When things are going well, there is hope! When things are ok, there is hope! When things start getting tough, there is hope! When things seem at their darkest, there is hope!
In this world, we will have troubles, but take hope because Jesus has overcome the world!
Because of the hope of Jesus, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds!
Today’s devotional shines light into what hope is when it says:
Hope is the confident expectation of God’s ultimate blessing in this life and the life to come, based upon the goodness and promises of God. With Jesus, there is always hope. –from Day 139: Bible In One Year 2017
Throughout history there has been a roller coaster of ups and downs or a pendulum effect of back and forth where the focus has gotten onto and off of God. Through history we see the impact when people walk away for God and try to do it their own way. Throughout history we see the impact when people get to the end of their own ropes or hit rock bottom and then turn back to God. They know about God and chose to try it their own way and then when they realize there is no hope without Him they turn back. The great news is that He is the God of second chances and the story of the lost son also called the prodigal son speaks to how is looking for us to come back! Even some cry out that the church is dead or dying, but because of hope we know that He can raise it just like He did with Lazarus! God’s not dead! Neither is the church! God’s Word tells us that
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. –from Matthew 16:18
The hope of Jesus goes beyond today, beyond this year, beyond this lifetime to eternity where we will continue to have relationship with God and worship Him.
We can see what shutting God out of the lives of people and countries looks like when we look at what happens in society. Consider the broken families – divorce, abuse, etc. Consider society – pornography, witchcraft, psychics, violence, murders, etc.
What if we all chose to live to the higher calling of Jesus and lived lives focused on LOVE?
What if we all chose to live to the higher calling of Jesus and became more focused on others that ourselves?
Do you have hope? Do you have a rock that you can anchor to when times of trouble show up?
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
13 Our hope comes from God. May He fill you with joy and peace because of your trust in Him. May your hope grow stronger by the power of the Holy Spirit.
14 I am sure you are wise in all things and full of much good. You are able to help and teach each other. 15 I have written to you with strong words about some things. I have written so you would remember. God helped me write like this.
My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ love!
Your Hope in Times of Trouble — Day 139: Bible In One Year 2017
1. Hope in the ultimate triumph of good over evil …Psalm 64:1-10
Today’s devotional speaks to the reading from Psalm 64 as follows…
Do you ever feel terrified by something you are facing in your life? David faced ‘the terror of the enemy’ (v.1b, AMP).
He went through times of real trouble, ‘the conspirators out to get me’ (v.2, MSG), ‘evil plans’ (v.5a) and ‘traps’ (v.5b, MSG). Yet, he is confident that God will triumph over evil. What should you do when you face similar troubles? The psalm today gives us some clues:
Cry out to God
David prays, ‘Listen and help, O God’ (v.1a, MSG). David asks God: ‘protect my life from the threat of the enemy’ (v.1b).
‘Rejoice in the Lord’
‘Rejoice in the Lord’ (v.10a). As the apostle Paul puts it, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ (Philippians 4:4).
Stay close to the Lord
‘Take refuge in him’ (Psalm 64:10b). ‘Fly to God’ (v.10b, MSG).
Keep praising God
‘Let all the upright in heart praise him!’ (v.10c). ‘Make praise your habit’ (v.10c, MSG).
–from Day 139: Bible In One Year 2017
2. Hope in the resurrection of Jesus … John 11:1-44
Let’s walk in faith not fear! Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight! When we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we put our focus on Jesus so we can see beyond our circumstances and can find hope of knowing that we will get to spend eternity with Jesus!
Today’s devotional speaks to our reading from John 11 as follows…
Do you fear death? Many people are afraid of death. But if you put your faith in Jesus, you do not need to fear death. Jesus has defeated the power of death.
The English comedian, Russell Brand, said, ‘Laughter is addictive because of the inevitability of death. It gives us a temporary escape – for the moment it stops the fear of the inevitability of death.’ Every human being will face the ‘trouble’ of death. Where does your hope lie?
In today’s passage we see the full humanity of Jesus in the face of death. Lazarus was his friend. Jesus loved him (v.3). He was ‘deeply moved’ and ‘troubled’ by his death (v.33). In the shortest verse in the Bible we read, ‘Jesus wept’ (v.35).
Yet Jesus is also, uniquely, the answer to death. Jesus said to Martha, ‘“Your brother will be raised up.” Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”’ Jesus’ response was: ‘“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all”’ (vv.24–26, MSG).
There is life beyond the grave. Jesus died and rose again. Everyone who believes in Jesus will rise again from the dead. As a foretaste of the future, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
The story of Lazarus is the story of each one of us. Jesus calls you to rise up and become fully alive in order to give life – to bring hope to your family, friends, work colleagues and the world.
This resurrection power is within you. Paul writes to the church of Rome, ‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you’ (Romans 8:11). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basis of your future hope.
Christianity is the largest movement of all time. It is the only one that never loses a member through death. I remember one of my sons, when he was a little boy, saying, ‘When you die, I’ll be sad. Then I’ll see you in heaven and I won’t be sad anymore!’
Mother Teresa was asked shortly before her death, ‘Are you afraid of dying?’ She said, ‘How can I be? Dying is going home to God. I have never been afraid. No, on the contrary,’ she said, ‘I am really looking forward to it!’
This passage also indirectly provides a picture of hope for the church. There is a sickness in parts of the church and many are declaring its death. Some parts of the church seem to have ‘fallen asleep’ (John 11:11). And in some cases there seems to be a ‘bad odour’ (v.39).
This passage reminds us of Jesus’ power to bring even the dead to life. This resurrection power is still at work in the church today. The same Jesus who said over Lazarus ‘this sickness will not end in death’ (v.4), also promised that he would ‘build [his] Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18, KJV).
Some parts of the church seem to have been prematurely buried. Jesus said about Lazarus, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go’ (John 11:44c). Maybe Jesus would say something similar to parts of the church today. The Brighton and Hove Argus described what has happened at one of our church plants – St Peter’s, Brighton – as ‘the Lazarus-like recovery of the city’s “unofficial cathedral”’. We have called our church planting programme: ‘Project Lazarus’!
–from Day 139: Bible In One Year 2017
3. Hope in the word of the Lord … 1 Samuel 2:27-4:22
Would you recognize God’s voice if He calls you? Would you answer God’s Word if you heard it? Would it matter if it was a still quiet voice or a loud booming voice? Will you listen?
Today’s devotional speaks to the reading from 1 Samuel as follows..
Do you realise that God wants to speak to you? You can say, like Samuel, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening’ (3:9).
These were times of trouble for the people of God. It was a time when it seemed that God was almost silent. ‘In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions’ (3:1).
It must have been heartbreaking for Eli to see his own sons dishonouring the Lord. They slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting (2:22). They dishonoured God who has said, ‘Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained’ (v.30).
As a result of the dishonouring of God, the people of God are defeated (4:1b–11). Eli dies heartbroken (vv.12–18). His daughter-in-law gives birth to a child with the name Ichabod: ‘The glory has departed’ (vv.19–22).
Yet, in the midst of these terrible times of trouble for the people of God there is hope. The Lord called Samuel (3:4). God revealed himself to Samuel and he listened to the Lord (vv.9–10). He said, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen’ (v.9, MSG). The Lord said, ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle’ (v.11).
Samuel was prepared to pass on the message in its entirety, however unpopular, embarrassing and difficult it was (v.18). He did not hide anything. As a result, God was able to use him greatly: ‘The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground’ (v.19).
–from Day 139: Bible In One Year 2017
Let’s not try to go through this life alone! Let’s put our hope and trust in God! Let’s build up an intimate relationship with Him! Let’s talk to Him and listen to Him! Let’s walk out our lives in hope because of what Jesus has done and who Jesus is! God’s not dead! Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and me.