Friday, May 6, 2016

Hope: part 2.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
            “In the New Testament, Hope means ‘the expectation of good.’ The original word denotes a joyful and contented expectation of eternal salvation.” 1.
            I love the chapter this verse ends. These words are like a coda at the end of a musical piece. Paul reminds his readers of what is important in life. He lists three lasting qualities of life.

            We need to have hope in order to go forth in life. Events and circumstances in life sometime cause people to lose their hope. When a person becomes hopeless, that state of mind leads to grief for those around us. 

            Right now, I am trusting God for several different outcomes. I have to have hope in the LORD for these things or I would become very depressed. I have traveled the road to sadness and depression. I recently realized I had been in a rut. Slowly, I am making progress out of the mire in which I happened to find myself.
            As I study our church’s prayer list, I see the need for people to have faith and hope. As one of the practices I do when I read the local newspaper, I read the obituaries. I focus on the families and the deceased person’s involvement in a church. In those instances where the person knew God, I believe those families have hope to see their loved one again in heaven.

1.         The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, revised 1988, page 585

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 16:9 (KJV)

  1. 1.
    a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
    "he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information"
  2. 2.
    a feeling of trust.
  1. 1.
    want something to happen or be the case.
    "he's hoping for an offer of compensation"
    synonyms:expectanticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one's hopes on, want;


            “In the Old Testament hope is expressed by several different words meaning ‘safety, security, trust,’” 2

            We sing several gospel songs about hope. One that comes to mind is, “My Hope is in You, LORD.” We have hymns of the church that tell us about hope. One line in the hymn ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness” stands out to me; “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

            Back in 1999, I took on a short-term job, to oversee a daycare during a large church general conference held in our town. Part of my work was planning ahead of time. One thing that concerned me was I did not know how many to plan for. The parents did not pre-register their children. This inaction frustrated me. I had no way of knowing how many children we would have.

            The day before the conference began, I received a phone call from a person who worked at headquarters and had spoken at our church a couple of years earlier. The young woman ended our conversation with the words from “Great is thy Faithfulness,” ‘Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.’ I never forgot those words. A few years ago, I made a sign for the wall of my writing room, using that phrase.

            In our 21st Century world, we need hope. People lose hope and do serious deeds that either cease or change their lives or end or alter the lives of others. We need to learn how to handle our frustrations, rages, and our hurts. We should learn to listen to those who confide in us about their heartaches.

            We need to believe what we read in our Bibles and live it out before our families, friends, and neighbors. We need to learn scripture and apply it to our daily lives. Then, I believe we will show hope to our hurting world.

  1. /
  2. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, Chicago, revised 1988, page 585      

Monday, May 2, 2016


“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV

  1. the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
    "thank you for all your support and encouragement"
    synonyms:heartening, cheering up, inspirationmotivation, stimulation, fortification;More
    • persuasion to do or to continue something.
      "incentives and encouragement to play sports"
    • the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.
      "the encouragement of foreign investment"1.

               Have we received good guidance from spending time with Jesus? Has He consoled us through loving us? Have we benefitted from being in the presence of the Holy Spirit?

               The Apostle Paul tells us God wants us be unified—together in purpose and in heart. This does not mean we should all drive the same kind of car. Nor does it mean we should all dress alike. Paul uses the phrase, ‘like-minded.’ We should all want the same thing—Jesus to be glorified.

               Recently, I heard of an instance where a strong-willed woman stepped in and took over the leadership of a church function. The one who was supposed to be in charge of the event got her feelings hurt and is presently staying away from church. I believe things like this are hurtful to the body of Christ and to Jesus himself. An update on this circumstance is I have seen the one who was hurt at church services lately. Prayer brought her back.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...