Hope Rising

Friday, March 25, 2011

Promises to remember during a time of waiting...

Trust says, "Lord, I believe that what you want for me is the best-what you want for me is joy.  Lord, I'll take it, and I'll take it your way."
Elisabeth Elliot (heard here)

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.(NKJV)

Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right.
 (NLT)

Isaiah 58:10,11
10If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul, 
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, 
And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 
11The LORD will guide you continually, 
And satisfy your soul in drought, 
And strengthen your bones; 
You shall be like a watered garden, 
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
(NKJV)

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (NKJV)



*Just wanted to point out that these are not blanket statement promises-there are action steps involved.  We must be seeking Him, obeying Him, actively loving Him. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Forgiveness

The Greek word for forgiveness is Aphesis. One meaning is to "let go of from one's power, possession, to let go free, to let escape."  It means to cut someone loose.  So the opposite of forgiveness--unforgiveness, means to tie someone on...we tie that person to our backs and then lug around the heavy burden.
Sharon Jaynes

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me...

This character trait of the Father is speaking to my heart this morning...He will perfect what concerns me--He who started a work will complete it--He accomplishes all things for me.  He is a God of completion and is concerned with what concerns us...

Psalm 138:7, 8
(NKJV)
7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
  You will stretch out Your hand
 Against the wrath of my enemies,
 And Your right hand will save me.
 8The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Philippians 1:6
(NASV)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work
in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Psalms 57:2
(NASV)  
I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Building knights out of straw...

This is a cautionary reminder to women...and a great insight into a feminine tendency.
Women, perhaps more than men, see in anyone who interests them not so much what is actually there but rather a reflection of what they construct from the hints that have pleased them.  They build their imaginary shining knight out of little more than bits of straw.  Some of them it takes a miserable married lifetime to undeceive.
George MacDonald

Friday, March 11, 2011

You rule over the surging sea...

8O Lord God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O Lord, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.  9You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.
Psalms 89:8,9 (NIV)

I heard Psalm 89:9 quoted today in relation to the tsunami in Japan.  Verse 9 is appropriate, but I believe even more so when you read it with verse 8--"You are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you" is so comforting in light of this event.  

Praying for the victims tonight...

 *Updated 3/24/11: 
A snapshot of my boy's tender heart--we were praying for Japan last night, and he realized for the first time that people had died. His eyes instantly filled up with tears as he prayed for the people and as the realization dawned on him that families had been torn apart. Love my little guy....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A clue to the meaning of life...

My little 2 year old resting on my shoulder
circa 2007
Ravi Zacharias tells a story of having been gone from his family for a 5 week period.  Upon his return home, his toddler daughter rushed to him with abandon and as he picked her up, wrapped his arms around her and she nestled into his neck, he states that in those 60 seconds he learned more about the meaning of life than all the books on philosophy he had ever read.

He says, "You will find that the most meaningful thing in your life is the relationships that you have built and cherished and nurtured...A clue to life's meaning is in relationships. We have a God who is not just distant and transcendent and far, we have a God who has come near..."

The implication is that Jesus came to earth to make Himself near to us (so that now we may have intimate relationship with Him), and  God created human relationships, so as we build healthy bonds with others, we can be reminded that our God is relational and wants to come near to us.

It also makes me think of how Paul uses the marriage relationship as a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5).  As I've experienced healing, and studied God's intention for marriage (sacrificial love, the husband covering over and protecting the wife, the wife respecting the husband, etc.), I've been reminded that marriage is such an appropriate picture of Christ's relationship with the church. Both the earthly picture of marriage between a man and a woman, and the spiritual picture of Christ and the church are simple, yet hard for our selfish hearts to put into practice; mysterious, yet so clear, and such a creative, beautiful work from the heart of God.

This Lenten season, one area I will be praying more intentionally for is wisdom in my relationships, and direction on how God wants me to cherish, love, and cultivate kinship with Himself and those around me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Only let us live in You...

Jesus, Let Us Come to Know You

Jesus, let us come to know you;

Let us see You face to face.

Touch us, hold us, use us, mold us;

Only let us live in You.


Jesus, draw us ever nearer;

Hold us in your loving arms.

Wrap us in your gentle presence;

And when the end comes bring us home.

Michael Card

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He's made you uniquely...

"He relates to me as an individual, and brings to birth within me that unique distinctiveness with which He's created us.  You don't have to be anybody else.  Don't pretend to be anybody else. Don't try to be anybody else. He's made you uniquely and does not replicate you in any way.  In that relationship with you He brings to fruition that distinctiveness with which He has made you.  Once you can accept that and know that, then jealousies go, envies go, longings of other successes go, because you know the way He's wired you and the way He's framed you-- He's made you so distinctive and unique."
 Ravi Zacharias on this podcast

Also, 1 Peter 5:6,7 (MSG):

6So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. 7Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

How much better would the world--and the Kingdom of God--be if we each would just live in the uniqueness that God created us to have; embracing the individuality that He thought of when He created us, and not striving to advance ourselves by jockeying to gain favor with "powerful" people.  Just a thought. :)