“Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:21-23
“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.” Romans 15:13
“If we look back on each of our lives, how many times did God have another plan than we did? Seasons of pain and suffering. Times of loss and heartache. Days of darkness where we wondered if God was really with us at all.”
(Over the past couple of months, this 2015 post has been visited often, raising it to the most popular post so far in 2020.)
Nature is a Retreat of Hope
“Adopt the pace of nature.
Her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thank you to my brother John for these stunning photos.
(🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂)
I’m taking a break from posting. I hope to return the first Tuesday in August. Meanwhile, please feel free to email me if you have a prayer request or just want to connect with me. 🙂 (My email is in the right-hand column.)
God bless and strengthen you through whatever troubles you are going through!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
by Victory Worship
“You are never far away Always reaching out to save My weakness covered by Your strength And I am found forever safe I found my fortress in You And my soul is anchored with You My resting place is in Your name Forever safe”
“I know the world is crazy right now, but I’m so thankful that God knows our names, understands our emotions and is intimately involved with the development of our faith.” ~ Lois Flowers
“Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company… You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.” ~ John Piper
“Hope is the silver shaft of sun breaking through the storm-darkened sky, words of comfort in the intensive care unit, the first spring bird perched on a snow-covered twig, and the finish line in sight. It is a rainbow, a song, a loving touch. Hope is knowing God and resting in His love.” ~ NLT Life Application Study Bible: Zephaniah introduction
Nature is a Retreat of Hope
““Be as a bird perched on a
frail branch that she feels
bending beneath her,
still she sings away
all the same,
knowing she has wings.” Victor Hugo
Thank you to my brother John for these beautiful bird photos.
(🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂)
Heavy emotions can feel like an undercurrent tugging us down into discouragement and depression, can’t they? We can keep trying to desperately cling to our only HOPE. But sometimes… Lord, I can’t hang on anymore…
I sometimes feel so overwhelmed with sadness over all the sorrow and suffering in the world, and this Covid pandemic has my emotions all over the map. But I often trap them inside. I feel compelled to show others I am strong enough to handle them on my own. Including God… I allow burdens, that of others and of myself, to weigh me down too much instead of truly surrendering them over to God who alone has the power to rescue, redeem, and restore.
I even fight against the way God chooses to redeem and revive. I forget not a tear is wasted. I forget that our hearts are transformed the most through suffering. I forget God has the power to paint beauty out of ashes.
One morning my heart nudged me to get back to reading it. The first words I read expressed my feelings:
“Have you ever felt like life was overwhelming you? Like thing after thing was piling on you, stealing your strength and leaving you gasping?” (Jeanne Takenaka)
Oh yes, that is how I feel, Lord! Please help us!
Then towards the end of the devotion:
“When the ground beneath us shifts, God’s mercy upholds us. He is always with us, in every season.
We can find reassurance knowing our Father’s got us. He’s holding our hands and sharing His consolations with us when we need them most.” (Jeanne Takenaka)
Yes, Lord, I want to believe
Your mercy will hold us up!
I believe, please help my unbelief!
The ground beneath us has shifted drastically throughout this entire world. We may feel like we’re free falling into a deep, dark hole. Simple everyday things we thought we had control of have been taken out of our hands.
God’s got us, and His mercy will uphold us, no matter what we’re going through. So why am I still afraid?
You know how a well-adjusted child jumps into the arms of a loving father? Trusting with all his heart that Daddy will catch him?
When our trust has been so broken in life, even when we have come far on the journey of healing, fear can suddenly pop up. Lack of control over our lives may trigger fear of trusting others, even our Heavenly Father. Even when He invites us, “Come, My child. Jump into My arms. I’ll catch you and I’ll hold you closely in My loving arms. I won’t harm you. I’ll fight for you. So trust Me, My child! I’ve got this! Trust My way and My timing. Relax, let go of your grip on control, and surrender your heart and life to Me. Let yourself fall into My arms!”
Desperately, we keep holding onto some form of control. Is He really safe? Will He truly catch us? Will He hold us and get us through this?
God has promised He will!
“The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’”
And you know what? God doesn’t condemn us when we slip and find ourselves not trusting Him again. He understands that struggling journey far better than any person in the world does. He accepts us just as we are in all our humanness. He understands how our emotions can take us all over the map. But He never gives up on us, even when we give up on Him. He holds His arms open wide and keeps coaxing us to let go and fall into His arms of mercy and unfailing love that He has promised will support us!
“Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.”
Just Be Held
by Casting Crowns
“Hold it all together Everybody needs you strong But life hits you out of nowhere And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting Chained by your control There’s freedom in surrender Lay it down and let it go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held Just be held, just be held…”