January 23, 2018

Your Grace On Which I Stand

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Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through Him we have also obtained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1 and 2

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This anchor for my soul
This everlasting Hope
Your grace on which I stand

It’s where my life begins
My future held within
Your grace on which I stand

Oh, this grace on which I stand
It will hold me to the end
Never failing

Oh, praise the One who rescued me
Jesus, You will ever be
My salvation

And when I’m on the run
The road that leads me home
Your grace on which I stand

And when I see Your face
The only claim I’ll make
Your grace on which I stand

Worthy is the Lamb of God
Who takes away the sin of the world
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
To receive all honor and praise

Hope In The Lord

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For this is what the Lord has said: When seventy years are ended for Babylon,
I will have pity on you and give effect to My good purpose for you,
causing you to come back to this place.
For I am conscious of My thoughts about you, says the Lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you hope at the end.
Jeremiah 29:10-11 BBE

Hope (here in this passage) refers to something to look forward to, or to anticipate, usually with pleasure.  God was telling His people of when they would go into exile; they would have a hope of coming home.

God did not want to send His people into exile.  He wanted them to listen to the warnings of Jeremiah before He punished His people.  The people just scoffed at Jeremiah, choosing to ignore God’s warnings.  Thinking, “Here is Jeremiah again; saying bad things are going to happen to us!”  Scripture tells us of Jeremiah’s frustration at being treated lightly by those listening.

Daniel, who was one of those who were taken into exile in Babylon.

In the first year of his rule, I, Daniel, saw clearly from the books the number of years
given by the word of the Lord to the prophet Jeremiah,
in which the making waste of Jerusalem was to be complete, that is, seventy years.
Daniel 9:2 BBE

Daniel was a man after God’s own heart.  He immediately began praying, asking forgiveness of sins for himself and for those of God’s people.  Daniel was in reverent awe of God’s mercy, grace, and righteousness toward them.  Daniel’s prayer is an example of intercessory prayer.  We should all strive to do this, and most of us moms do pray and intercede regularly for our children and our family.  Our hope is in God’s mercy and forgiveness.  We have to be willing for God to use us where needed.  He will use our willingness to serve to give hope to those who have no hope.

Often, when we feel we are not worthy, that is when God will use us.  When we are empty of ourselves is when God can fill us with His hope and joy until it overflows and effects others around us.  When we are free of ourselves is when He can work mightily through us.

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Father, thank You for telling us of how You loved Your people so much that You would send them to exile in a foreign nation…only to bring a remnant back to rebuild Your holy city.  You have shown the great hope you have for Your people and how You continue to give us opportunities to shine and be a light for You. Forgive us for being prideful and thinking we can do everything ourselves without Your help. You are our Strength, our Shield, and our Hope in this crazy, mixed-up world.  Thank You for Your love is all things.  In Jesus’ name, amen!

Hope in Eternity

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I think one of the main reasons that hope is possible is not because it is something that we do day-to-day, but because it helps remind us that there is more to this life.  Hope keeps us focused on God Almighty and eternity.  Hope is something that will last until our dying day.

1 Peter 1:3-5 says,

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
who through faith are shielded by God’s power
until the coming of the salvation
that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Paul is a very good example of what hope on Earth is supposed to look like—He experienced many hardships while here on Earth and yet he never seemed to waver in the hope that he experienced.  He said about his Hope,

He has delivered us from such deadly peril, and He will deliver us again.
On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us,”
2 Corinthians 1:10

Look at the faith that Paul had!  His hope was unwavering.  Is ours?  Are we so consumed with our day-to-day hope in our daily circumstances that we miss out on the big picture?  Do we sometimes get so consumed with our current situation that we forget what God has done for us?  His track record proves that we can trust Him…but do we not sometimes forget?  Doesn’t THIS situation somehow seem different than other situations?  We forget sometimes that our hope is that of an eternal hope.  It can never be misplaced if we are placing it in God.  It is impossible.

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Lord, help us to not forget the big picture of hope.  Hope is our fuel to get us to eternity.  Hope helps make life bearable, but hope also strengthens our relationship with You.  Help us understand that our hope in You is an eternal hope and that it can never be misplaced when we hope in You.  Amen.

This Week…Romans 15:4

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For whatever was written in former days
was written for our instruction,
that through endurance
and through the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 ESV

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have begun a mini-series on the subject of HOPE.  Our devotional writers have brought light to the verse highlighted above truly bringing us ‘the encouragement of the Scriptures.’  Here are a few of their thoughts….

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In Positive Attitude, Tina wrote about a woman in the Old Testament who had great hope…

God gave hope to Hannah.  Hannah was barren.  She went to the temple and prayed for God to take away her shame.  When the prophet, Eli saw her praying, he thought that she was drunk instead and questioned to her. When she explained she was praying for what she requested of the Lord yearly, Eli sent her on her way, asking God to grant her request.  And God did.  She gave birth to a son, Samuel, whom she dedicated to the Lord.  She was also blessed with other sons and daughters for her faithfulness. (Click here to read this account.)

God still shows up in this way today…There is power in prayer and belief.  Within these lies our hope.

In Hope Waits, Ahmee shared that having hope means we wait…

Waiting goes hand in hand with hope.

Sometimes it’s a matter of seconds…sometimes it’s a matter of years.  Hope can be lost.  Hope can be found.  We can temporarily lose sight of the hope that we hold.  Hope is something that we have to focus on; something that is actually intentional.  Hope helps you keep a smile on your face when it’s raining.  Hope is a matter of perspective, but also, knowing that we are loved by the Creator of the world who only wants good for us.  With God, the hope we have has a real chance of actualizing.  Otherwise, we are just wishing for good things to happen.

God has promised us many things in His Word, and because of this it is possible for us to have hope.

In Spiritual Hope, Ann reminded us of the hope that the Word of God gives us…

The Word of God always gives comfort and strength.
The Word of God is an oasis of hope.

Believing the Word of God and living by it takes us from the arena of hope into faith.

And hope maketh not ashamed
because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Romans 5:5

That means hope never disappoints. The reason it does not disappoint is that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Hope is one of the three creative principles of the human spirit. They are also abiding principles.

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Meaning that when all else fails, these three principles will remain and not pass away.  They are given to us and are in our spirits.  We are to choose to act on faith, to always be hopeful towards God, and to walk in love.

In Circle of Hope, Cynda gave us a great example of how biblical hope works…

Scripture
Purpose = Instruction
Result = Hope

The purpose of Scripture is our instruction.  The Scriptures encourage us to persevere, to endure.  They offer us comfort and give us hope. Psalm 119 reiterates how closely hope is tied to the instruction of Scripture. Look at the following verses:

Do not snatch Your Word of truth from me,
for Your regulations are my only hope.
verse 43 NLT

You are my Refuge and my Shield;
Your Word is my source of hope.
verse 114 NLT

This is the circle of hope—the more we seek God through His Word…the stronger our hope becomes; the stronger our hope…the more we seek God.  This serves us well in times of trouble.  Instead of being filled with despair, we can remember the nature of God and be filled with hope.

Positive Attitude

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 For everything that was written in the past
was written to teach us,
so that through endurance
and the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.

Romans 15:4

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Ever felt like, no matter what, things never seemed to go your way?  I believe we all have at some point.  I remember when my brother went through a bad spell that seemed to last forever.  From bad relationships to an attempt at suicide, he felt alone and desperate.  Through family, friends, and God he found his way back.  He is in a strong relationship and is happy.

God will allow us to go through issues—not to keep us down, but to make us stronger.  He has to prepare us for serving Him.  It will not always be easy (as some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are finding out in other countries right now).  As we pray for them, God will help the families and people through their journey.  God has given them the hope of seeing their loved ones in heaven if they believe.

God gave hope to Hannah.  Hannah was barren.  She went to the temple and prayed for God to take away her shame.  When the prophet, Eli saw her praying, he thought that she was drunk instead and questioned to her. When she explained she was praying for what she requested of the Lord yearly, Eli sent her on her way, asking God to grant her request.  And God did.  She gave birth to a son, Samuel, whom she dedicated to the Lord.  She was also blessed with other sons and daughters for her faithfulness. (Click here to read this account.)

God still shows up in this way today.  I have some friends whose child was at the point of death and was brought back to life.  Others  who were dying of cancer and once they were prayed for, they were healed.  There is power in prayer and belief.  Within these lies our hope.  We only need to pray with confidence to our Father who can heal and restore our homes, our families, and our nations. Not just the United States, but all nations.

For we have been given the commission to go and share the good news about Jesus to everyone.  We are doing this with our blogs, sharing our stories.  Sharing our life struggles and our victories in life, with the guidance  of the Holy Spirit.  God wants to use us to spread His good news!!

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Father, thank You for loving us.  Thank You for sending Your Son to die for us on the Cross.  Help us continue to share Your Word—Your good news to the world.  Let the words we write honor and glorify You and Your Son, Jesus.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Hope Waits

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Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us.
And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement
as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Romans 15:4 NLT

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Hope

  • is ‘a confident expectation of good
  • is what keeps you moving each day through your struggles and trials
  • is what allows us to believe in big dreams

Can you imagine a world without hope?  Maybe a whole world is hard to imagine…how about just one person?  Have you ever seen a person who has lost all hope?  One look into their eyes and you can see much pain.  It hurts even the beholder.  And although we, ourselves, may have hope we do have something in common with those that do not.

We both must wait.  Waiting goes hand in hand with hope.

Sometimes it’s a matter of seconds…sometimes it’s a matter of years.  Hope can be lost.  Hope can be found.  We can temporarily lose sight of the hope that we hold.  Hope is something that we have to focus on; something that is actually intentional.  Hope helps you keep a smile on your face when it’s raining.  Hope is a matter of perspective, but also, knowing that we are loved by the Creator of the world who only wants good for us.  With God, the hope we have has a real chance of actualizing.  Otherwise, we are just wishing for good things to happen.

God has promised us many things in His Word, and because of this it is possible for us to have hope. Our verse this week says,

… And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement
as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

However, we have to know His promises and believe His promises in order for true hope to take root in our lives.  With hope comes peace and with peace comes joy.  I feel these three things all go hand in hand.  Without one, you are missing a piece of the puzzle.  To me, hope is the foundation for peace and joy.

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Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You that our hearts may overflow with the hope that you provide us each day, and the hope that you provided us when Jesus Christ died on the Cross for us.  Help us to stay focused on You and all that You stand for.  Let us know Your Word and Your promises.  Let us believe Your Word and Your promises.  Thank You for providing us with all the necessary tools that we need in order to have hope.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Thy Word

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For whatever was thus written in former days
was written for our instruction,
that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance
and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures
we might hold fast to and cherish hope.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path

When I feel afraid, and think I’ve lost my way
Still, You’re there right beside me
Nothing will I fear as long as You are near
Please be near me to the end

I will not forget Your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering
Jesus by my guide, and hold me to Your side
And I will love You to the end

Hope During Affliction

Many of you have gone on Spring Break or are anticipating taking a vacation this summer.  It is a time to refresh spirit, soul, and body.  Over the next couple of weeks, our faithful bloggers will be taking a ‘spring break’ from writing so that they can come back to us refreshed and freshly anointed.
However, Girlfriends’ Coffee Hour website won’t ‘go black’!  We will be revisiting some of our favorite blogs and daily devotions which have blessed us in the past.  We pray that each of you, our faithful friends and readers, will continue to start your day meditating on the devotionals and songblogs, and be encouraged and blessed.

Let’s give each of our bloggers a big round of applause, a hug,
and the rest they so deserve.  
God bless you, ladies!

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Remember Your word to Your servant;
You have given me hope through it.
This is my comfort in my affliction.
Psalm 119:49-50a HCSB

This passage reminds me of Roman 12:12 NIV; in fact, it seems to me this passage provides the reason we are urged to be “…joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer…”.

What is hope?

  • Bakers Evangelical Dictionary – to trust in, wait for, to expect something beneficial
  • Strong’s Concordance – a strong and mighty trust, actively waiting

God’s Word gives us hope.  We trust in the Scriptures.  They are the foundation of our hope and should be the only source of our hope.  We can be assured God will never disappoint the hope He has given us.  Take a look at these two verses:

Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word
and to do what He had promised.
Romans 4:21 AMP

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish
and confess and our acknowledgement of it,
for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.
Hebrews 10:23 AMP

We are to have hope even in times of affliction.

So, what is affliction?

  • Holman Bible Dictionary – the state of being pained or distressed
  • Strong’s Concordance – persecution tribulation, distress, pressure

His Word comforts and sustains us in times of affliction. Check this out:

For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction,
so that we may have hope through endurance
and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.
Romans 15:4 HCSB

His Word was written for OUR instruction.  We are to have a strong and mighty trust in His Word as we actively wait during times of pain, distress, and pressure.  When we do so, we can be confident that:

…the God of hope (will) 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.
Romans 15:13 HCSB

I think one of my favorite verses sums up what happens when we hold tight to hope during times of affliction.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13 NIV

Continue to expect something beneficial in the future, especially during times of trouble, and you will see the goodness of the Lord.

He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

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Father God, we are so thankful we have Your hope to hold on to, especially in the trying times of life.  Help us actively wait with a strong and mighty trust in You, knowing we will eventually see Your goodness come through.  In Your precious and Holy name we pray – Amen, it is so!

Take Heart

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
There is a Light
It burns brighter than the sun
He steals the night
And casts no shadow
There is Hope
Should oceans rise and mountains fall
He never fails

So take heart
Let His love lead us through the night
Hold on to hope
And take courage again

In death by love
The fallen world was overcome
He wears the scars of our freedom
In His Name
All our fears are swept away
He never fails

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our Hope
He has overcome
All our failures
And all our fear
God our Love
He has overcome
All our heartache
And all our pain
God our Healer
He has overcome
All our burdens
And all our shame
God our Freedom
He has overcome
All our troubles
And all our tears
God our Hope
He has overcome
All our failures
And all our fear
God our Love
He has overcome
God our Justice
God our Grace
God our Freedom
He has overcome
God our Refuge
God our Strength
God is with us
He has overcome

Songwriter: Joel Houston ~~  Hillsong United

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Oh, how I love His promises.  They comfort us in all situations.  Whether you need healing physically or you need chains to be broken—He is always the answer.  There is no burden too heavy that He can’t carry it for you.

If there is one thing we know for sure it is that this world is changing daily (and not always for the better).  There is so much hurt and anger, there are so many lost people trying to find an answer and searching for a little hope.  But we as Jesus’ followers know that Hope—and His name is Jesus.  He never changes and He never fails.  He is our strength and He is our refuge in times of trouble.  And He is that Light in the midst of this dark world.

God is just so full of grace and mercy, and so much love.  Every fear and every failure, He has already conquered it for us.  He has overcome this world.  And to prove to us just how much He loves us, He sent Jesus, His only Son, to die for us so that we can live in Heaven forever with Him.  In His hands, He bears the scars of the nails and every sin that we would ever commit hung on that cross that day.  Do you realize that we are free?

What do you need freedom from today?  If you have  just a little faith, He can move that mountain in front of you.   He can break the chains of addictions.  He can take anger away. He can give peace to the one who suffers from anxiety…and grace and mercy to the one who can’t forgive himself.  I pray as you listen to this worship song that you will let His love wash over you.  I pray that you feel loved because you are.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me.
Here on this earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

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Let us pray:
Dearest Lord, You are so awesome and amazing!  You are our Portion and Strong Tower in this shifting world.  Thank You for taking our burdens and giving us peace. Thank You for the grace and love You give so freely. You have overcome and You give us strength.  May we take this light that You give us and share it with all who will listen.  You are good, You are God, and You are still on the throne.  We love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Sun Is Shining

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Yesterday I found
That everything I knew was wrong
It was upside down
The life I thought I had was gone

But You came and whispered love to me
And You gave me strength to carry on

Oh, the sun is shining
There is hope for me again
A new day’s dawning
The sun is shining

Yesterday I lost
Everything I had and loved
Then I cried out for You, Lord
And You came and picked me up

And the sorrow lasted through the night
But the joy came with the morn

I will lift my voice
No, I won’t be silent
For You heard my cry
And You turned my mourning into dancing
And so forever I’ll sing

Singer/Songwriter: Mac Powell, along with Third Day

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It’s still the beginning of January…the beginning of a new year but sometimes we are stuck looking at the past.  All the things we were going to do in 2014 aren’t done.  The patience we were going to master towards our kids?…well, we are still impatient and saying some words we regret at the end of the day.  The wife we were going to be—the one who had dinner on the table and clothes clean and in their right places and an immaculate house?…well, we still have baskets of socks that don’t match and frozen lasagna still goes into the oven at the end of a long day.

But we are NOT failures in Jesus.
We ARE more than conquerors when we have God as our Father.

Maybe you’ve lost someone or something that meant the world to you and stepping into this year without them seems impossible.  But God does whisper in your ear today and says, “You are mine, and I am yours…and together we can do this.”

You are not alone, my friends.  His strength is your strength.  And always there is darkness before the dawn, and the sun always comes out…always.  Joy does come in the morning.  And doesn’t a new day bring some hope?

Some seasons are harder than others and some days seem to last forever.  There were days that I myself just had the strength to lift up my head and cry out to Jesus for the strength to make it through one more minute.

He always showed up and He still does.

And when you do see His face and the light of the new day starts peeping through, don’t be silent.  Use your voice to give hope to others who may be where you have been.  I leave you today with the verses that I clung to during a particularly hard, long season:

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Lord, You know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely You will hear their cries and comfort them.
Psalm 10:17

Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for,
the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.
Hebrews 11:1

For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5 ESV

And my favorite:
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for the power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

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Let’s pray:
Dearest Lord, You are mighty and awesome.  You are our Strength in our struggles, the Light in the darkness, and our Peace that passes all understanding.  You love us so much and forgive our every debt.  Thank You for walking with us into this new year. Help us to make lists of all the good You do and not the failures that we see…for You see us so much better than we see ourselves.  You see us as precious children that You saved with Your only Son, Jesus.  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.