31 Days of Hope

Hope {Day 11} – “The Rest of the Story”

I remember moments sitting in the car as a little girl when mom would suddenly reach over and change the radio dial from whatever station it was on (normally one of the Christian radio stations) to KFDI, the country station in Wichita.  She didn’t turn the station because of the music really;rather, mom knew that at the top of the hour, KFDI would broadcast the news and weather forecast.  Normally, as soon as mom got the information she wanted, the station would switch back, but sometimes it would get left and we’d end up listening to Paul Harvey giving us “The rest of the story.” 


Being that it’s Day 11 of this journey to discover and blog about HOPE for 31 days straight I was starting to wonder if I’ll have enough to write about for 20 more days… I couldn’t even think about what to write about today.  Then, suddenly as I was praying with a friend on the phone tonight, a new thought about hope emerged and it has to do with “the rest of the story.” 


The concept of battles in life has been on the forefront of my mind especially with Pastor’s sermon series about battling in prayer.  Tonight as I battled in prayer with a sister in Christ for another sister who’s struggling, I suddenly had a renewed sense of hope in the situation: 


I believe we can find hope in the midst of whatever battles we face because WE ALREADY KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY!  It’s kind of like reading the end of a book first.  We know the outcome but still go back and read the whole book wondering how the plot twists and turns to get us to that point.


In the battles of life, we may not know how long the enemy will fight.  We may not know the suffering that will take place in the midst of the struggles, but we do know that Jesus has ALREADY secured the victory for us!


John 16:33 tells us, “In this world, you WILL have trouble, BUT TAKE HEART! I have overcome the world.”


We have an overcoming Savior.  Jesus already battled the greatest battle ever fought on the cross.  He fought against the enemies of Sin, Death, and the Devil, and overcame.  And as we share in his suffering, we also share in his victory!


So when we find ourselves in the battles of life, we can find HOPE in the fact that we already know “the rest of the story.”  And though we may not know the twists and the turns ahead of us, we do know our outcome is secure in Christ. May that provide REST IN the story!

31 Days of Hope

Hope {Day 7} – Giving Hope from Afar

In a way, this post is kind of “Part 2” of yesterday’s post.  I mentioned yesterday that often in the times where hope needs to be offered, there aren’t really words or actions that can give that hope… rather, being present is simply enough. 


While I believe that is often completely true, I can’t just stop there. No, I’m not saying that I want to do more.  Rather, my heart calls out, “What about the times when I CAN’T be there?” 


Three months ago I moved halfway across the country from all my family and friends.  I’ve come to realize how difficult it can be to see friends and family go through hard times (and good times too) and be hundreds of miles away… feeling helpless.


While technology is wonderful and allows for more communication during those times, the act of just “being” with them, isn’t really an option. How do I give hope in those times?


Up until this last week I probably would have finished this story by saying something to the effect of “I guess all I can do from here is pray for them.”


While that is a true statement, I can’t really DO anything else… I realized a new, and what I believe to be a better, perspective while listening to Pastor’s sermon this weekend:


Prayer shouldn’t be my only option to help simply because I’m not close enough to do something “more.”   With this perspective, I make prayer something small.   But dear friends, prayer is anything but small.   As Pastor Chuck said, “The prevailing power of God flows through people who pray.”


Instead of seeing myself limited to this seemingly insignificant task due to my distance from those hurting, I can feel privileged to be able to pray for my family and friends when they experience trials and joys in life. 


I can find FAITH that God’s power works through the prayers I’m lifting up for the CUNE/Seward community as they mourn the loss of a little 10-year old girl right now.


I can find JOY even in being able to stand on a hill with arms outstretched… praying that the God of HOPE would surround the hearts and minds of those I care about whether I can be present with them or not.

I can find PEACE as I pray that those I love would find hope to be an “anchor for their soul” (Hebrews 6:18-20). 

And through that process of prayer, I am then also anchored to Hope Himself, Jesus Christ.  

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First Trinity, Music

Joyfullyblessed… “Blessed is the One”

I was on the way home from church today and the song “Blessed is the One” by Daniel Doss Band was playing in my car.  It really fit well with Pastor’s sermon series right now about the “Round-About Ways of God”.  Many of the words connected with the point in the sermon last week about how God uses the desert times in our life to teach us patience… to trust him one day at a time. It also connects with one of today’s points that those desert times make us strong in Christ.

These two sections especially jumped out at me:


“Suffering through the desert places
You never said it would be easy
You just promised you’d be with me
For blessed is the one
Blessed is the one who trusts You”


“I will trust in you in the pain, when I can’t see past today
When it’s hard to lift my hands to praise you, I will trust you.”


Check out the song here (for some reason it’s only part of it):