Browsed by
Category: Hope

Keeping Your Hope On

Keeping Your Hope On

Hope is crucial for survival! Hope strengthens us. It empowers and drives us. And hope causes us to have peace even during the storms this life throws at us. As followers of Jesus, hope inspires us to be and do what God wants. It helps us to be effective ministers in a world that tries desperately to undermine and steal our hope with bad reports from Drs, terrorism threats, financial burdens or relationship crisis. These are not imaginary schemes. They’re very real issues in our society. So how do you keep your hope on?

The early church in Acts 2 is a great example of “keeping your hope on” in the midst of troubled times! The Romans occupied Jerusalem and treated the Jews with disdain. The Jewish religious leaders weren’t happy with the church, either. And yet, the church was filled with excitement and anticipation. They were an incredibly effective force in their city and surrounding area.

How was this possible? I believe it was because the church had just experienced firsthand the plan of God. This plan that caused hope to arise as Jesus came on the scene, preaching and teaching the truth of the Good News of the Kingdom of God. This plan that brought hope for today through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Hope because through faith in God’s plan our sins can be forgiven, our relationship with God restored and knowledge that the devil is a defeated foe! This plan brought hope for the future because Jesus ascended to heaven to be seated at the Father’s right hand, interceding on our behalf and preparing a place for us. And the final part of God’s plan, hope forever. The pouring out of His Holy Spirit on the disciples: “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord”(Isa 11:2). The Spirit who is our Helper, our Advocate, our Guide, our Comforter, our Teacher and the One who sends us out to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!

What a plan this was and still is! This plan brought hope to a people whose outward circumstances hadn’t changed. It brought peace, excitement and anticipation for something more. Something better! God’s plan is the same for us today. It is just as powerful and effective as it was then! When we believe in God’s plan we will be able to “Keep our hope on” no matter what the situation around us. “Keeping your hope on” brings enthusiasm, purpose and greater opportunity for today’s church to effectively share the Good News of the Gospel! The world needs us to keep our hope on!

Never forget Gods promise in Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.”

All Is Not Lost!

All Is Not Lost!

Alll is Not LostALL IS NOT LOST!

It’s easy to lose hope, be discouraged and frustrated because of circumstances in our lives. Life doesn’t always happen the way we expect and things can seem to build up until the “light at the end of the tunnel” is pretty dim. You need to know that this is not a new concept and you’re certainly not the only one feeling that way. It’s an oft used tactic of Satan. Check out this verse from Psalm 129:2  

   “From the time I was young, people have attacked me,  but they have never overpowered me…”    

Satan & his cohorts work hard to wear down and ultimately wipe out those who believe in God. But they have never prevailed.  And that’s not going to change anytime soon. It may look like it and it may even feel like it, but the fact is the power and plan of God has not changed and will not change.

 

Be encouraged today! Get your focus back on God; His love for you, His power to help, His plan to take you where you need to be. Do you trust Him to meet your needs, to look after you? Often when we’ve been struggling for a while we lose sight of His care and His plan. When He doesn’t do what we thought He should have done. When He doesn’t seem to respond to our cries for help, it’s hard to continue to trust Him wholeheartedly. We start trying to make things happen ourselves.

 

Don’t go there, change the way you think and act. Return to Him! He’s on your side. He never left your side! The enemy is not going to win! Jesus is your Cornerstone! Like it says in Isaiah 28:16

I am going to lay a rock in Zion,  a rock that has been tested,  a precious cornerstone,  a solid foundation. Whoever believes in him will not worry.

Jesus is a rock, a cornerstone, a solid foundation. This incredible stability and strength is for you! He can easily bear the whole weight of what’s going on in your life and hold it all together. You can trust Him with everything, with anything, with all things!!

 

One of my favorite songs is Lauren Daigle’s  “Trust In You”. It speaks to the heart of this issue, that even when things aren’t going the way you think they should and your prayers aren’t being answered as soon as you’d like, you can trust God. Why? Because He is everything you need and He understands what you’re going through! This song is encouraging and faith building. It will help you to get your focus back on God. On who He is and what He’s done, is doing and will continue to do for you. And, best of all, it will cause you to be able to encourage those around you who may be struggling!

 

Life is tough at times but our God is tougher! He will not let you be taken out of the game! In fact, He says, I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

Will you trust Him today?

A Reason to Celebrate

A Reason to Celebrate

The Best is Yet to Come

Christmas, a time of celebration! Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth to save us from our sins. It was all part of God’s plan from the beginning of time!

This child, born in a manger, in a barn in Bethlehem, would someday give His life so we could have life! An incredible concept that challenges me every day. Through belief in His death and resurrection, I can walk in newness of life! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; the new has come.”

And that’s not all, when Jesus died He restored our ability to have an intimate relationship with the  Father, God. This desire is built into each one of us but can only be attained through faith in the work of Jesus. It’s wonderful to be in relationship with our Father. He created us, knows us personally and cares and loves us like no-one on earth.

So we have freedom from the past, including all sin and shame, and a renewed connection with our Father. Yes, we really do have reasons to celebrate!

But again, that’s not all, the best is yet to come. You see just before Jesus returned to heaven, He promised to come back, get us and take us to be with Him. (John 14:3). Yes, we have hope for today, but we also have a great hope for the future. Today, life isn’t always easy. Bad things happen to good people. It’s in times like these that knowing there is something more, gives us hope.

You see, Jesus is going to return. But this time it will not be as a baby in a manger. He’s coming as the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords! He’ll be riding a white horse. His eyes will be like flames of fire. He’s coming as a conquering King, to make things right and to take what’s His! What a day that will be! The Bible says there will be no more crying or pain. No sorrow or grief. We’ll have new bodies, no more sickness or death.  Great reasons to celebrate. Wonderful hope for the future.

But I think the best part of heaven is going to be the reality of God’s presence. The radiance of His glory that we cannot comprehend while here on this earth. Yes, we experience His presence here and can know He is with us always. But our earthly minds cannot comprehend the wholeness and perfection of who God is. That’s why our new bodies are going to be so wonderful. Our capacity for understanding will be increased so we can truly see and know God in all His glory, in all His holiness!

As followers of Jesus we have many reasons to celebrate today.

I challenge you to keep all this in mind as you celebrate the birth of your Savior and let’s take every opportunity to share the hope we have with those who need to hear it!

*If you don’t feel you have any reason to celebrate this season. Just pray. Talk to God and tell Him how you feel. Tell Him you want to celebrate Him this Christmas. He’ll hear your prayer and meet you right where you are! Then come join us at Victory Church of Red Deer on Sunday morning or find a church near you. Let me know so I can pray for you and help in any way I can.