Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The other day I was talking with a teen who had given up all hope. By that, I mean he believed that life as he envisioned it was just not going to happen. He wasn’t going to be happy at home. He wasn’t going to have a normal job, make money and live a productive life. He had given up those hopes. His hope now was to be arrested and thrown into prison so that he would have some “normalcy” in his life. In his mind, he would have three meals a day, people to talk with and somebody to care about him, even though they were correctional officers!

All of us, even the Apostle Paul, give up hope at one time or another. When Paul was on a ship sailing for Rome, a storm came up that endangered the ship and all those aboard…

When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. Acts 27:20 NIV

Notice it says “we.” Paul had given up hope as well just as the teen I was talking to the other day had. None of us is immune to that type of thinking. However, when you know Jesus as your Savior He will make some provision for your hope to be restored.

We only need to look to the Word of God for those reminders, those promises:

  • It tells us in Deuteronomy 31:6 (also Hebrews 13:5) that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
  • In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord tells us that he has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. He has plans for your life that will give you hope and a future.

We simply need to listen to Him, to God, as He attempts to communicate with us. The main way He communicates with us is His Word (the Bible), but He has other methods too! Through our coming to Him in prayer, He may speak in a voice that only we can hear. He may send the answer through a friend. Paul’s answer came in the form of a message from an angel and he shared the message of that angel with the men on his ship…

22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Acts 27:22-25 NIV

Giving up may be the easy thing to do. It doesn’t require faith in God to lose all hope. I guarantee, no GOD guarantees, that if you look to Him for your hope, to save you from your circumstance, He WILL save you.

The first step is a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Admit you need help, that you have fallen short of God’s perfection for your life (sinned – Romans 3:23, 6:23) and ask Jesus to help you turn that around. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Things are not hopeless. Life is not hopeless. Place your hope in the God of all Creation, the LORD who made heaven and earth and all that is contained therein.

He is worthy of your trust…

9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 NIV


Tuesday, July 08, 2008


We can often be disappointed by other people. Sometimes it is a loved one, a mother or father, a sister or brother or perhaps just a friend. We expect them to act as though they love us but our expectations may be based on a false definition of love. We want people to love us with an unfailing love, a perfect love.

Is it reasonable to expect unfailing love from someone? Here’s what God’s word says on the subject…

Many a man claims to have unfailing love,

but a faithful man who can find? Proverbs 20:6 NIV

While man’s love is often imperfect (women’s too by the way!), God’s love can be trusted…

8 It is better to trust in the Lord

Than to put confidence in man.

9 It is better to trust in the Lord

Than to put confidence in princes. Psalms 118:8-9 NKJV

God’s love never fails…………………..1 Corinthians 13:8

God is love…………………………………….1 John 4:8

Therefore, God’s love is unfailing!

Let’s look at how realistic our interpretation of what love should be is. We generally want someone to love us no matter what we do, even when we’re selfish and mean to them. We want them to always give us what we want (not necessarily what is best for us). We want to be the center of their attention. We want!

Now let’s look at God’s definition found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, 13

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)


8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,

for to you I lift up my soul. Psalms 143:8 NIV


31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men. Psalms 107:31 NIV

Remember, whereas men can disappoint you, God never will. You may not always get your way, but God in His infinite wisdom and out of His unfailing love for you, will always give you what is best for your life as you seek to follow Him…

28And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 NLT

You can trust in His unfailing love. You can trust the God of all creation. Seek His will for your life. Seek His help in all things…


Monday, July 07, 2008


I hope I get a good grade in Math. I hope my boyfriend (or girlfriend) likes my outfit. I hope that the person that got hurt is going to be ok.

We all hope for certain things. But what is our hope based on? Is it in fate, karma or some mystical sounding word? Can we affect the outcome of our hope? Can our hope be based on something real?

Some of you may remember the story of Daniel’s friends that were thrown into the fiery furnace. Their hope was in the LORD. Here is their reply to the King regarding their forthcoming punishment…

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. Daniel 3:16-17 NLT

Was their hope in vain? See for yourself…

“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:25 NKJV

The three men walked out of the furnace unharmed!

Is your hope in yourself and your abilities or in the GOD of all Creation?

King David put his hope and trust in GOD.

1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;

2 in you I trust, O my God.

Do not let me be put to shame,

nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one whose hope is in you

will ever be put to shame,

but they will be put to shame

who are treacherous without excuse.

4 Show me your ways, O LORD,

teach me your paths;

5 guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long. Psalms 25:1-5 NIV

17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;

despite all its great strength it cannot save.

18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,

on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

19 to deliver them from death

and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the LORD;

he is our help and our shield.

21 In him our hearts rejoice,

for we trust in his holy name.

22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,

even as we put our hope in you. Psalms 33:17-22 NIV

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge. Selah

Psalms 62:5-8 NIV

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,

and in his word I put my hope. Psalms 130:5 NIV

The Prophet Isaiah put it in these words…

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

Jeremiah, another Prophet of the LORD proclaims…

11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

For those of us who know Christ as Savior and the reason for our hope, this passage is meaningful…

23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV