Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Thankful For The Hope

“Thankful For The Hope”
Psalm 33:20-22 NLT
We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.

This past week, I have been thinking more and more about the hope that I have been given in my life with God.  I find myself wanting to thank Him more and more each day for giving me the life that I have in Him because I have a hope that is real and strong, no matter what my emotions are like as I go through my days.  As I daily fight different emotions with all the different changes in life from this pandemic, I am being reminded by Him that I have so much to be hopeful about and so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful that He is my help and my shield.  I am thankful that I can fully trust in Him, no matter what is going on around me daily.  His unfailing love surrounds me every day and I just love feeling His warm embrace as I rest in Him.  I know that God is going to continue to provide for me and my family even though the coming days and weeks are filled with uncertainty. 

Friends, I simply cannot imagine how life would be with the hope we have in Christ.  I could not imagine waking up in the morning and living the whole day without any hope that God gives.  It saddens me when I think about how many people live each day without being filled with this hope and now knowing God at all.  Life with God is still hard enough so many times with not understanding things, I just can’t imagine not having my relationship with Him and being completely without hope. 

I want to encourage all of us this week, and in the coming weeks, to focus on putting our hope in God, no matter what the future holds.  We don’t need to worry, but just allow ourselves to be surrounded by His unfailing love in all the ways He shows that.  He is taking care of us and always will somehow.  Whatever you might be dealing with today and in the days to come, know that nothing is out of His control and He will fill us with hope.  We can rejoice daily because we have a hope that the world can never take away and no world events can crush.  Yes, we may have our days of despairing feelings, but His hope will fill us once again. 

God, thank You for the hope that You will us with each day.  There are some days, Lord, when we feel like we’re losing hope and feeling helpless.  We are human and we need Your unfailing love to fill us and remind us that we are never alone.  We have so much to be thankful for God and we need to trust that You will never abandon us and that You truly love us.  Remind us each day God to give You thanks for all the wonderful things You continue to bless us with in our lives.  We are truly blessed, even with a chaotic pandemic going on around us.  You are bigger than anything we might fear.  We love You and thank You for loving us and giving us hope.  Amen!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Lord, Help Us Through These Storms

“Lord, Help Us Through These Storms”
Matthew 8:23-26 NIV
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

I don’t know how many of you are storm chasers and/or storm enthusiasts, but I have been a storm enthusiast most of my life.  I’m sure that I have written before about my fascination with thunderstorms and the weather patterns it creates.  During thunderstorm season, I get really excited when storms come through because I just like the adrenaline rush of watching them.  I have never personally witnessed a tornado in person, but I have heard and watched videos of countless stories of people who record them and chase them.  I also like to watch storm chasing shows on TV just to see the excitement and adrenaline rush of the storm enthusiasts.

Some storms have plenty of warning, but then there are some that suddenly come up and people respond with, “Where did that storm come from?  I did not see that coming!”  Sometimes we have no warning at all it seems and we are completely taken off guard by what comes our way.  We often don’t know how to react and we want to keep ourselves and our family safe. 

Friends, we continue to embark on the unknown ahead of us as we all deal with this new life experience none of us were prepared for or ever saw coming.  I hope this passage can bring a little comfort to us knowing that we are never alone when we deal with storms that come up in life.  Right now, we are all experiencing so many of the same storms.  And just like this passage states, these have come without warning. 

Even though we may be feeling a wide range of continued mixed emotions about the pandemic around us, know that Jesus is there to comfort us through these storms, whether we are experiencing job loss, the actual coronavirus itself in our life or within our family, financial difficulty or you are a first responder dealing with the front lines on all of this, know that Jesus is right there with us and will give us comfort through this as we trust in Him.

Father, we experience a lot of storms in our lives.  These current storms often seem overwhelming and they have come upon us much without warning.  Give us strength daily Father to trust You that You will carry us through this scary time.  We love You and know that You will never forsake us or abandon us.  Help us trust in You even though we don’t understand so much right now.  Give us joy and peace even in the midst of this pandemic.  We know You are still in control and help us never forget that, especially in the storms of life.  Amen!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Lord, Help Us To Keep Trusting

“Lord, Help Us To Keep Trusting”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

This past week, I have had the word “trusting” on my mind and heart frequently.  As the days and weeks continue on, I still feel the need to share with you all how God is teaching me more and more how to keep my trust in Him in the midst of the pandemic that feels like a bad dream still.  I find myself waking up everyday and just wondering what the next set of news I will hear will be about.

I find myself praying differently.  I don’t really know how to describe it, but I’m just asking God for peace and that I will continue to have the strength in Him to trust even though there is so much I cannot understand. 

I have read this passage more times in my life than I can count.  It’s been a staple for many of us through the years and is a popular passage to quote in various times and circumstances.  Lately, I’ve been thinking more about it and how God is asking me to trust Him even more these days as I strive to provide for my family as I keep hearing different news at work and in the community about changes. 

He is reminding me to trust completely in Him, even though I don’t understand many things.  He continues to provide for us and lead us.  It is often easy some days to wake up and immediately feel anxious about many things.  It seems I’m hearing daily changes at work about various changes and it’s easy for me to lose sight of hope and that He will always be with me no matter what.

Friends, I don’t have any great revelations about all that you and your friends and family are dealing with.  However, I do know that we serve an Almighty God Who has never stopped providing and will never stop leading us, even when the path seems very unknown.  He asks us to continue trusting in Him, especially when things seem chaotic. 

Will you please join me in striving each day to wake up and put total trust in Him?  We need to trust Him now more than ever and not depend on our own understanding.  I would like to end with another prayer this week.

Lord, please help us to continue trusting in You, even though we find ourselves continually bombarded with temptations to lose hope.  It’s easy for us to become fearful of the continues news of sickness, but may we focus on You and depend on Your understanding, not ours.  Help us to trust and know that You will always provide.  Give us strength, Lord to trust even when we feel weak.  We know You are in control and will always be.  Help me to know I am blessed in so many ways as You have provided.  Amen!