Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Hope's Blessings

 Scripture:  Isaiah 40 v 28 - 31:  "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

There is a blessed hope that because our Lord knows exactly how many hairs are upon our heads, that this means He knows every single detail about our physical, mental and spiritual selves.  There is no one, no doting parent, adoring spouse or any one else that knows EVERYTHING and still loves us.

Jesus knows when we are weary and sends strength to carry us through the rough times.  Look at Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 v 9 - 10:  "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Paul took pleasure in what he suffered for Jesus' sake because at his weakest, Jesus added His strength, and the powerful anointing of His presence brought great faith and hope to him.  The strength to move spiritual mountains.

The world is in crisis.  The pandemic, extended lockdown, loss of income, businesses failing, lonely deaths, restricted access to elderly parents, masks everywhere, fear and sudden change of lifestyle, travel, schooling, entertainment have turned the world upside down.

What would Jesus do?  He needs us to have hope, and to pray effectively for this to end.  We must put our faith into action and believe that He protects us.  Some may just get a mild form of Covid and hardly notice it, others may take on the worst of it and survive.  Like Paul who prayed for his infirmity to leave, Jesus said, My grace is enough, when you are weak My strength will carry you through.

Let us not fear and lose heart, rather let us be as Daniel facing the lions and surviving without a scratch, or as the 3 Jews who defied Nebuchadnezzar and his golden image, and were thrown into an overheated oven.  That evil king saw four men loose in the flames and cried out, one is like the Son of God.  Not a blister or even the smell of smoke on any of them.  They hoped and had faith that their refusal to compromise with idolatry would bring God into their midst to fight for them.  And it did.

Hope's blessings are around us every day.  A while back our family business was wiped out by an unscrupulous rival, who took advantage of us being out of the country to buy out the parent company in which we had a franchise.  We were in serious debt and had to appear before an unknown bank manager to sort things out. 

When we got to the bank we were asked to wait as there was a management shake-up taking place at that very moment.   When we finally went in to the manager's office, Jesus had kindly installed a dear family member in there who personally underwrote our debt and helped us work it out.  Strangely, it took 2 years to get it sorted and when we made the last payment, to the minute, we saw that manager leaving that bank for a head office post.  This is a true event. 

When Jesus shows us plainly who is in charge, at our weakest moment He shows up without notice and from the exact moment we needed help till all concerns were settled, Jesus had us covered.  We always obeyed His Word and paid our tithes, and He backed up His Word:  

Malachi 3 v 10 - 11: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 
11  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts."

The devourer, Satan, thought he had us beaten but God rebuked him and made a perfect way out of trouble for us.  When Christians have hope in the Word and put their faith into action, He responds in extraordinary ways, like the lions didn't like Daniel's odour so ignored him, and He took control of the fiery oven to make a fool out of a wicked king.

The promises of God in the Bible are true.  They are our inheritance and hope of salvation.  Jesus went the extra million miles to save the unworthy and ungrateful humans who were lost and dead in sin.  What more would He not do to protect us, comfort us, heal us and deliver us from evil?

We are like children wandering and crying in the darkness of uncertainty.  When we call on Jesus our blessed hope, He becomes the light that leads us to safety.  We must keep our eyes upon Him because He guides us with His eyes.  Psalms 32 v 8: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, hope is the cornerstone of faith and You are He in whom we have the greatest hope of eternal life.  Let all the blessings that hope fulfilled can bring, be upon those who love You, and obey Your Word.  Let the blessed hope of Jesus in our hearts be realised in our midst.  We thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit for meeting our needs.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.