Hope Springs Eternal

Sitting in their third-floor apartment, the couple dreaded what awaited in the mailbox below. Either a check sent from a friend in California, or the reality of an eviction. They were befuddled and discouraged. Neither had jobs yet but knew in their hearts that God had given them the stamp of approval to move to Oregon. 

 Their friends were mostly perplexed when they said, “No, we don’t have jobs and don’t know yet where we will live, but God has promised us that He will provide all our needs. Just like He told Abram to move to a land that He would show him, He has said the same to us.” And now what of their former testimony? What will their friends think of God who they said would be their provider?  

Well, it was time to face the mailbox, to see if God chose to provide through a restaurant owner in California. He was too agitated to go so she trekked downstairs alone. As soon as she entered the apartment, he knew the check had not arrived. His final hope flew out the window. He was crushed. Devastated. Discouraged. She hated to see her husband like this. Her normally upbeat, encouraging, man of faith was sitting head-in-hands on the couch, lifeless.  

Shaking his head back and forth, he muttered, “What will we do now? What happened to God’s promises, His provision?” And then it happened, slowly his head raised up, his eyes focused and he said, “I’ve got to remind myself of Gods promises to us. What does His word say about who we are, who He is in our lives, and that He will provide for us. I must come against this feeling of failure and discouragement and take courage from God’s words to us. Oh, forgive me Lord. Let me remind myself of your precious promises that never fail or fall short.”  

And that was it. He leaped off the couch, headed for his bookshelf and took his Bible to the dining room table. And there he sat until he was washed from head to toe with God’s never-failing promises and words of encouragement. And some of them that spoke to his heart were as follows:  

And by the time the rent was due again, his wife was employed. And another month later, he was starting a new job too. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1 

Living God’s Word

“My sheep listen to My voice” ~John 10:27

Charles and Ike were leaving the gym after a good workout. Ike seemed sidetracked.

“What’s bothering you, Ike?”

“Let’s talk at the coffee shop.”

In a few minutes they slid into a booth and ordered breakfast.

“Ok, shoot. What’s up my friend?”

“I feel like a failure with the Lord. I keep failing in my attitudes and actions. I sin. I ask forgiveness and then the next thing I know, I am sinning again. I guess I’m just a failure at being a Christian. I feel terrible.”

“Ike, we all fail. The Lord is at the right hand of the Father, forgiving all our sins. Once we accepted Christ as our Savior, His forgiveness is forever. Let’s look at some verses.”

John 11:25-26 “Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?”

1 Peter 1:3-5 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”

John 6:35-40 “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” 

Romans 8:38-39 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Ike, our struggle with sin is ongoing and will be a battle until our final breath. Fortunately, our forgiveness is also ongoing and never-failing. It’s important to remember that our Lord’s death on the cross and three days later His resurrection has made it possible for all our sins to be forgiven. All OUR SINS! 

“It would be a cruel joke if the Lord suffered and died for us, experiencing the horrific pain to become the perfect sacrifice for our sins and then tell people struggling with sin, “Sorry. This sin is not forgiven. You didn’t try hard enough. Your name will be erased from the Lambs Book of Life 

“Keep in mind how John described Jesus as he saw Him walking towards him in John 1:29, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” It is Jesus who takes away the sin of the world. We did not earn our salvation. Neither can we lose it by poor behavior. However, repentance is an essential element in our life with Christ. If we do not repent daily, we needlessly carry guilt. Confess your sins and give those burdens to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”