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Friday, January 9, 2009

Embracing Hope...

So today is Friday, and I am sitting in my office listening to talk/ news radio as story after story comes over the airwaves about corrupt politicians, political scandals, economic stimulus bailouts, falling stocks, winter weather alerts, power outages and job loss. Not to mention many overwhelming stories of death, violence and just plain bad news in the local news paper.

It's only 1:00p.m. and I have already had three phone calls from friends and family who are depressed, discontent, and disturbed with employment situations, finances, relationships and life in general. It's Friday, the beginning of the weekend and we still are having hard times finding reasons to rejoice. All around us people seem to be cautious, suspicious, and down or out.

As I began to think about how we can pull our selves out of these emotional, intellectual, and Spiritual ruts; I am reminded of the words of my sister "We Need Hope". How true do these words ring, especially today. Don't you need HOPE? I need Hope! I believe we all need HOPE!

That's it, as I reflect on all I have heard, read, and encountered today in all of it there has been an underlining theme of hopeless eternity. But as children of God, and as those who believe that God is with us we must EMBRACE HOPE! Not hope in ourselves, or man made hope, but we must embrace God given hope. Hope that lives within us from our experiences, hope from the testimonies of Grandma, hope from the word of God.

Let us look toward three text today for ways to embrace hope.
1)Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

If we just rely on and place our hope in the Lord, God will do more through and for us than we can even imagine or ask. We must just hold on and HOPE on. Let go and let God work your situation out.

2)Hebrews 6:19-20
19We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Imagine Jesus as he prayed in the garden the night he was arrested for God to let this task of giving his life to pass before him. But Jesus was anchored in the hope that what he had to go through would work out for the good of the world. Now Jesus as one who faced the ultimate trials, intercedes on our behalf in the most sacred places.

We will all face our days and nights in the garden, but we face these hard times embracing the hope that God through Christ is with us and is acting on our behalf. Let our hope become the anchor for our souls.

3) James 1:2-4
2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

Finally, know that in life your hope, faith, and love of God will be tested. Embrace hope and keep up your endurance, be strong in your faith to over come and surpass your trials, tribulations and storms.

Family, friends loved ones- today Embrace the Hope that God is with us and indeed will see us through.

Until next time, Be Well
Pastor J

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