HOPE…

Christmas is a time of hopefulness, especially, for children hoping for goodies under the tree.   For Christians, there is also the hope we have in the gift of salvation given to us by the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus.  This is the perfect time of year to share that hope with others because many are hurting for different reasons and need hope, as well as patience and love.

In Luke 2: 21-35, we meet a faithful devout man named Simeon who had a hopeful patience that he would one day see the Messiah before his death based upon what the Holy Spirit had promised him. It was this strong faith and hopeful patience that allowed Simeon to realize whom the baby Jesus was when he was brought to the temple as a baby to be presented.  It is truly amazing, that in a temple on an ordinary day, where many children were probably being presented and other temple activities going on, that Simeon singled out Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus and foretold of the greatness that would be this baby, the Messiah.  Simeon showed only hope and faithfulness, praising God while holding the new baby Jesus, never doubting that this baby was the Messiah, the salvation of Israel and all nations.

I think a lot of times, especially around the holiday season, when patience runs thin, lines run long, traditions take over, some people forget what Christmas truly is about.  It is about HOPE.  Sometimes, we are so blinded by all of the things that this Holiday season has become about that we can’t see the hope as clearly as we should.  The hope of a virgin mother giving birth to the Messiah in a stable.  The hopeful patience of a wise, devout man like Simeon that he would see the Messiah before his death, and the HOPE that those who believe in God’s promises in Christ will be rewarded.    Hope is one of the greatest gifts we can give others – hope that God’s promises are true. This Christmas season, give hope, by showing love, patience, kindness and spreading God’s love to others.

Every New Day is a Gift of Hope

The past five months have been a roller coaster of emotions since my husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore.  In the beginning, there was a lot of sadness, anger, emptiness, loneliness and unanswered questions, along with self-doubt.   I guess that is the typical cycle of emotions when your life is turned upside down by a sudden change like separation, divorce or death.  

I’ve been told many things by many people; many people have shared advice.   A lot of that advice has been useful, such as “he does not define you”, “it’s not anything you did or did not do, it’s something within him that has caused his unhappiness”.   All great words of encouragement to me when I was feeling “less than” after the end of a fifteen year relationship.

The most comforting advice of all that was given to me was a piece of scripture from a wonderful lady at my church who has been through a similar situation.   That scripture is Romans 5:3-5 (NIV), which I would like to share with you now…

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
For me, this verse first reminds me of God’s undying love for me.  Love that was poured over me through the shedding of his blood on the cross and love that is within me through the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Secondly, I’m reminded that through all of the pain and suffering comes perseverance and character which leads to hope.   And with every new day that I am blessed to wake up, I am hopeful for many things.   Hopeful for a day when all suffering ends and I get to meet my Lord and Savior.   Hopeful for a new start on life…a new career…a new chance to share my testimony and experiences to help someone else traveling this difficult road…hope that my children will not be scarred by divorce but know what love and marriage is supposed to be one day…hope that life goes on and my current circumstances do not define me…and hope that one day, the Lord will send me a wonderful loving partner, if that be His will.  If that is not in His Devine plan, then I also have the hope and peace in knowing that I am loved by the Almighty Creator and there is no love greater than that.   I will persevere…I will not be afraid to love others as I am commanded to do, just because I have been hurt…I will continue to grow as a person, a mom and a Christian…I will have hope that each day brings me a new beginning full of blessings, I just have to take the time to notice them and focus on all of the positive things, rather than dwell on the past.

Blessings to you and thank you for sharing in my journey of healing.

‘Do NOT let your Hearts be Troubled…’

If you’re gong through a rough time like I currently am, and you feel like your stuck “between a rock and a hard place”, please know, that if you have God on your side it is more likely that you are “stuck between a rock and a cross”.  Let me explain.

I feel like we, as human beings, get so caught up and hung up on our worldly pains and issues, that we forget that even during these times of hopelessness that we are not alone.  We do not have to face this world or its trials alone.  As a Christian, I fully believe in God’s word – and reading His word gives me the hope I need when I’m feeling hopeless.  It has been amazing to me in my most recent situation where my husband has left and life has been turned upside down, that I haven’t really felt alone.  It has been surreal how God has used people in my life, past and present, to reach out to me and provide me with comfort even when they have no clue what has recently happened to me.  I got a text from an old church friend that moved across the country last year that simply said I had been on her mind and that she had been praying for me.   I was so overwhelmed and amazed at God’s grace through her simple text that I broke down in tears.  While, the situation I’m going through was not my plan, nor is it what I want, I know that with God by my side and in my heart, no matter what the future holds, I will be okay.  I get this reassurance from the following verse, which helps my heart during troubling times:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God,; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”   John 14: 1-4 NIV

 This passage shows us the compassion that Jesus had for his disciples and how he tried to comfort them during this difficult time in which they were fearful, troubled, worried and scared about what was about to happen to them and to Jesus. Would they be executed for following Jesus? Was Jesus leaving them forever? Were they safe? What was going to happen?

It also shows us the compassion that He has for us. These same verses apply to us today. Just like the disciples, many of us have troubled hearts full of fear, sadness, despair, and worry based on the circumstances that may be going on in our life at the current time. What happens if I lose my job? What if my spouse leaves me? What if my child gets sick? What will people think? What if? Why? When? These questions surround us constantly in a world where we are not in control and don’t have the answers to why certain things happen, good or bad.  And while it completely goes against our human nature to follow this command of “Do not let your hearts be troubled”, we, as believers, have to trust in God’s word and give our troubles, worry, grief, and sadness to Him and believe in his promise that He has prepared a place for us to be with Him forever. We must know that the pains and sorrows of this life are temporary, and that He will be there for us and with us during difficult times, helping us through, even if the outcome or circumstance is not the one for which we hoped.

He doesn’t want us to be troubled in this life, but troubles happen. He has given us all the tools to help us make it through times of trouble, all we have to do is believe in Him, read His word, and talk to Him daily.

May His peace be with you in the days to come.

❤️✝️