I Still Have Hope! Do You?

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I really didn’t mean to take a two week break. Things in my personal life threw me for a loop even before Hurricane Harvey flooded Texas and Louisiana, wildfires ravaged the Northwest and Hurricane Irma began tearing a path toward Florida.

The relationship that was on hold is not yet resolved, but at least we’re in the same state. I wish I could say that things were progressing nicely, but we still keep hitting the same old roadblocks. The added stress caused chronic headaches and increased my fatigue, which severely hampered my desire and inspiration to write. Thankfully I’m better now.

What Differences?
The eclipse was a literal bright spot of these past few weeks. It was amazing! Here in Salem, Oregon, we got a perfect view of God’s handiwork. It reminded me just how small we all are, and more alike than some prefer to admit. There was a short-lived peace as all eyes peered heavenward, setting aside their differences, if only for a while.

With the floods and wildfires, there arose entirely different reasons for setting aside differences. What an encouragement to see people rise up in love and compassion, helping others in times of crisis and disaster! It’s one of the good things that God brings out of what the enemy uses for evil. Strength and resilience is tested and grows through struggle and heartbreak. If life was always easy, we’d all be a bunch of wimps!

Here’s a poem I wrote about the source of my strength, and hope:

“Only God”

Only God has the answers for every troubled soul;
Only Jesus’ blood has the power to rid us of death’s hold.
Only God will be here now, understanding all we go through:
Because He loves us so much, He helps us in all we do.
Only Jesus is the answer to your deepest of desires;
In this contrasting world, His love smothers hateful fires.
Only God will be listening when all courage disappears:
When other people turn away, He’s the One Who always hears.
Only God will be here tomorrow – we may be at the end of our rope;
But God works all things together for good, and gives us hope.
For Jesus walks close beside us along the path of light;
As the Spirit guides our hearts, we’ll reflect His love into the night.

10-10-94
©Ladeena Bell

Near the End?
We’re told in Scripture that there will be various calamities, wars and rumors of wars before Jesus returns. All that’s happening right now may be only the beginning of the “birth pains” (Matthew 24:6-8). We know from His Word that it is all going according to His plan, so no matter what happens, whether storm, fire or threats of war, I know my God is still on the throne. I don’t understand how all of the puzzle pieces of life go together, but He has the puzzle box and sees how glorious the finished picture will be!

In church last Sunday, we had a missionary couple speak about their work in India. It was refreshing to hear some good news in the world. Of special interest to me was just how many unique dialect groups live in isolated and remote villages that have yet to be reached with the Gospel of Christ. With all that’s going on in the world today, many folks are wondering if Jesus is coming soon. Yet the Bible says that the Good News must be shared with ALL nations (all groups and tribes) before He returns (Matthew 24:14), and that doesn’t seem to have happened quite yet.

Shine and Serve
While we’re still here, the call to shine His light and serve others remains on those who claim to be followers of Jesus. The biggest disaster that can befall your family and friends won’t come from earthquakes, fire, flood, or the like. No, the biggest calamity is that loved ones might perish without ever standing on the solid ground of hope or experiencing the cleansing power of forgiveness by grabbing the life ring that is saving faith in Jesus Christ!

The darker this world becomes, the more obvious the light that we carry becomes. Be a beacon of hope! Help and donate whatever you can, but more importantly: pray for those affected by the disasters both near and far. Pray that those without hope will find it in the Lord, through the prayers and actions of the believers who surround them.

Faith Notes
Here is a great song that expresses a lot of my thoughts right now:
I Have This Hope – by Tenth Avenue North
(Note: Link opens up in a new window.)

“I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Blessings to you, this day and always!
©Ladeena Bell
All Rights Reserved (blog content and photos)

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