HOPE

The dictionary has several definitions for “hope”.  The ones I like are “confident desire” and “trust”.  There are many people who have hope in a lot of different things or for many different things.  One might hope that the weather is good for an outing.  Someone might hope that she does well on some type of test.  A person may hope that a certain plan goes off without a hitch.  Another individual might hope that they get time with a special friend.  A sports lover may hope that their team does well in a sporting event.

Other “hopes” are a  bit more serious in nature.  One person might hope his or her child comes home from fighting in a war or survives some type of battle here at home.  Someone might hope that they, or someone they love, get over an illness.  Another person might hope that their marriage will last or be restored.  An individual might hope that the bank doesn’t take their home when the bills have piled up too high.

But, hope in God and what He has done, is doing, and will do is different.  In reading God’s Word one can see all through it the absolute sovereignty of God.  There is not one time when God lost control, lost direction, lost hope, lost purpose, or lost His power. He does not and has not lost His way, lost His graciousness, lost His focus, or lost His mind.  He does not lose sight of His children nor His plans for them, in fact, that is a promise of the Old Testament.  He does not lose or loose His hold on those whom He loves and has in His hand.  He does not forget to take care of those who trust in Him.  He does not let go and He never will.

He’s got your back.  He’s out in front of you.  He’s walking beside you and at times carrying you.  He’s hovering over you.  He’s residing within you.  He will never let you go.  When there’s any doubt…remember who wants you to doubt and give the enemy a swift verbal kick in the proverbial tousch and send him packing.  This is done by saying the name of Jesus, quoting Bible verses…or reading them outloud, by listening to or singing praise music, and by putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6).

Hope in God is like no other.  There is reason to hope.  There is reason not to lose hope.  There is reason to hang on to hope because in doing so, you are hoping in, hanging on to, and trusting the One and only, the Almighty, the One who knows you best and loves you most.

Never lose HOPE.  Keep your hope exactly where it is meant to be.  On and in Elohim, Mighty God, Eternal Father, the One who saves.  The One who is always there for you.

“Today, dear, dear Sovereign, let my hope be in You.  Let my strength come from You.  Let my mind be only on You.  May my eyes be always on Your blessed face.”

Read Psalm 71:5, 14-16

Memories

Memories are kind of funny things. A certain smell can take me back to my grandmother’s kitchen so quickly. A thought snapshot brings a flood of memories of my brother. A friend’s name can bring such warmth while remembering something we shared. A certain verse can remind me of something God did as He revealed Himself to me through His word. When I hear a certain song it transports me back to jr. high, the choir I was in and the special times we shared. A book reminds me of struggles shared with colleagues while teaching. Re-visiting a favorite place reminds me of times shared with my husband as we walked along the beach. Driving down a certain road makes me remember teaching my son to drive and the fondness of time with him.

I remember the things I’ve known and though the older I get the fuzzier some of those memories are, they are still precious and they are mine and they are treasures because of the experience and because of the person with whom they are shared.

This week we shared communion in our church body. It is a time to be thankful. A time to ponder. A time to be taken back. A time to remember. In order to truly remember I first must come to know.

I remember my brother because of how well I knew him. I remember my grandmother, my friends, my favorite verses, that song, that book, that ocean view, my husband, my son…I remember because I have known.

I can remember in communion because of how I have come to know Christ in a personal way. I remember what He has done for me, though I will never understand it all until heaven. It’s only because of what I have come to know that I can remember.

I remember His sacrifice. I remember His love. I remember His pain. I remember His humiliation. I remember His suffering. I remember His death. I remember His victory. I remember because He has allowed me to know…to know Him, to get to know Him, to love Him, to grow to love Him more, to hear Him, to sense Him, to be stretched by Him, to be surrounded by Him, to be engulfed by Him, to be consumed by Him, to be held by Him, to be known by Him, to be called by name by Him, to be called His own.

These are the most precious of memories. Not because I was there to experience what He went through but because He has taught me and shown me and let me come to know if only partially for now.

Memories of where God has brought me are what help to keep me grounded. They are also what give me wings. Wings to soar to new heights in Him. Wings to glide in His strength. Wings to carry me through the next memory builder.

“Lord, may I never forget. Please continue to move me forward anticipating all You are going to do. Thank-you for letting me be part of You. May I always remember-You-always You.”