Let Hope Arise
Are you going through a time of trial or testing? Take heart! Trials produce perseverance, and perseverance produces victory. Instead of giving up hope, realize that you’re on the brink of a breakthrough!
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:3-5 NKJV).
We don’t want to be like the Israelites when they first reached the edge of the Promised Land. They were too afraid to enter because they heard reports about giants in the land — and so they had to wander aimlessly in the wilderness for 40 years — all because they lost their hope in God.
As Hebrews 6:19 tells us:
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.
It is our hope in God, His provision for our salvation through Jesus Christ, the hope of our eternal home in heaven, and the power of His promises found in His Word that keep us full of faith and firmly rooted in His love.
Of course, sin can cause us to lose hope. So, we must be sure to repent and take our sins and shortcomings to the cross, where we receive forgiveness and mercy. Then we need to be single-minded in believing God, receive His forgiveness, and return to rejoicing in hope.
Romans 15:4 reminds us:
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
When you are feeling cast down, remember the words of the psalmist:
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance (Psalm 42:5).
Set your thoughts on the hope you have in God and let His Word comfort you. Soon you’ll be praising Him, firmly anchored in His love and care. God bless you.
The Beginning of Wisdom
SCRIPTURE READING — PROVERBS 9:10-12
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
I tend to err on the side of caution. If there is risk involved, I will pause and evaluate the situation so that I can make a decision that will keep me as safe as possible. At an early age I learned that respecting things like the law of gravity and the authority of people in charge was better than disrespecting things that I cannot control.
That helps me understand what the author of Proverbs is saying here. Fearing the Lord does not mean being scared of God, as if he were a tyrant waiting to take his anger out on us. To fear the Lord is to give him respect and reverence. After all, God is the Creator who graciously made a covenant with his people. He deserves our respect. God has promised to provide his people with all that they need. He deserves our reverence.
Revering the Lord is the first step in developing a vibrant relationship with him. Revering God calls for us to submit ourselves humbly to him—seeking him, listening to him, and obeying him. Fearing the Lord puts us in the position of a servant who loves God and trusts God. That is where God wants us to be, and that is where we need to be.
Creator God, you are good, and you are great. Thank you for letting me know you, and thank you for always being willing to know me. Amen.
Streams in the Desert – August 2
- 20222 Aug
Launch out into the deep (Luke 5:4).
How deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilities. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water.
So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God. We are to launch out into the deep of God’s Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean meaning in them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow.
Into the deep of the Atonement, until Christ’s precious blood is so illuminated by the Spirit that it becomes an omnipotent balm, and food and medicine for the soul and body.
Into the deep of the Father’s will, until we apprehend it in its infinite minuteness and goodness, and its far-sweeping provision and care for us.
Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, dazzling, sweet, fathomless summer sea, in which we bathe and bask and breathe, and lose ourselves and our sorrows in the calmness and peace of His everlasting presence.
Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, marvelous answer to prayer, the most careful and tender guidance, the most thoughtful anticipation of our needs, the most accurate and supernatural shaping of our events.
Into the deep of God’s purposes and coming kingdom, until the Lord’s coming and His millennial reign are opened up to us; and beyond these the bright entrancing ages on ages unfold themselves, until the mental eye is dazed with light, and the heart flutters with inexpressible anticipations of its joy with Jesus and the glory to be revealed.
Into all these things, Jesus bids us launch. He made us and He made the deep, and to its fathomless depths He has fitted our longings and capabilities.
Its streams the whole creation reach,
So plenteous is the store;
Enough for all, enough for each;
The deep waters of the Holy Spirit are always accessible, because they are always proceeding. Will you not this day claim afresh to be immersed and drenched in these waters of life? The waters in Ezekiel’s vision first of all oozed from under the doors of the temple. Then the man with the measuring line measured and found the waters to the ankles. Still further measurement, and they were waters to the knees. Once again they were measured and the waters were to the loins. Then they became waters to swim in–a river that could not be passed over. (Read Ezekiel 47).
How far have we advanced into this river of life? The Holy Spirit would have a complete self effacement. Not merely ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, but self-deep. We ourselves hidden out of sight and bathed in this life-giving stream. Let go the shore-lines and launch out into the deep. Never forget, the Man with the measuring line is with us today.
Sanctification: God’s Grand Plan
From: Intouch ministries
We are called to forsake our plans in order to pursue God’s will.
The Lord has a grand plan for the life of every believer, and it can be summed up in the term we looked at yesterday: sanctification. This refers to the process by which something is made holy—in other words, separated from its former common usage and dedicated to God for His purposes.
Every person is born spiritually dead and an enemy of God (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 5:10). But the moment we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, our sins are wiped away, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, and we’re adopted into God’s family. From that moment on, we are set apart as God’s children for His sacred purposes.
This means we are here on earth not to chase after pleasure and personal gain but to serve and obey the Lord. And in so doing, we bring Him honor and glory. As members of God’s family, we are called to reflect Christ’s character. The Lord now calls us saints—a term that shares its root with sanctification—not because we live sinlessly, but because that’s our position in Christ and should be our practice as well. No longer are we to give ourselves to sin; instead, we should present ourselves to God as slaves of obedience.