Friday, September 6, 2013

A Night of HOPE

As I was preparing for bed, my mind was swirling around my experiences during my own dreaded nights of tears and sorrow. Pain brought about by events and behaviors out of my control. I've also dealt with the mourning of regret due to houses I brought down on MY OWN head. There are nights of much tears, the heavens feel shut up to you, the ground seems to hunger for you. These times of growth and rebirth are trying to one's sanity.

But I was also thinking of others' sorrows...

I was thinking of the meal I had just delivered to a teen who had lost his entire family TWICE. I don't know the story of his birth family, but his foster family had been killed in an auto accident.

I was thinking of my parents' loss of my baby sister. Clearly, my loss as well. Indeed, the whole world's loss. But as I was two years old when she died, I don't remember the mourning. But my parents will still cry, even after nearly forty years.

I've been reading the book of Jeremiah, and his persecution has been so "current" and painful to read. I don't mean to imply I am enduring persecution. I mean that such a noble, honest man of God faced persecution breaks my heart.

I was just feeling the reality that sorrow is prevelant.

So, I felt like the least I could do was to make sure that each hour a scripture was posted about "hope."

Truly, hope is of utmost importance for those in dire emotional straits. It's vital that people look for something, anything, to hope in. Hope that you won't cry. Hope that you get a better car. Hope that you find a better job. Hope that you grow your circle of friends. Hope that you learn to communicate better. Hope that you gain more wisdom. Hope that you behave better.

Hope is not a wish. Hope is not denial. Hope is absolute BELIEF that there is something better. Hope is of God, therefore bringing oneself into his presence is necessary to go from "wishing upon a star," to "hoping in The Lord." Hoping in The Lord will require some work on your part. But his grace is sufficient to fill in the gaps and make up for our weaknesses.

When you get a hope, then you begin to believe in scriptures such as, "you have not because you ask not."- Jesus. 
And, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it."-Jesus
When you ask, that very act of prayer is "faith!"

Faith is the SUBSTANCE of that thing you hope for! 

Then your faith-behavior consistently repeats the steps: 
Regardless of what your eyes see, envision that hope for a brighter day. God put that seed in your spirit, so don't fear it. Enter into a place of prayer, and while His Spirit is engaging with you,  ASK IN HIS NAME!
Wash, rinse, repeat.
In other words, do it again and again!

That, my friend, is the simple formula used by mighty men and women of God from Genesis to this very day. 

So, cry if the pain is there tonight. But don't ONLY cry. Engage with God through prayer. And find HOPE!  

Psalms 16:7 (NET)
I will praise the LORD who guides me; yes, during the night I reflect and learn.

Psalms 16:8 (KJV)
I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Psalms 16:9 (KJV)
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Psalms 31:24 (KJV)
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Psalms 31:24 (NET)
Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the LORD!

Psalms 130:4 (NET)
But you are willing to forgive, so that you might be honored.

Psalms 130:5 (KJV)
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Psalms 147:11 (KJV)
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalms 147:11 (NET)
The LORD takes delight in his faithful followers, and in those who wait for his loyal love.

Lamentations 3:21 (NET)
But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope:  (Khet)

Lamentations 3:22 (NET)
The LORD's loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end.

Psalms 42:5 (NET)
Why are you depressed, O my soul? Why are you upset? Wait for God! For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention.

Psalms 42:6 (NET)
I am depressed, so I will pray to you while I am trapped here in the region of the upper Jordan, from Hermon, from Mount Mizar.

Hosea 2:15 (KJV)
And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

Joel 3:16 (KJV)
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Romans 4:18 (KJV)
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 5:2 (KJV)
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:5 (KJV)
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

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