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Monday, October 9, 2017

There's Still Hope- Building a Framework of Hope: Part 13

Three of the four people I mentioned in my previous post survived the Holocaust. The fourth died just days before liberation.

None of these people could control their environments. They were at the complete mercy of unmerciful people. 

And yet, they didn’t give up. 

They didn’t wallow in self-pity. 

While they didn’t like where they were or how they were treated, they didn’t let resentment fester until it killed any semblance of hope remaining inside.

When we reject the “bad” in life, we are not only rejecting God’s higher purpose for us, but we are also throwing away valuable lessons—lessons that can change our lives, mold our character, and give us a greater purpose for living than we ever dreamed possible

Trials can catapult us into a closer relationship with God, mature us so that we can be used in greater measure, and anchor down the beliefs we hold most dear.

Suffering great loss, such as those who experienced the Holocaust, challenges not only who we are, but what we believe to be true.

When all is taken from you…who are you?

When no one is there to comfort you…where will you turn?

When you can’t avoid the valley…how will you navigate through it?

When your world is pitch black…can you see the light? 

When evil is all around—when you are abused, neglected, or offended…how will you respond?

When trials threatened to defeat you…will you push forward?

While no one knows how they will respond to calamity, how we live our lives NOW is a good indicator of how we will traverse even bigger tragedies.

When we try to control every aspect of our lives we are not being dependent upon our Creator.

I’m guilty of being a “control freak”. I like to make plans and to have more than one “back up plan”. 

But God has shown me that this keeps me immature in my faith, impatient in how I handle setbacks, and full of turmoil. 

In essence I create additional chaos in my life because I am trusting in myself more than I am in Him.
I think my plan is better than His and so I cling to an illusion that I have more control over my life and circumstances than I do.

I am rejecting His will for my life. 

give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18 NIV (emphasis mine)

We cannot always control our environments or the circumstances we find ourselves in. But we can trust that God is in control.

You didn’t suddenly slip out of His sight. 

He knows where you are and how you feel.

He knows the conditions you are living in.

He feels your pain.

He is not “toying” with you.

You are loved…even when nothing in this world feels very loving (John 3:16-17).

And for that, we can give thanks NO MATTER the circumstances. In ALL things we can have hope.
Our God never fails (1 John 4:4, John 16:33) . 

When life gets tough, you don’t have to “get tougher”, simply trust in God (Deut 31:6).

Don’t let resentment, despair, doubts or fears steal your hope and joy (John 10:10).

HE is our hope and joy (Rom 15:13).

HE is the prize set before us (Heb 12:2).

This world, this trial you are currently in, is not all there is (Heb 13:14). 

There’s still hope.

Enjoy this song by Danny Gokey, “Hope in front of me”.

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