My sun porch

My sun porch

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The promise of hope

This week's memory verse:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Hope against hope...a saying that's heard when a situation seems "hopeless," but you keep hoping that one day it will change. I am not someone who likes to think of anyone or any situation as hopeless, but I must admit that sometimes it does get hard to keep hoping for the best when all you see is the worst.

Our book leads us to read about and think about Abram and Sarah. (Genesis 12, 15:1-6) For YEARS God had promised him that he would be a father and that his son would be the beginning of many nations. If God spoke to you and made you a promise like would put some stock into that promise, wouldn't you say? But what if even MORE years went by, and you and your wife were over 90 years old...your body would be tired, weak, and everyone knew they were beyond the childbearing years! Can you imagine the conversations that Abram had with God over the years that are NOT recorded in Genesis? Come on God! What in the world are you waiting for??? I am an OLD man! My wife's body can't withstand childbirth at her age? Were you just being symbolic with your promise? Are you for real?

When he was 99 years old, Genesis 17:1-8 says that God again reminded Abram of his promises, and changes his name to Abraham, which means "Father of many nations." It was TEN MORE YEARS before a son was born to Abraham and Sarah.

Paul says in Romans 4:18 "against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations."We have many promises in the Bible, which is God's instrument of communication with us, of how things are and how they are to be. It is hard for us to live in this scary and fallen world, and hang on to those promises, isn't it? But we are on this earth for maybe 80-100 years...God made these promises THOUSANDS of years ago...we have seen miracles, we have seen what faith and hope can do in our lives. Surely we can keep remembering God's promises!

There are situations in my life that I have sometimes felt were hopeless...My weight has been one of them. I have been heavy my whole life. I have had over 40 years of bad choices and bad habits...what makes me think that I can change all that now? I am learning to change those thoughts into...with God's help, why CAN'T I change? Of course I can!

My money situation seems hopeless every month when I pay my bills. There just doesn't seem to be enough to go around. My debts seem so HUGE...How am I ever going to make enough to dig out of this? I hope against hope that SOMETHING is going to happen...that I can change bad habits, make wiser choices, get a better paying job...that will help me with this stressful situation. I don't believe God is going to RESCUE me out of this...I believe and HOPE that even though it seems hopeless, God is going to lead me OUT of it! I am going to keep believing and hoping until the day I die!

Dear Lord, I ask that today, you restore to me and to my friends reading this message the gift of hope so that we may please you as Abraham did. Help us to commit all of our situations to You and wait on your timing. Amen.


  1. Oh I love your blog here and your positive attitude! You always have been positive and hopeful and it is within those traits that you are one of the best friends I have ever had. Although I can't help you with your problems, I can tell you's your attitude and positive energy that can get you through anything. It's your love of life and the way you look at any situation and find a positive spin that makes you who you are.

    Although I know you've been through some hard times, I can imagine that there are many people like myself who will tell you that you have been an amazing influence on our lives and without you, our lives would be a little more empty. Although we haven't kept in touch like some friends do, I still feel as though you are one of my best friends and I hope you know that. And maybe, in some small way, this can give you a little hope also. You are an awesome person, a loving friend and a positive influence in every way.

  2. Alan, Alan, Alan...what can I say except thank you! You made me cry a bit! LOL What sweet things to say! You are also one of the best friends I have had...someone that has accepted me for who I am. And, yes, it's true that we don't see and stay in touch as much as some, we always pick up where we left off laughter and good times. I wish we lived closer so I could get to know your wife and kids...

    And...I don't think I've had any more problems that anyone else...just the "life" stuff that everyone deals with in some way or another. I have always tried to stay's just easier that ways for me. My faith has been the one thing that has never changed. I owe my positive attitude to the One who created me that way! I think everyone wants to think they have made a difference in this world...I am touched and honored to think that I have made a difference in your life!
    Thanks again for your encouragement and kind words! You made my day!