Posts Tagged 'hope'

Hope

JESUS SPEAKING

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I also go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know; and the way you know.” (John 14: 1-4)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Jesus says, “let not your heart be troubled;” a clear reference to the anxiety, fear, and depression that can afflict the lives of those who have lost hope. The definition of hope is, the feeling of joy and optimism experienced in the present, as it relates to the anticipation of some future good. By simply contemplating the wonders of God’s coming kingdom, those who believe can feel joy even in the darkest moments. In this scripture, Jesus reiterates His promises; those who choose to follow Him will one day inherit a place in heaven; a permanent residence where they can walk in eternal fellowship with Him. Contemplating this faithful promise can eradicate the distress of any present suffering. Therefore, hope is at the very foundation of the gospel message; without it we are lost; but with it we can endure and overcome any challenges we might encounter.

As the story goes, a large school system once had a program to assist children who were sick in the hospitals with their school work. One day a teacher was asked to visit a particular child. She spoke with the child’s regular teacher who told her, “We’re studying nouns and adverbs in his class now. I’d be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn’t fall too far behind.” That afternoon, the hospital teacher went to see the boy. No one had told her that the child had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upon witnessing the boy’s injuries she was upset and began to stammer. “I’ve been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs.” Having completed her session, she left; feeling as though she had accomplished very little. However, the next day a nurse asked her, “What did you do to that boy?” Believing she had committed some offense, the teacher began to apologize. “No, no,” replied the nurse. “You don’t know what I mean. We’ve been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live.” Two weeks later the boy explained that, until the teacher had arrived, he had completely given up hope. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization which he expressed this way: “They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?”

The child in this illustration had been struggling because he had lost hope in the future. If we have lost our joy in the present, it is because we have taken our eyes off of the eternal life we have been promised in the future. We are therefore instructed by Jesus to look forward to our everlasting fellowship with Him in God’s kingdom. If we believe God, we can endure any trial or tribulation in this place. The Kingdom of Heaven is coming; and when that day arrives, we will fully know our Father. Never lose hope; never doubt in the promises of the Lord; and you to will experience “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.”

“Lord Heavenly Father, we trust You with our lives and believe in Your promises. Increase our faith, that no matter what circumstances we might encounter, we can experience the joy that accompanies our hope of eternal fellowship with You. May we continue to spread the gospel message to others; that they too might walk as Christians, from this day forward. May they receive salvation and be edified by Your unwavering promises. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

God is your friend

JESUS SPEAKING

                “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15: 14 – 15.) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                After eating the Passover feast, the Lord said farewell to his closest companions.  In a long discourse (filled with emotion and love) Jesus revealed God’s complete plan to the disciples.  During this address, those who had called him Master were urged to consider him a ‘friend.’  The term ‘friend’ implied a deeper, more intimate relationship.  In ancient times, masters and servants were never equals; they weren’t partners; and they certainly were never friends; their positions prevented them from close personal fellowship.  In order to preserve authority and respect, the master had to maintain a safe distance (as “familiarity breeds disrespect.”)  Yet the ‘King of Kings’ (Jesus) shattered the barriers that hindered true intimacy.  The disciples became his equals; no longer was he just their Lord and master; he became their brother; their closest companion; and their greatest friend.

                At the age of 19, I worked as a guard and a counselor in a minimum security juvenile facility.  My role was that of a disciplinarian.  Often, when a child misbehaved, we had to intervene and physically restrain them.  The staff was given a great deal of power and authority.  Although we interacted with the children in positive ways, we had to maintain a professional distance.  Too much intimacy caused them to lose respect for us and our positions.  If they came to believe we were their equals, they would question and disobey our commands.  Those who falsely see God as an equal lose respect for Him.  Fear of God is good; those who fear Him are aware of his power and authority.   We read in Proverbs, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  In turn, God sent His Son, so that all could know Him as a ‘friend’ as well as a Father.

                God must always be honored and respected; (He is our master and we are His servants) in turn, there is a distance between God and man.  In His divine wisdom, He chose to use His only Son to draw near to all people.  Jesus Christ is God’s gift to mankind.  He is God in a form we need not fear; we need only approach Him in love; we are free to speak to Him; to fellowship with Him; and to be in communion with Him.  He is more than our teacher, our master, and our shepherd; he is our brother; he is our closest companion; he is our best friend.  Would you like to know God?  If you seek closeness with God embrace Jesus Christ and he will comfort you and give you peace; look to the Son of God and you will know his Father.  Invite him in to your heart and he will teach you all things; and “you will know the truth; and the truth shall make you free.”

                “Lord Heavenly Father we love You, and we thank You for Your son.  We desire to draw near to him; may every obstacle be removed, and every barrier destroyed.  May he be our brother, our companion, and our friend.  May we confide in You Lord; may we look to You for direction, for love, and for comfort.  We love You Father; we love You Jesus; we praise You and we thank You; and we ask all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.   

 


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