February Hope Whispers

God Promises Us

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

Hope Quotes

“What I needed was hope. Optimism is seeing how circumstances will get better, but hope is seeing God’s love and care in the midst of bad circumstances. Hope is the refuge in uncertainty when optimism runs dry.” ~ Bonnie Gray

“Our hope comes in Jesus, even when He doesn’t do what we want Him to do. Even when He doesn’t fix what’s broken in our life… When Jesus is with us, He’s our anchor in the rough waters of a troubled life. If we want to survive the storm we need to cling to Him like the salvation He is.” ~ Laura Story

“God has graciously, lovingly and compassionately taken each piece of the jigsaw that was pulled out and scattered. He has then placed the pieces so perfectly back to where they came from. The difference about the pieces this time is that they are much stronger, and much more refined.” ~ Francesca Price

“…I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write your story on my heart
Come on and make your mark
Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be your work of art
Won’t you write your story on my heart…”

Nature Is a Retreat of Hope

“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.
Most of the time we are simply not patient enough,

quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”
~ Linda Hogan ~

Thank you to my brother John
for these stunning photos.
🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂

Avocets
Busy Bees
Eastern Bluebirds
Eastern Bluebird
Arizona Gray Squirrels – Hey! That’s mine!
Sandhill Cranes and Duck Friends
Sandhill Crane

Is Life’s Journey Too Great For You?

Have you ever felt so tired of life’s journey that you wish God would just take you to Himself? So battle-worn from fighting against Satan’s persistent lies crushing you down to despair? So heart heavy with the mess this world is in and how God and love and compassion are often shoved aside?

Elijah was tired of living. He was advocating for the One True God, and he had just confronted the false prophets of Baal. Queen Jezebel was furious and out to kill him. Filled with fear, Elijah fled and ran a day’s journey to the wilderness. He was weary – mind, body, and soul. Exhausted, he collapsed under a broom tree, a large desert bush.

“I have had enough, Lord. Take my life…” he cried. As he sank into the mire of despondency, he lay down and fell asleep.

A touch woke him up. “Arise and eat,” an angel said. Bread baking on some hot coals and a jar of water were waiting for him. He ate and drank, but he lay down again.

But the God of endless patience and compassion didn’t let him remain there. Elijah’s journey on this earth was far from over. His work for God was not finished. Again an angel touched him. “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

“The angel of the Lord
came again a second time
and touched him and said,
‘Arise, eat, because the journey
is too great for you.’”
1 Kings 19:7

This time Elijah surrendered his weary soul to God. He got up. He ate and drank. He opened his heart to God’s faithful provision and moved forward in the strength of God. Jezebel was still looking for him. He didn’t know what danger, loneliness, or disappointment lay ahead. But he remembered God is bigger than anyone or anything he would face, God was with him no matter what, and God would strengthen him in His journey on this earth.

In this journey of life,
We will have
Times of deep anguish,
Times of sinking in the mire of despair,
Times of feeling forsaken by God.

But Jesus Whispers

My precious child,

I’m still the same God today.

I was there for Elijah

And I am here for you.

Arise and eat, My child.

The journey is too great for you.

Eat the manna of My love

Drink My life-giving water

Relax in the arms of My grace,

My power and My will.

And you will find rest

For mind, body, and soul.

I hold you, My child,

In the arms of My everlasting love,

No lies can snatch you away from Me.

You are safe with Me.

Marvelously made and enough.

Ssshhh…

Be still, My child, be still.

Be encouraged

You don’t have to journey alone.

Rest in My Truth,

And I will refresh your weary soul.

“No, in all these things
we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

Heal Our Land
by Kari Jobe

“You take our lives
Flawed yet beautiful
Restore, refine
Lord You’re merciful
Redeem, revive
Spirit of God
Breathe on Your church
Pour out Your presence
Speak through Your word
We pray in every nation, Christ be known
Our hope and salvation, Christ alone
New power, new wine
As divisions fall
One church, one bride
Jesus, Lord of all
With one voice, we cry…”

God’s Promise of Hope for Victims of Abuse

I posted this story nearly three years ago, but for some reason God brought it to my attention again. I felt His nudge to share it again. Perhaps there is someone who needs a reminder of hope. This is an edited version.

She was standing at the windows covering one wall. A nun staring out the window. As she stood there, a rainbow broke through the stormy clouds and brightened the sky.

The glory of the rainbow drew me to the window next to her. We were hushed with awe for several minutes.

“I asked God for a sign,” she whispered, “Now I know this is where He wants me to be.”

She opened her heart to me and shared her story of devastating abuse from a priest and how afraid she was to be at this retreat (for women victims of clergy abuse).

I was afraid, too. Shame, fear, and hopelessness consumed me, and I had almost run right back out as soon as I entered the building. But now I knew, too, that I wasn’t alone, and I needed to stay.

The rainbow inspired in both of us hope that God was on our side, He always keeps His promises, and He will never, ever abandon us.

Those days were gut-wrenching as we worked through the unspeakable pain of sexual and spiritual abuse from pastors/priests/ministers from various churches. I probably didn’t get as much benefit out of it as I could have if I had dared to open up more, but God still boosted me on the road to healing.

Two women pastors led the retreat, and on the final day, they held communion to whoever wanted to join them. Love, acceptance, and support warmed the atmosphere. One woman stood rooted to the floor several feet away. Her pain was so deep, and she wasn’t sure she belonged. Could she trust the love Jesus offers? Did He even want her? We gathered around her with love and assurance and God broke the chains of shame. She stepped forward with us, and with tears flowing, we together remembered how Jesus offered up His broken body and poured out His life blood for us to free us.

I was still in deep pain, but I had a renewed hope that God held us in His loving hands. Even though the healing journey would be painful, He would be with us every step of the way. And He has been, even though there were countless times when I felt like He had abandoned me. In hindsight I can see He was there even in those dark times of despair.

As one of the projects, each of us were handed a piece of construction paper with our name written in the middle of it and uplifting stickers on it. We were to write an encouragement or praise on each person’s page. After we went home, the leaders sent our page to us. I still have mine 25+ years later.

I want to share with you what one of the other women wrote to me, and I hope you will apply it personally to yourself.

“Keep talking. Don’t allow Satan to take anymore from you than he has. You know where your power lies. In the Creator of the universe, the Creator of you. Call on His healing. He loves you, (insert your name here), and so do I.”

If you have been abused, in whatever way, whether male or female, don’t let Satan silence you or discourage you with his lies. Don’t let him rob you of your God-given voice. His power is nothing compared to God who created you. God has the power and the willingness to heal you. He even finds joyous delight in healing you.

Even when we feel like a bruised and bleeding body tossed to the side of the road, not believed or cared about by anyone, Jesus loves to tenderly pick us up and hold us to Himself, cradling us with His love and compassion.

Yes, the healing process can be long and painful and overwhelming, but He is right beside us longing for us to trust Him as our Safe Refuge, to open our hearts to His love, and to allow His grace to heal us.

God is faithful and always keeps His promises. He will never abandon us. He is beside us even on those days when we can’t “feel” Him or see His signs.

“For every one of God’s
promises is ‘Yes’ in Him.
Therefore, the ‘Amen’ is also spoken
through Him by us for God’s glory.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 HCSB
“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds,
I will see it and remember
the everlasting covenant
between God and all living creatures
of every kind on the earth.”
Genesis 9:16 NIV
“Be strong! Be courageous!
Do not be afraid of them!
For the Lord your God will be with you.
He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 TLB


Overcomer
by Mandisa