

I don’t know what you are experiencing right now in your life…marriage issues, fertility problems, rebellious teenagers, job concerns, finances, recession, economy, mid life crisis…I could go on and on, and I am sure we could sit for hours and talk about it, but what I do know is this; Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a HOPE.” (Emphasis mine)

God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable than an empire can rise without His aid? -Benjamin Franklin

If you are struggling right now with HOPE would you take a minute to bow your head, close your eyes, and seek the perfecter of HOPE. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things that you did not know”. Call to Him…ask for Him to show you HOPE. You see, there is NO Hope without Him, but with Him, ah…nothing is impossible. Philippians 4:13 says, “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” I know for me, that’s ALL I need, I pray it is for you too.

My HOPE is in Him,

11 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Shelly 2:05 AM  

Thanks for your message on Hope. I am glad that God knows the plans for me. I often look back and wonder how I got to where I am now. I never would have imagined that I would be where I am at now. When going through things you always know that it is for a reason, but later you find out what that reason might be. INTERESTING!

Monkey Giggles 8:58 AM  

Well, said Mel.

In my darkest day...I have known that God was there and that it would be okay. Some how some way. And it was/has been.

Take Care

ps...I would love to have that "Hope" sign. tee hee

Deb 11:11 AM  

Mel, you have done it again. that is what I needed today, Thank you. I have always had hope but there are times like now where I need to read it and speak it!! thanks for the reminder:)
Have a Blessed Sunday:)

ann 6:08 PM  

I needed to hear that this very moment of this very afternoon on this very day. A simple word of encouragement and hope is a phenomenal gift

freetofly 6:40 PM  

Like a tall, cold drink of water on a hot summer day! Drinking it in!

Beautifully said! Praying for your family even as I read this post. I know what you mean about having hope, even in the midst of STUFF! It is the same over here (at our home). And even in the midst of it all there is SO much mercy and goodness of God. What an advantage we have, eh? bc only God's people could say these types of things that you have posted...

Coming and visiting you is always so exhilerating in the Spirit!

Thank you! And thank you for your so kind and thoughtful comments!

Your sis in Christ!
Maria

Melanie 10:36 PM  

Love this post! The verse you shared from Jeremiah is one of my favorites. God does always have a plan for us... and it will always include HOPE.

Have a great week!

Sherry 12:24 PM  

Melissa, Thank you so much for this post. It's just the encouragement I needed.

AlaneM 2:24 PM  

Great post Mel!
God gave me Jeremaih 29:11-14a through a visiting missionary right when I needed it. I didn't know the verses at the time & they were (and are) perfect for me. We had just moved & sent off our first mortgage payment on our new house when Chris was suddenly & without reason fired. He only worked 6 months that year & life got extremely tough. As a woman, I crave stability & I learned a lot that year about depending & trusting God. They were hard lessons but I came to trust that He was taking care of us. Our bills were frequently late but they were always paid eventually & we never went hungry. I crave stability in this world but I learned that God is the ultimate stability & He is ALWAYS with me even when I don't 'feel' him there.
Thanks Mel!!

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate 10:42 PM  

Yes there is always that Hope that we cling to when times are tough and we don't understand everything.....there is still His Hope for things to come.
Reminds me of a song by Third Day, "My Hope is in You."
Thanks for the post, it reminded me of the hope I have in Christ....that hope sometimes gets lost in the onslaught of life!

JMBMOMMY 10:57 PM  

Very uplifting. Enjoyed reading your blog tonight.

Breanne Vasquez 8:13 PM  

Hi! What a great post. I needed this. Thank you. Love your blog!

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