Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Happy New Year, and be encouraged. H.O.P.E. Hold On, Pains End.

It's a new year with 365 new chances and we can have hope in Christ.. despite our specific needs, hurts, or current longings. I want to commend you to our anchor of the soul--the God of hope.

God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

"And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security." ~ Job 11:18

Whatever God does or allows in your life is motivated by his love for you and for others. It can all work out and together for good if we believe and love Christ in return (see Romans 8:28-29). Most false teachers outside and inside the church, cult leaders as well as so called word-faith prosperity preachers won't tell you what I will tell you here. 

Life here has some pain, bummers, sorrow, afflictions, troubles, and death. So many people think that they will get a pass on this stuff. But it happens to everyone. It might start with the passing of your grandparents.. not an easy time. 

And so many word-faith (false, off base) teachers within the church with their aberrant doctrines (so called Christian minsters) keep telling us that if we have faith and give to them then we will get the hundredfold blessing and find ourselves out of debt and rich.. like them cuz so many fools gave to them even when they didn't have enough for their bills. Some even used their credit cards to give to em.. presumptuously expecting to get rich (go read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Go hear the audio book Christianity in Crisis and Counterfeit Revival by Hank H). 

We have a living hope, but there are struggles. Hey, even the best of marriages or businesses have problems. And Christians can learn through trials and struggles. We / They will grow through the hardships as we press in to know the Lord--yes, hope can be found and can develop through the troubles or tribulation. 

Christians will have more trials ahead and some with suffering that will yes.. actually work for rather than against.. them. Sure, as they look to, worship, serve, and get closer to the Lord.

"Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made." ~ RC Sproil

Sometimes it seems like we are being refined by fire until we are more pure like pure gold. God likes us holy--He loves us and want us mature, strong and pure. Notice what the Bible tells us of Paul the Apostle and his missionary team.. "They preached the Gospel to that city and made many disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. 'We must endure many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God..'" Acts 14:21-22

Jesus basically told us that in this world you will have some struggles. Why? Man’s sin, his bad choice in the garden of Eden and later other sins elsewhere because we've all sinned.. they have changed this planet and the people here. But no worries.. God loves you anyway. He sent Jesus who died in your place on the Cross. And He's alive again.
"The Christian Message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity–hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory–because at the Father’s will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross." ~ J.I. Packer

Christ in the Bible says, “Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” John 16:32-33

"The hope that God has provided for you is not merely a wish. Neither is it dependent on other people, possessions, or circumstances for its validity. Instead, biblical hope is an application of your faith that supplies a confident expectation in God’s fulfillment of His promises. Coupled with faith and love, hope is part of the abiding characteristics in a believer’s life." ~ John C. Broger

"Without Christ there is no hope." ~ Charles Spurgeon

The fall (of man in the garden) has marred this sin-cursed earth. There should have never been aging, obesity, sickness, baldness in women or men, poverty, disease and or death in this place--it wasn't part of His original plan and design. He was well acquainted with sorrows, temptation, sufferings and grief--He knows. Through the trials, through the dark and stormy night, (biblical) faith holds a light up if you will. No matter the size of the storm. Ever seen a light on a ship, or from a light house -- when you do it's time for hope. And that shines out in the blackness of night to help guide to hope and safety. We want to shine out basically reflecting His light out, because so many people still need to hear the Gospel of hope. So many need that living hope in Christ and they can enjoy Him today.
"Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand." ~ Thomas Aquinas
"The law works fear and wrath; grace works hope and mercy." ~ Martin Luther
"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation." Psalm 42:5

Check it out in the Bible--God loves you as much as He loves His own Son Jesus. This hope we have is kinda like an anchor of the soul in this life of turbulence. Hey, if it has troubled your heart, it troubles his. Christ weeps when we feel the pain.. yeah, when we hurt.. He hurts. But He allows things to happen so that we will turn from we might turn to Him. It’s because he really loves us. 

Death is not the end of existence for people, it is just a change in your existence and location. Turn from sin. Call out to God in faith. Listen, the Bible is filled with an eternity’s worth of reasons for us to have hope in Christ.
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