December 11, 2020 - LISTEN HERE
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How can I do this, Lord? He then led me to this:
Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long.
Here are four ways to choose hope:*
1. Go outside. Step out of your house – take off your MASK - and breathe in the air. Never before in history has the entire planet been muzzled at the same time – and have we been denied OXYGEN. You are alive. Dance. Sing. Hug.
Give thanks for the simple things and freedoms we still enjoy. The fresh air – and the sunshine, the snow and even the rain will do amazing things for you – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
2. Read Bible verses on truth, hope, and God’s love. We did an entire week on HappyHour about hope – go back and review all the readings and prayer for a jolt of inspiration. Put HOPE in the search bar and all the sessions will come up.
3. Pray for someone else. We’re all struggling right now at some level, whether we want to admit it out loud or not. I see it reflected differently in each of the patients I see. We are sad, anxious, withdrawn, quiet, angry. But if we look to God for our comfort, we will be able to pray for others who are suffering more than we are.
God gives us as much as we can handle...but sometimes, He gives us a little more, to stretch us, to move us, to teach us – to TRUST that He has everything under control. Praying for others allows us to look outside ourselves; reach for something bigger. Compassion for others makes us grow. Pick up the phone and call someone, don’t just send a text message or email.
Send a real Christmas card with a hand-written, personal message about how much the person means to you; please don't just sign it and stuff it in the envelope. This year, more than ever, we’re all missing humanity right now....and this is by design. Reach out. Be human. By giving someone else hope, the hope inside you is magnified too.
4. Remember God is still working on you. At the end of the day, all we need is to cling to Christ Jesus. But remember: we are a work in progress. Rest and be secure in this truth: We are a work in progress. As long as we are still on the top side of the grass, we are as clay being molded by the Father in Heaven. We fail. We get up and try again. We do good works. We mess up. We fall short of the Glory that the Lord would have us be. Reading God’s word, praying, and serving others will lift our eyes away from our heartache and onto God’s purpose for our life. Don’t give way to the darkness - God is still working on you!
Lord, be with us through this holiday season that is a celebration of Your birth, Your life, Your sacrifice for each and every one of us. Humans are struggling right now Lord. Not just Your children, but all humans. Teach us Your ways. Expand our hearts to be bigger, to share better, to hold more love. Help us to seek You with all our concerns and lay them at the base of the cross. We know You hold it all....give us the grace to lean in.
*concept credit: Sarah Frazer, Crosswalk.com
Photo credit: ID 96651400 | Novi Elysa |Dreamstime.com