Posts Tagged ‘Phillipians 3:14’

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I’ve been away for a few weeks–crying out to God.  Praying…weeping…grieving…and daring to hope despite my fear and unbelief. This heavy burden–unfairly thrust upon precious innocents–seems out-of-place with what I would consider a plan to “work all things together for the good of those who love Him”.  Yet, I know trials are a natural part of life this side of heaven and–sometimes–they drive all hope from the  soul.

Then–a miracle…a prayer answered in unexpected ways…a promise fulfilled.

If your journey seems to have ended in a dark, cavernous hole take Hope.  If you’ve uttered the same desperate words again–pleading with God for evidence of an answer–take Hope.  If you can’t imagine something good coming from something meant for evil, then take Hope.

Have we forgotten?  It was in a dark, cavernous hole Hope was born. Hope was the answer given for the redemption of people calling out for an answer…for deliverance…for more than all of this.  And Hope was–and is–the promise that reassures God’s glory and our holy cleansing will come despite the here and now of our struggles.

Because of Hope…because of “confident expectation”…we celebrate Advent.  We wait…knowing that He–the very Christ who was and is Hope embodied–will one day return and will bring to completion that which he began in the bowels of a cave while shivering in the cold.

Take Hope, dear friend.  He is the miracle…He is the answered prayer…He is the promise fulfilled.

Thoughts for Advent

As we light the first candle on the wreath, may we remember that Advent is a posture of expectation, waiting, and sureness.  We, dear ones, are eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of what began long ago.  Whatever our struggles or burdens today, remember that Hope promises much more and we push on “toward the goal of the upward call of Christ”. (paraphrase Phil. 3:14)  Hope came down that we might have life–and have it abundantly.  We can trust in Hope–He is not a mere wish, but the fullness of reality and power wrapped in tender skin.

So dip the match closer to the wick…watch as the flame leaps to life…and hope with expectation.  Hope is alive.

Words of Power

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  (Hebrews 11:1)

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The heckler hurled insults at anyone within range–the coach, ref, and players.  Consumed by the moment, he lost sight of a parent’s role as supporter.  He arrogantly assumed a position of superiority–negating the expertise and value of others.

At times, I’ve been the heckler in the crowd.  “What kind of call was that?”  “Wait a minute…does that guy know what He’s doing?”  “I could do the job better myself!”  In a myopic approach to the playing field, I begin focusing on the player I know best–me–and disregard the influence of the One who has the end in mind.  In my foolishness, I usurp His position.

And what happens?  The opponent gains the advantage.  But when I return to the sidelines–exhausted from my futility –the One I’ve treated with such disregard provides insight and direction.  “I know the plans I have for you,  Tammy.  Trust me.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Suddenly, the playing field seems different.  Obstacles are less daunting, the score loses its importance, and my stamina returns.  Have you, too, resorted to being a heckler?  Do you throw rash statements God’s direction because you don’t understand the game plan for your life?  Are the opponents of negative relationships, poor health, or finances stealing your allegiance to the sovereign God?

I encourage you, dear friend, to humbly step down from a position of false authority.  Things will come into focus.  As Phillipians 3: 14 reminds us, ”

Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

Can you see the goal?  It’s right there…just ahead.


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