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
How do we get hope? A friend of mine sent me a message that encouraged me and praised me for always being positive and having hope in all situations in my life. He encouraged me further by reminding me that it was that hope and positive attitude that would get me through other struggles that will occur in my life. I was touched and humbled by his words. It made me happy to think that others had taken notice to how I live my life.
It also made me wonder...why can I, little old Linda from a very humble, yet blessed family, keep hope alive in a crazy, scary, selfish, greedy and fallen world? Where does that hope come from?
Our Bible study book talks today about verses in Romans that talk about where hope comes from...
Romans 15:4 - even though they were written LONG ago, the stories in the Bible about the struggles of God's people teach us lessons about endurance...God always came through. Those stories can encourage us and give us hope in our struggles today.
Romans 12:12 - "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer."
Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
THAT'S IT!! All my life, those three things, reading God's word, prayer and trust in God, have stuck by me. Even during a time when I ran away from God...when I rebelled, did what I wanted even though I knew it was wrong...I KNEW those three things were still there. That HOPE never left me. That HAS to come from God, and not from myself because I KNOW I am not that good!
If you want the truth, what I truly believe in my heart, I believe that God placed the Holy Spirit in me because I invited and welcomed Him in. Even through my times of doubt, fear, disobedience and sin, that HOPE that God was there and that He would take care of me...that was always there. I didn't have to DO anything really...just believe and trust.
THAT is why I try to encourage others all the time. THAT is why I am the peace maker. THAT is why I always try to find the positive side of things...THAT is why I write this message every day......to try to encourage others to open their hearts to the HOPE that is available to them. This world can be a scary place. Why not rely on God?
Some have said that Christians are like sheep...they blindly follow a God that never makes himself known...they rely on their emotions instead of thinking with their minds. How COULD such a God exist today? Christianity gets a bad rap theses days, and many times, rightly so. All I am saying is what works for me. I believe that my hope comes from the God who created me. I have faith that this can work for you too!
Give it a try! Read God's word...say a little prayer...let your trust in the God who loves you grow. You too can see your HOPE grow and you will see getting through each day with that HOPE is a little easier!