Thursday, December 15, 2011

surprised by hope

Look at me and be stunned. Put your hand over your mouth in shock.

Those words were said by Job.  This man went through more than most of us have ever had to deal with.  He lost his health.  He lost his children.  His wealth was being washed away.  But Job never turned away from God.

That verse comes from a response Job gave to a friend of his that accused Job of not living right.  Even at one point Job’s wife told him to turn against God.  Yet Job wouldn’t turn from God.  What an incredible story this is and that we must learn from.  When trials come, trust God.  When the pain is really bad, turn to God.

Have you ever been surprised by hope?  I have and on numerous occasions. 

  • A couple years ago I was thousands of miles from home and called a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer in a brain tumor.  Her voice was calm.  Her faith was strong.  I was surprised.  
  • This year I walked into a room of a man dying, and the peace and that room was surprising.  After years of living like the devil this man had made peace with God.  That is real hope.  
  • I walked into the visitation room at the local jail and met with a friend who really messed up.  Over the next several months, before he went to court, we talked several times.  I constantly heard how this many is trusting God, and this situation will be great even if he had to go to prison.  He went to prison.  Now this dude is leading a Bible study and some inmates have accepted Jesus.  This guy also sends a tithe to church of the money he is given each money. I am constantly surprised by his hope.  
  • Another friend is battling cancer now.  We’ve had numerous conversations about health and life, and each time she is incredibly strong and pointing people to God.  Even last night she and I saw God answer a prayer.  By the way, the cancer is shrinking fast.  I am surprised by her hope.

Her name was Becky.  His name was Will.  His name is Rob.  Her name is Jennifer.

I shouldn’t be surprised by their hope.  God is able to do anything.  He also calms us, His kids, when we give our lives and situations to Him.  God provides hope in large amounts … if we let Him.

Christmas speaks to us about hope and about the reason for the season and for hope.  His name is Jesus.  May God give us loads of real hope.  May we be surprised by hope every day as we turn our attention to God and point others in the direction of Jesus!

And his name will be the hope of all the world.

So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!

Please pray for Sharon Joyce in-laws, Sonny’s parents, as they have been in the hospital this week (write Sonny and Sharon at 52 Softwin Dr., Bassett, VA 24055).  A friend asked us to pray for his father and mother who are having major health issues; pray for Elmer Horsley and Mary Shelton.  Pray for those near to you that have lost loved ones this year.  Christmas is a tough time.  Also pray for those who are alone or lonely.  Do something to encouraging someone this weekend like invite them to church or over to your house or out to a meal.  Serve someone and show them your hope.

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happy birthday, Julie

Proverbs 18:22   NLT The man who finds a   wife   finds a treasure, and he receives   favor   from the   Lord . Yes, I have foun...