Hope Is Here

 

Hope word with shadow, backgroundI’ve been in plenty of situations where there seemed like only one way out and it felt quite hopeless. I know the struggle of a sleepless night. I know the paralysis that worry delivers. I also know that when the Lord enters the room of my life, HOPE flows from Him. He gives me strength and wisdom to navigate any and every situation I’m faced with. Paul speaks very clearly about the hope we have no matter the situation. Check this out….

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 CSB)

This passage has much depth to it. This is a snapshot of life:

  • Faith
  • Peace
  • Access
  • Grace
  • Rejoice
  • Afflictions
  • Endurance
  • Proven Character
  • Hope
  • Love

I’m trying to wrap my mind around these 10 profound pieces of the journey with God.  It starts with Faith and ends up in Love. The journey with the Lord always goes through the tunnel of affliction and suffering. It’s during those dark nights of the soul that the light of hope in Him is real. The Lord never wastes a dark night to show off His Heart for me. He brings such hope and clarity to most confusing circumstances. He builds my character from the inside out and not from the outside in. My salvation journey begins with faith in Him.

When He enters the room of my heart, there is NOTHING else like it! He brings HOPE and it is a Powerful Presence. #thankful

All My Hope

By Crowder

I’ve been held by the Savior
I’ve felt fire from above
I’ve been down to the river
I ain’t the same, a prodigal returned

(C)All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God that yesterday’s gone
All my sins are forgiven
I’ve been washed by the blood

I’m no stranger to prison
I’ve worn shackles and chains
But I’ve been freed and forgiven
And I’m not going back, I’ll never be the same (C)

There’s a kind of thing that just breaks a man
Break him down to his knees
God, I’ve been broken more than a time or two
Yes, Lord then He picked me up and showed me
What it means to be a man come on and sing (C)

_____________________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Grief & Sadness

Beauty girl cryThis is a word that covers many areas of my life. I have felt grief over the loss of a loved one. I’ve felt grief over the loss of a job. I’ve felt grief over the loss of a friend. I think grief touches everyone in some form or another. There are some losses that are less devastating and less permanent. If I lose a job, I can get another one. If I lose a friend I can be a friend to another and soon move forward. I’m not quite sure how you grieve the loss of a country. In Psalm 137, the writer is grieving the loss of their country being captured and their lives are forever different. Check this out…

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while in a foreign land? (Psalm 137:1-4 NIV)

It really is hard to think about songs of joy during pain. There are times that I can’t think because the grief hurts so deeply. I remember times when I cried until it felt like there were no more tears. I have made some decisions during times of grief that were not smart. A few years ago, after coming through a really hard time where grief was pushing on me hard, I determined that I would never go through grief alone – the Lord would always be there. I decided to claim His promises and lean into Him. His Presence did not disappoint. He gave great comfort but even greater clarity. I can sing songs of joy I the midst of great pain if His Presence is in me. He comforts me deeply and profoundly. He turns my sadness into singing. He turns my grief into joy. I can’t fully explain this to someone who amid struggle, but after the dust clears, this trust in the Lord is something to consider.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Mercy – Hope – Respect

Man praying with the BibleIt’s a new day! Yesterday is now in the rear-view mirror – today is another chance to make good choices and wise decisions. I was reminded this morning how much I need mercy. Mercy is defined as: compassion, forbearance, kindness, blessing, pity, benevolence, the power to pardon and divine favor. I live in the shadow of this word every day and I’m profoundly thankful that the Lord shows me mercy daily.

As I read this Psalm of Assents this morning, I was reminded that along with mercy, I have found hope and I live in respect for the Lord out of that mercy & hope. Check this out…

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his Word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:1-5 NIV)

The more I study the Word of God, the more respect and reverence I have for the Lord. He has NOT kept a record of my sins. I am aware of my sin most days and I’m naïve toward the mercy He has poured out on me. I am profoundly thankful and humbled to think of how He not only forgives me and shows mercy, He calls me His kid. The moves my heart. In His Word, I find that mercy and forgiveness displayed often. In His Word, I find Provision, Protection, Direction, Instruction, Help, Hope, Profound Love. The Lord is in a category all by Himself. He is not just another god – He is the Only God and He forgives and forgets my stupidity. His heart melts when I say I’m sorry. His mercy and forgiveness is immediate. His Presence is constant. His Word teaches me more and more about His heart, Who He is and I’m invited to know Him more personally.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Hope Filled Heart

 

Girl holding a heart-shaped boxI know what it is like to be hopeless and feeling helpless. I must say though, that as I study the Word of God and pursue His heart, I find that those times are a lot fewer than ever before in my life. As I journey through His Word, I find that I ALWAYS have hope. He never leaves me alone. Recently, upon hearing of my brother-in-law’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma cancer I was stunned and I allowed hopelessness to enter. I’m thankful that the Lord keeps pursuing my heart as I pursue His heart.

David pens a hope-filled Psalm that reminded me of His Presence. Check this out…

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendor all day long. (Psalm 71:5-8 NIV)

I have followed the Lord at some level since I was a young boy. My parents and grandparents invested in building my faith consistently for many years. I am so thankful for their teaching and example over the years. As I read this passage this morning I was reminded of a tag line that Kari Jobe used in one of her live performances at the end of a special song. The song was “When You Walk In The Room” as a tag line. She then goes into a song called Majesty written by Delirious. Check out this simple worship chorus.

Majesty, Majesty.
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed but alive in Your hands.
Singing Majesty, Majesty.
Forever I am changed by Your love,
In the presence of Your Majesty.
Majesty.

I’m so thankful for God’s Presence in my life. There is no place I can go that He is not there. There is nothing I face without Him. He has filled my heart with hope and forever changed my heart. I will put my hope in Him because He’s filled me with hope.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Finding Rest

Business man relaxing having power nap outdoors with computer laptopSome days are quite long and stressful. I know that some people commute an hour or more and then put in a 10-hour day before driving an hour back home. I know what it’s like to work hard as my parents set an excellent example for me. I am learning about finding rest. I believe that there is a healthy balance with rest and work. I believe people who work too much without rest are less productive and their work product suffers.

David spoke right into my heart this morning as I read Psalm 62. Check this out…

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV)

I’m still learning to depend upon the Lord. I’m learning that the things I do, the people I serve and the places I go are meant to bring honor to God. If I’m successful serving as a REALTOR, it’s because of Christ in me. He gives me rest daily. He relieves my stress daily. I can trust Him with the simplest or the most complex details.

I do wish that I would have learned this valuable lesson much earlier in my work life. I can do nothing without Him. The work I do matters when He’s leading me. He can give me insight into my work that no amount of education or experience can touch.

There have been times in my life when it seems like it’s coming apart at the seams. I feel pushed and pulled from every angle. I’m learning to trust Him no matter what the day brings. I’m determined to rest in Him in the middle of any storm that comes way. I must fight the noise of my busy life to find rest in Him.  This song came to mind this morning during my time of study and prayer. It’s called: “In The Eye of The Storm” by Ryan Stevenson. Here are the lyrics:

When the solid ground is falling out
From underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes
I can barely see
When I realize I’ve been let down by my friends and my family
I can hear the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds, me in the eye of the storm

When my hopes and dreams are far from me 
And I’m running out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

When they let me go and I just don’t know 
How I’m gonna make ends meet
I did my best
Now I’m scared to death
That we might lose everything

And when a sickness takes my child away
And there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You
I trust You LORD

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm

_________________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Redeem

 

Clicking a redeem button, 3d renderI like this word, but it’s not a word that I use a lot every day. I occasionally have coupons to redeem that save me money on things I’m planning to purchase. Sometimes I might by something new and try it because I have a coupon to redeem that reduces the price. That word redeem means that something is exchanged or purchased by payoff as well. It is a significant word relative to my faith in God. I believe that The Lord has redeemed my life for condemnation and He has forgiven my past and made my future hopeful. He didn’t just redeem a coupon, He redeemed my life through His Son.

The sons of Korah penned some great psalms with a healthy perspective. They speak of redemption long before Jesus came. Check this out…

No one can redeem the life of another
    or give to God a ransom for them –
the ransom for a life is costly,
    no payment is ever enough –
so that they should live on forever
    and not see decay.

15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
    he will surely take me to himself. (Psalm 49:7-9, 15 NIV)

I don’t live or die as one without hope. I believe that God has redeemed my life from the lost place I was and He has put my feet on a new path that is eternal. This life on earth has an ending for all of us – but redeemed people have a new beginning that is life forever. That calms my soul when a good friend dies. That calms my soul as I think about my age and how many years I possibly have left on this earth. Redemption of my life is already in place because of what God has done, not because of who I am. All my hope is in Jesus – the Son of God.

I love this song by Crowder on his project called: American Prodigal.

All My Hope

I’ve been held by the Savior
I’ve felt fire from above 
I’ve been down to the river
I ain’t the same, a prodigal returned

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God that yesterday’s gone 
All my sins are forgiven
I’ve been washed by the blood

I’m no stranger to prison
I’ve worn shackles and chains 
But I’ve been freed and forgiven 
And I’m not going back, I’ll never be the same 
That’s why I sing

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God that yesterday’s gone 
All my sins are forgiven
I’ve been washed by the blood 

There’s a kind of thing that just breaks a man
Break him down to his knees 
God, I’ve been broken more than a time or two
Yes, Lord then He picked me up and showed me 
What it means to be a man come on and sing

____________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne