Cheering The Hopeful

 

Hope for When You Feel Hard Pressed
Sharon Glasgow

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

We watched as our only working vehicle was hoisted onto the back of a tow truck. How would we manage without it?

In an attempt to be wise with our money, we had chosen the cheapest place around to fix the car. But week after week passed and the car wasn’t finished.

Finally the repair shop called. Hope and relief faded instantly when the mechanic said, “No, your car isn’t ready.” He told me we needed to come and pay more because there was a leak. I was perplexed, as there hadn’t been a leak prior to us taking it there.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I was shocked to see the car! The leak was the least of the new problems. Three of the four windows were gone or broken! Our car had been vandalized, and the shop didn’t have insurance to cover it. How? What? Why? No!

Our trouble doubled when we learned our insurance deductible was higher than the cost of the new windows. Needing a working vehicle desperately, we ordered and paid for the windows out of pocket. Obviously, with the delays and windows, that repair shop was no longer cheap!

To top it off, the guys from the glass shop called. They’d never had this happen, but each window they ordered for us arrived broken!

These costly frustrations and time delays aggravated me to say the least. Everything in me felt like falling apart. Instead, I pressed pause before that could happen and tried to find perspective.

The only way I know to find any perspective when facing hardships is to view them in light of God’s Word. When trials come, and they will, it helps me to confront them with truth from Scripture. Without this perspective, it’s hard to triumph over feelings of despair, anger and worry.

God’s Word reminds us that nothing surprises God, and nothing can overcome Him. A good place to turn for truth is our key verse today, 2 Corinthians 4:7-9:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

The “treasure in jars of clay” referred to is the Word of God stored within us. The truth we find and believe in the pages of our Bibles gives us the perspective, hope and encouragement we need when we feel pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.

I definitely could have felt pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down with all that happened. Not having a vehicle to get my family around was hard. Health issues and mounting medical bills compounded the situation. But using God’s Word as my perspective reminded me that God is my provider (Matthew 6:26), and I shouldn’t worry (Philippians 4:6-7). Trusting in His truths gave me freedom from despair.

We eventually got our car back — working and with all the windows — along with a pretty big bill. But we didn’t have the stress and frustration, thanks to trusting in God and His Word.

Life will always have seasons where we are hard pressed on every side. Yet in the crushing moments, God’s all-surpassing power will prevail. What a comfort to know that truth in the middle of trying times. In the midst of despair, let’s combat trials with Scripture. When we do, we are triumphant!

Lord, open my eyes that I may see the wondrous things in Your Word while I’m in the middle of my trials. Help me to see Your glory and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Hope for When You Feel Hard Pressed
Sharon Glasgow

From: Crosswalk.com

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

We watched as our only working vehicle was hoisted onto the back of a tow truck. How would we manage without it?

In an attempt to be wise with our money, we had chosen the cheapest place around to fix the car. But week after week passed and the car wasn’t finished.

Finally the repair shop called. Hope and relief faded instantly when the mechanic said, “No, your car isn’t ready.” He told me we needed to come and pay more because there was a leak. I was perplexed, as there hadn’t been a leak prior to us taking it there.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I was shocked to see the car! The leak was the least of the new problems. Three of the four windows were gone or broken! Our car had been vandalized, and the shop didn’t have insurance to cover it. How? What? Why? No!

Our trouble doubled when we learned our insurance deductible was higher than the cost of the new windows. Needing a working vehicle desperately, we ordered and paid for the windows out of pocket. Obviously, with the delays and windows, that repair shop was no longer cheap!

To top it off, the guys from the glass shop called. They’d never had this happen, but each window they ordered for us arrived broken!

These costly frustrations and time delays aggravated me to say the least. Everything in me felt like falling apart. Instead, I pressed pause before that could happen and tried to find perspective.

The only way I know to find any perspective when facing hardships is to view them in light of God’s Word. When trials come, and they will, it helps me to confront them with truth from Scripture. Without this perspective, it’s hard to triumph over feelings of despair, anger and worry.

God’s Word reminds us that nothing surprises God, and nothing can overcome Him. A good place to turn for truth is our key verse today, 2 Corinthians 4:7-9:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

The “treasure in jars of clay” referred to is the Word of God stored within us. The truth we find and believe in the pages of our Bibles gives us the perspective, hope and encouragement we need when we feel pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.

I definitely could have felt pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down with all that happened. Not having a vehicle to get my family around was hard. Health issues and mounting medical bills compounded the situation. But using God’s Word as my perspective reminded me that God is my provider (Matthew 6:26), and I shouldn’t worry (Philippians 4:6-7). Trusting in His truths gave me freedom from despair.

We eventually got our car back — working and with all the windows — along with a pretty big bill. But we didn’t have the stress and frustration, thanks to trusting in God and His Word.

Life will always have seasons where we are hard pressed on every side. Yet in the crushing moments, God’s all-surpassing power will prevail. What a comfort to know that truth in the middle of trying times. In the midst of despair, let’s combat trials with Scripture. When we do, we are triumphant!

Lord, open my eyes that I may see the wondrous things in Your Word while I’m in the middle of my trials. Help me to see Your glory and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Total Surrender

From: My Utmost For His Highest

Peter began to say to Him, ’See, we have left all and followed You’ —Mark 10:28

Our Lord replies to this statement of Peter by saying that this surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29). It was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves would get out of it. Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result. For example, “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy.” Being delivered from sin and being made holy are the result of being right with God, but surrender resulting from this kind of thinking is certainly not the true nature of Christianity. Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself. It is like saying, “No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ’This is what God has done for me.’ ” Gaining heaven, being delivered from sin, and being made useful to God are things that should never even be a consideration in real surrender. Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself.

Where does Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our natural relationships? Most of us will desert Him with this excuse—”Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me and I have my own interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57-62). “Then,” Jesus says, “you ’cannot be My disciple’ ” (see Luke 14:26-33).

True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God. Most of us have only a vision of what this really means, but have never truly experienced it.

Pathway to Hope

 

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Pathway to Hope

“Growing up I was a very shy person. I was very fortunate that God blessed me with artistic talent and athletic ability. It helped me have some outlets to excel, and meet some friends along the way.

Though I tried to to be the best I could so that people would like me, I always felt like a background person. Someone people liked to have around when they needed help because I was smart, reliable, caring. Many things came naturally to me, and I was a double edged sword. Great to have around for help, yet people didn’t think enough of me to be reliable for me. It truly sent me into a deep depression, but it seemed no one else noticed around me because I didn’t want people to know how bad I was feeling. The problem is that I didn’t have any “real” friends for far too long.

In 2012 I started changing the way I looked at things. I started thinking positive. Not worrying about what others thought of me. I started taking Pranic Healing classes, and began working to help others AND myself at the same time. Forgiveness was the first step in making the change. I had to forgive myself for thinking I wasn’t good enough to be important to others. I had to forgive others for not treating me the way I thought I deserved. Once I started getting past that I could move on.

A funny thing started happening…I moved into a new department at work. I met some really great people. It was like God was moving chess pieces into place for me. I now have good friends. My family started treating me with respect. I love my day job, and my artwork has been noticed and appreciated by many people.

Little did I know that I was being prepared for a new venture. In March of 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a month I had surgery and I am now halfway through my chemo treatments. Through all of this I have been so very fortunate to have such love and support from family, friends, coworkers and people from my past that I never knew I made an impression on.

It is a series of miracles that have happened to me in the midst of a terrible disease. I cannot tell you how many people have told me I have inspired them with my courage and strength! Little ol me who always thought I wasn’t important!

I want people to know that even when you don’t realize it, we touch people in ways we can never imagine, and it may become known to you when it is meant to, OR maybe not at all. The point is…always give your best to those around you. Be respectful, honest, hard working and caring. Don’t judge because we aren’t in anyone else’s shoes and they aren’t in ours. Just provide the help that you can, and it will all work out.

I’m so thankful everyday for all I have, and pray I keep getting the chance to pass it on to others. THAT IS MY HOPE!”

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