Tag : hope
Tag : hope
I have these bar stools situated near my kitchen. They look good, but I put them together over a year ago, and question their stability. We were having an event in our house (pre-Covid) and my husband was out of town so I took care of the assembly myself, even though the task was overwhelming. I was determined to have the new stools for the party! I realize now that I should have hired a handyman or some kind of an expert to put the furniture together because this type of construction is not my gift. Some parts did not go together right. I forced others, but in the end, this over achiever put the chairs together—yes—but to this day I never sit on them because I know the foundation is a little shaky.
This analogy made me think about our spiritual lives and the foundation we’ve laid. In the midst of the continuing Pandemic, and with word that there are new strains of the virus popping up worldwide, is our construction strong enough to endure added turmoil? What are we doing to shore up our spiritual strength on a daily basis?
The answer is that Jesus is our firm foundation. In Luke 6:47-49, Jesus said, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
So what does it look like to build a solid foundation? First of all, we need to give our whole being to the expert builder, instead of trying to do life in our own strength. We have an incomplete skill set without Him. Now, more than ever I wake up in the morning and immediately thank the LORD for another day, acknowledge His all encompassing greatness, then worship Him. I also ask Him to provide the strength I need because it’s not easy right now. I want to be more like Jesus.
How did He treat people?
How did He handle crisis?
What was His primary mission?
The only way we can know this is to study His life in the gospels. And most importantly, I desire to stay connected 24/7, seeing all that is going on through His eyes rather than my own. I want to provide hope to others even when hope seems far removed. We can only be lights in the world if we fill ourselves with the light of Christ.
So on what kind of foundation do you have? Maybe you look good on the outside, but inside the parts are not connecting, creating instability. Is the blueprint your own or are you surrendering to the Master Builder? It’s not too late to pour the slab.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Margaret Feinberg wrote in her book, More Power to You, that “power awaits in believing, speaking, sharing, and declaring the transformative truth of God’s Word…[because] when you acknowledge your fears in light of God’s truth, you gain the confidence to move forward in spite of your fears, thus undoing fear’s enslaving power.”
The Lord commands, warns, and soothes us all 365 times in scripture to not be afraid, fear not, fear no evil. As we continue to struggle through our daily lives, I am excited with hope and filled with peace because I know who is in control. I know my path has been perfectly laid out before me. I will not worry about the mistakes I will make because I know my Heavenly Father will teach me with each step and misstep.
Each of us have the power to take control of our lives with gratitude, positivity, and grace that we extend to ourselves and to others. Our lives can be riddled with fear, or we can take the power that we have been given with our words and the Word of God and transform stress into opportunity and worry into gratitude. I choose to use my power for good. How about you?
Need a spiritual lift? We’d love for you to join us for our next POP Chat, Wednesday, January 27th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST. Our guest speaker is former Principal, Current Life Coach and Ministry Leader, Starlet Bell, and her topic is “Praying and Fasting for a Turnabout Year.” Our guest Worship Leader is Author, Singer-Songwriter and “Bible Chicks” Podcast Host, Carole Brewer. It’s one hour of Worship, Teaching, Discussion and Prayer. The entire Pearls of Promise Team will be there as well! Here’s the link to sign up:
I wanted some help this morning.
I have been bombarded with phone messages, mostly fake news, about things that are happening in the country. While there is certainly unrest, my mind is pulled in different directions by what appears to be fictitious scenarios. There have been rumors of martial law and warnings that we should stock our pantry. Last night we waited to see a certain television broadcast that never happened. False information.
This morning, needing to move back to center, I worshipped God through the song, Champion by Bethel. I placed the focus on the true victor, the one who holds our country in His hands, Almighty God.
You are our champion. Giants fall when you stand undefeated.
Things are a mess right now and what is going on is a giant, but I am trusting in the giant slayer.
And if we are shaking with worry or angst about anything, we have to move back to our sturdy foundation Jesus, who will provide what is needed to endure or defeat whatever giant we face. Scripture says we must keep “our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus says when we are thirsty for truth or peace, we can come to Him for a drink, and this living water, the Holy Spirit, will comfort us in the midst of uncertainty. He is our champion.
What is your giant that needs to be slayed today? Do you long for hope? Just remember that there is no other Champion like God and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He can take down any giant that threatens to defeat you. It’s a promise.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of Heaven and Earth” (Psalm 121:1–2)
I was in the midst of my quiet time and I heard a loud thump like something hit the house. I yelled up to my husband working upstairs, “Did you hear that?” I did not find out what it was until later that morning when I saw a beautiful, yet lifeless Goldfinch on my back patio. That’s when I figured out what the loud noise was. This sweet bird had apparently flown at full speed into one of our windows and it was enough to do him in. It made me sad to see him lying there, but that’s when I felt like I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say, I knew when he fell to the ground.
I thought of the verse in Matthew 10:29 that says every time a single sparrow falls to the ground our heavenly Father is aware. And that passage goes on to say, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matthew 10:30–31).
With all the isolation and fear still going on because of COVID, it’s easy to feel forgotten—like God doesn’t see us in the midst of this Pandemic, but that thought process is incorrect. He knows every intricate detail of our lives and when times get hard, it’s not because he’s abandoned us. He is with us and is still the provider of hope and encouragement.
This week I was reading in Acts 23. The Apostle Paul had gone to Jerusalem where he had been arrested, beaten and where many wanted him dead. Paul probably didn’t know for sure if he’d make it out of Jerusalem alive, but he never thought God was not with him. In fact, he received divine encouragement from the Lord who personally came to Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so must you testify in Rome.” God spoke a word of hope into Paul just when he needed it, saying Jerusalem is not your final stop. Later, as a prisoner on a boat headed to Rome, God reminded Paul that he would appear before the Emperor. God knew that the boat they were on would shipwreck the very next day, so he breathed hope into Paul in advance so he could encourage others in the midst of fear.
And he can do that for us.
This Pandemic is now hovering very close to home. I personally know many people who have been stricken with COVID-19 and have been extremely sick. One friend almost died. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend in Florida has had an intense struggle with COVID and is still fighting to turn the corner. But my guess is that God found a way to encourage each of them while they fought off a wicked virus. He does it through the prayers of friends. My sister-in-law, in quarantine, told us their friends have been there for them, delivering food daily. It could also come in the form of an encouraging note or text from others. He can provide the pick-me-up himself through a Bible passage or by speaking to you directly, as he did Paul,
Many times, in the thick of this Pandemic stretch, I have asked for encouragement because I am an intercessor and have prayed intensely for many who are ill with the disease. At times the weight of those prayers can feel heavy. Our quality of life has been dramatically changed—we don’t go and do like we used to—and I find the masks suffocating. But the LORD always provides someone or something to build me back up.
Are you struggling to keep your head above water?
Please know you are not forgotten. Your Abba Daddy just wants you to tap Him on the shoulder and ask Him for encouragement. He’s in the business of meeting needs and giving hope.
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord (Psalm 112:7).
Our Mini Goldendoodle, Jewel, provides a lesson sometimes so I thought I’d share what she brought to mind this week.
Often, Jewel will lay down outside our bedroom door, sprawled across the entry. She doesn’t move a muscle when we try to get through the opening, so we are forced to take a very large stride over her. She seems at peace that we will not step on her when going from one room to the other. I’m amazed at her trust!
I thought, What if we would trust God like that? What if would relax so much that whatever we face, we‘d know He is in control? Do we believe He’s not up there waiting to step on us? He loves us and is a good God.
This week I learned that a co-worker and friend from my television days, Rosenda, was in Hospice, and subsequently passed away. I also worked with her husband at a San Antonio TV station, and our sons went to school together and played on the same football team, so our lives intersected in many ways. She was a strong businesswoman who balanced career and family well. There are many mourning her loss.
Then another news anchor, Bob Johnson, who I worked with in my first television job in Chattanooga, Tennessee, died after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. I found out about both Bob and Rosenda the same day, fueling one of those “blue” days. I wanted to be like Jewel, hanging limp in my heavenly Father’s arms, trusting that He had all this in His hands, but I did not do it. I was anxious and the workload facing me seemed more overwhelming than usual. I almost passed out the morning I learned about both of these past colleagues. Must Be Stress, I thought. I am a Christian leader. Shouldn’t I handle all this better?
That’s the problem. I had wrong thinking. We are not designed to “handle” it alone. We are supposed to load these burdens on our Savior who has the ability to carry them for us. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
And when we give our anxieties to God, He always answers with hope.
After Bob died, a mutual friend and former Sports Director at Chattanooga’s WTVC, Darrell Patterson, who was very close to Bob, posted a YouTube video of Bob singing His favorite Gospel songs. It was beautiful. We were all very young when we worked together, and I never knew where he stood faith-wise. Back then, I was only a believer, not a follower, so I really did not walk out my faith. But when I watched the video, it’s as if God was saying, “I’ve got this Lisa. He’s with me now.”
What about you? Does all this COVID stuff have you tied up in knots? Are you reeling because you feel out-of-control? Take a lesson from Jewel. Relax—and trust God.
And if you want to feel hope like I did, here’s the YouTube link to Bob Johnson’s medley of Gospel songs: