Tag: Source of Hope

Ever Thought of Giving Up?

I’ll never forget the day a colleague came into my office and slammed a newspaper article on my desk. She was distraught. Her voice quivered, and she stuttered as she tried to tell me what had made the news. I picked up the newspaper page and as I listened to her recap of the story, I skimmed the article.

Suddenly she stopped. “Are you ok?” she asked.

I couldn’t speak. She asked again, “Are you ok?”

“You look ghostly pale,” she added.

I had to sit down. The news article was on the death of a single mother and her three small children. The young mother had killed each of her children, before she took her own life. (I’ll spare you the details, they’re too horrific.) I stared at the newsprint. It was impossible to comprehend how a mother could do that to her own children.

My colleague grabbed my left shoulder and shook me, trying to get me to speak. I looked up at her and started to cry. I couldn’t control the emotions. I couldn’t stop the tears.

Those three children were the same ages as my children. The mother was only a few years older than I.

How? How could this have happened? Had the people in her circle of influence not seen it coming? Had she been so clever to cover up what was going on inside her? – These were all questions my colleague asked that day. I’m sure there were many more people that had the same questions on their mind.

I know it’s possible to hide the truth from even the closest people in your life. Our lives are totally falling apart, but we can still act and put on a great show.

What a difference Jesus can make in our lives! When we choose him to take over our darkest places in our mind and in our heart, he gives us peace, his strength to overcome, and we gain perspective. He says to his disciples, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)

We are not alone in our trials and sorrows. Jesus is right there, he is with us. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: 

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (The Message)

Do you ever think of giving up? Are you stuck and think there’s no way out of your circumstances? There is a way. The way is Jesus himself. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)

No matter how hard it is, don’t give up. Don’t hide it. Talk to a friend or a family member and ask for help. There is always a way out. There really is. No matter what your mind keeps telling you, you are not alone.

By the grace of God I did make it this far. But I never forgot the woman who didn’t. Her story kept me clinging to Jesus more than ever. There were times I barely hung on by the skin of my teeth. God has been faithful, always! He provided all I needed all these years. He redeemed and restored beyond my wildest dreams.

God can do it for you as well. Will you let him into your darkest places of your life? He promises his peace and a light in your darkness. Don’t ever give up!

 

The Break is Over

I took a long break from blogging. Not because I stopped writing. I filled several journal with thoughts and prayers in 2017. Plus, my diary is bursting at the seams with all my thoughts about last year’s events.

No, I stopped publishing because of pain I was experiencing. Looking back at 2017, I call it the year of loss. And if I’m honest, it was a year of too much loss. Of course, that’s my personal opinion. It’s still too raw to talk about it and I have to respect the privacy of my family.

However, I learned the beauty of a sacrifice. To be precise: the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

I find it easier to complain, to throw myself a pity-party. It takes effort and energy to say, “Stop it,” and then actually do it.

You see, there is a cost associated with a sacrifice. I’m giving something up. I’m offering something to someone. And in my case, I had to decide over and over to offer my sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.

I know, He does not make mistakes. I know, one day we will see how it was all for the best.

But when you’re in the pain, when there doesn’t seem to be relief in sight, that’s when God leans in and accepts my two words, whispered in the dark: “Thank you!”

The choice is mine: I can either drawn in my pain or I can be lifted out of my dark pit by saying these two words over and over, “Thank you!” God listens, He hears, and He does come to the rescue.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.

Lead me by your truth and teach me.

For you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”

Psalm 25:4-5 (New Living Translation)

 

 

“I Give You Hope”

All week long I have been thinking about hope. There’s a story I have been reluctant to share. It’s my story of hope, and how hope changed my life.

It was close to 10 pm on that Tuesday night. A night in late autumn, darkness had come early. The streets were wet, reflecting the streetlights and the colors of the changing traffic lights. I was exhausted and discouraged. My body slumped in the front seat of the car underlined my feelings. Tears streamed down my cheeks, at times blurring my vision.

I was on my way to pick up my daughter from work. A daughter who made it so hard to love her, who had chosen to rebel no matter what, who showed less and less respect to her mother.

The pain was excruciating, the rejection cut deep.

“How long will I be able to carry on under this weight of sorrow?” I thought.

In my despair I started praying, out loud, words swallowed by my sobs. I was desperate for some relief, even the smallest would do. A little light in the dark tunnel.

My sobs subsided, quiet filled the car. And then I heard God speak to my heart: “I give you hope!”

“Hope? What hope? Don’t you see my situation here?” I asked.

“I give you hope!” God said again.

“Please, God, I would like something tangible, something like no more fights, no more disrespect, a visible change in my kid. Please, God.”

Then I felt God saying again: “I give you hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, hope for the rest of your life. Meggie, I give you hope.”

I sat still digesting what I just heard.

I wanted change in my daughter and her behavior. God wanted to change me. For two years I had endured the stress and pain of this relationship. Now God decided to step in and give me hope.

As I sat in the car waiting for my daughter to finish her work shift, I was stunned at God’s answer to my prayer. I had not realized how I had – little by little – slipped into despair. God saw my most immediate need, and it wasn’t my daughter’s behavior. It was me. I needed hope.

A pivotal moment. It changed the outlook for my life. It gave me strength and courage to go on, not because I pulled myself up on my own. No, only because there is a source to my hope, and it’s God himself.

Today I pray the words of Apostle Paul: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:14

May you find your hope in God. May He fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him.

First Advent – Hope and the Source of Hope

First Advent. We lit the candle of hope today.

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What does the word “hope” mean to you?

The online Merriam-Webster defines “hope” as follows:

  • to expect with confidence
  • a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment
  • hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.

Why do we place so much importance on hope? Have you heard any of the following sayings?

  • When hope is lost, all is lost.
  • Hope is the last to go.
  • When all you have is hope…
  • I hope… (at the beginning of a sentence)

The opposite of hope is despair. Take a look at the synonyms of “despair:”

anguish, desperation, discouragement, gloom, misery, pain, sorrow, dejection, forlornness, tribulation, just to name a few.

Hope rises in importance when reading through these synonyms, doesn’t it? The Bible tells us God and His Word are our source of hope:

“You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.” Psalm 119:114

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:14

My circumstances might cause me anguish and pain, discourage or deject me, but I still have hope. My hope is not dependent on my circumstances. My hope has a source, an anchor. God himself.

“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” Psalm 42:11

“Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:5

Do I always get it right? No. Do I ever get discouraged? Yes, I do. In those times, I’m reminded of Psalm 94:19:

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

This first week of Advent reminds us of the hope that is available to all of us. We’ve got to go the source though, to God himself.

The Advent story
of hope and mystery,
anticipation,
preparation,
a kingdom
of this world and the next,
and a king
appearing when we least expect.
Heaven touching earth,
the footsteps of the divine
walking dusty roads
as once they did in Eden,
and a people,
searching for a Saviour,
and walking past
the stable.
Open eyes and hearts,
that this might be
an Advent of hope to the world.*

It is my prayer that you will have confident hope, that you will renew your hope if its flame is weakened, and that you will look to the source of all hope.

Happy First Advent!

*source: http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Advent.htm