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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Friday, May 26, 2017

THE HOPEFUL AND THE HOPELESS

Bible verses fall into many categories. Some speak of love, some of sin, salvation, faith, grace, God's sovereignty - this list could get very long. No matter what subject is being addressed, we know the God of the Bible is speaking to His children so we can learn about our Heavenly Father and understand who He is and what He wants for us. Grace and mercy prevail above all and the fact that He is steadfast and true to those who know Him. He also chastises us because He is our Father in heaven. I've recently been so blessed by reading and studying Psalm 107. I hope you'll want to join me as God reveals His desires and character.

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever."  Ps. 107:1

        Are you like me? Do you think there have been enough storms and difficult times in your life and there will come a day when most everything is nearly perfect? If so, you are a hopeful person. You may not realize it, but the hope you have is rooted in what you believe about God.
        I haven't written a blog in several weeks; seems like an eternity. I've been too busy being miserable. Three weeks ago I
awoke with a painful infection in my mouth. This resulted in having a molar extracted. The pain was intense. About the same time, I missed a stair and badly twisted my right foot which resulted in a very painful sprain. The doctor fit me with an orthopedic 'boot' which enabled me to put weight on it and 'hobble' around with my cane. I've been feeling sorry for myself.
        I knew my problems were temporary so I didn't feel hopeless, just distressed. Most things in life that cause us great distress are more temporary than permanent so we have hope that our situation will improve. We can count on the Lord to go to great lengths for us . . .

Ps. 107:16 "He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron" - like Superman, nothing will be able to stop Him.

Ps. 107:20 "He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave" - John I describes Jesus Christ as the "Word". Isaiah 53:5 tells us we are healed by his wounds. John 3:16 says that those who believe will have everlasting life - they are rescued from the grave. The Bible is one whole complete story.

Ps.107:23 - 30 " Merchants went out on the sea in ships. God spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted the waves. "They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end." God stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. He can calm the storms in our life too.


Ps. 107:41, 43 "He lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families and flocks. Not a government program or another human being but God Himself lifts us out of our affliction. "Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord."

        As you read through this Psalm you may notice the phrase, "Then they cried to the Lord" four times. God sees our stress, in fact, since He is the Sovereign Lord, He plans it! What seems to cause Him to come to our rescue is our crying out to Him and asking for His help. He brings distress into our life so we seek Him and come to depend on Him alone.
        For this reason, those of us who have put our trust in Him are hopeful that we will be rescued out of our misery. Those who are not assured of God's love and protection often feel hopeless. In order to have hope we must have the faith to believe. Faith is a gift from God - Ephesians 2:9. If you ask for this life changing faith, you'll have it - God won't say no, He's already given you the faith to ask!
        Many years ago, February 1973 to be exact, I was standing at my kitchen sink with a jar of jelly in my hand. I'd tried everything to open that jar, I failed. I remember thinking, "This is hopeless!" At that moment I remembered what a Bible teacher (thank you Glenna) had said recently - "When we run into a problem we can't solve the first thing we do is look for help. Only as a last resort will we ask the Lord to help us. We need to go to Him first; He's God of the Universe and He can do anything!" I was so frustrated I decided to put this to the test. I think I felt a bit foolish, not being able to open a jar of jelly wasn't exactly a crises. But to me, at that moment it was, so the Lord used this to show me that He could see my hopelessness and wanted me to know He cared and He was there for me. . .always. The moment I asked for His help the lid flew off the jar and I felt my body get warm and knew I was filled with the Holy Spirit. All believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. This was a dramatic experience; life changed.

        Don't follow the 'hopeless' road; you don't need to.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."  Hebrews 12:2

Thank you Jesus for being our hope and help us to reach out to others to share your love and grace.