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Category Archives: Hope

When our dreams turn to nightmares

Have you ever wanted something so much it was all you could think about?

I remember back as a child I used to live for summer camp. We would go to camp in the hills of Kentucky every year. I did it for 9 years. There was nothing all that cool about the camp. In fact, still today whenever I smell mold or coast soap I think of the house with bunks where I slept that week.

I would dream of camp. In fact I remember the night before it was time to take that long bus ride to camp how I would plead Jesus to wait to return until after camp was done.
It seems so silly now. Who would want to trade a smelly camp over heaven’s amazing beauty?

I can think back to so many prayers that I have prayed through  the years. My dreams at the time  seemed so important. My wants and even sometimes my needs were not always met the way I prayed. And I’m so glad.

God has been teaching me to pray for his dreams to become my dreams.

Instead of  trying to make God bend to give me the dreams that I think would make me happy. Asking him “God what is your dream for me?”

What about when we pray for a dream and God grants it to us? Or at least allows us to have it. What happens when that dream becomes a nightmare?

Maybe it’s a job you thought would be your dream job. But after you started it you realized there was elements of this position that you had not factored in. It’s become a place you hate to go. You feel in bondage and you’re just so tired.

Or a relationship you wanted so much.  And yet now that you’re in it you wonder if you’ll ever make it through the rough patch you seem to be stuck in.

Or When the baby you prayed for grows up and turns his back on you and God.

Maybe its the time you prayed for a material possession, like a house or car and after you got it you lost your job and couldn’t make payments on it anymore.

What about dreams that seem noble and God honoring that turn into the deepest pains you will ever encounter?

What happens when the big dreams we had…become our biggest nightmare?

What happens to our faith?

What if we really felt God opening doors to the dream and now we wonder if we heard correctly at all.

We lose faith in our ability to hear from him and we struggle within the recesses of our minds asking the hard questions. We may want to just run away. Or worse yet, end it all.

How does Faith and hope to press forward work in those times? How do we get back up and run again?

God has been impressing on me this truth in recent days.

Sometimes while my eyes see a nightmarish circumstance God is working out something that goes way beyond me and my little small minded dreams.

Joseph was a dreamer and he had big dreams of his brothers bowing down to him. His brothers didn’t really like his dreams. In fact he made them so stinkin’ mad they wanted to KILL him!

He was the bratty little spoiled brother who was now telling them they would bow to him. They decided to throw him into a pit and then sell him to slave traders.

Did God give Joseph the dream?

He sure did. And yet I wonder how many times Joseph wondered if God had really given it to him. I’m sure it didn’t seem all that promising  when he spent all those many years away from his family.

Do you think he may have been asking some questions?

Like what’s wrong with me?

What did I do?

Did I hear you correctly?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

God may give you a dream…But what will you do with it when it looks harder than you thought.?Or a door seems to slam shut.  Or you get thrown into a cell.

What happened the night after Jesus spent praying to his Father about what he was going to be facing within the next few days?

This is what I read.

He was betrayed. Falsely accused. Struck so severely he was beyond recognition. His closest friends said they didn’t even  know him. And ultimately he was hung on a cross looking down on those he had created begging God to forgive us for not understanding what we were doing.

Not really what you’re looking for?

He was without sin. And yet still these unimaginable nightmarish events happened to him.

Why? Because God had a bigger dream that included me and you.

His dream was to bring all of his lost children home. And Jesus was the only vessel he could use to make that happen.

When God births a dream in us, it may not even be something we choose in our natural thinking but a passion that he gave us, we must be careful not to discount the dream just because it  seems impossible.  Or even when  the door closes for a season. God is working behind the scenes and you and I must stay close to hear his voice.

Don’t listen to the enemy who says… “See, you can’t really trust God…. See how stupid you were to think God could use you? You just need to stay in control. God doesn’t have a place for you. Depend on yourself”.

The story isn’t over.

If Joseph had quit half way through the journey just think of the blessing he would have lost!

If Jesus would have given up because he knew what lay ahead of him think of how much you and I would have lost!

It’s not time for us to give up either.

The dream may look different from what we imagined in the beginning.

We may have lessons to learn along the way.

But our stories aren’t written.

Today God’s word of encouragement is this…….

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

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Message of Hope

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I don’t know about you but sometimes I can get a little anxious when I hear predictions about our country’s future.
It looks bleak.
And if I turn on the news it becomes worse.
I feel this ball start to form in the pit of my stomach. It can gnaw on me as I think about all the ” what if’s”.
Then I remember this….
My trust should not be in people. OR any country.

My trust is in the MAKER of HEAVEN and EARTH.
He has a plan.
He knows the plan.
And He will accomplish His plan.
There is nothing so reassuring to me then to be reminded of this.

My Father is not worried about our economy.
Or health.
Or presidential election.
Or housing crisis.
He is not wringing his hands or cringing in fear.
Maybe you need to be reminded of this word today….

Psalm 146
New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 146
1 Praise the Lord!

Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel[a] as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
7 He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
9 The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

10 The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem,[b] throughout the generations.

Praise the Lord!

That’s the kind of news that brings hope.

A hopeful message that he is still in charge.

He will reign! And if it all falls apart…

He is Still the one who can be trusted.

May your day be filled with the hope that Jesus wants to fill you with.

The peace that passes understanding.

The joy that makes your life worth living.

Rags to Riches

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I have been reading through Joshua. I had read the novella by Francine Rivers on Rahab which sparked my interest again to read the story from the Bible.

It is something! How God chose to redeem Rahab, a harlot.

He pulled her out of Jericho, grafted her into his chosen people,and then of all things, positioned her into the ancestral line for his own perfect son to come through. It’s astonishing!

Rahab is really no different then I am. Her sin no greater. Her suitcase of baggage just had a different label. My brand  may have covered it better but I had ugly sin in my heart just as she did. And without someone to save me from myself I would have died in my sins as the walls crumbled in around me.

Rags to Riches…. That’s what it is. A story of a slave to sin who became an heir to the birthright of promise.

Is that your story?

Did you ever think of this?

If you have been adopted into God’s family that’s what it is.

Just like the 2 men who came into the city saved Rahab from impending death… Jesus came for us. He came while we were still entrenched in our sin. While our eyes were blinded by our Jericho. He came in and rescued us.  Long before time  began he wrote his name on each of our hearts.

Ephesians 1 (ESV)

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.[b] 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Adopted in.

No longer are we on the edge of the camp looking in. We are heirs to the throne.

Seriously! Does that make your heart skip? He didn’t have to do that! He didn’t have to save us! But in his Kindness and Mercy he did.

We all our people with a past. But God chose us to be people with a bright hope and a future.

Today I’m giddy about that!

He’s turned the story into a song. My heart sings back to him this praise today!

It’s about Character..

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Does anyone out there every wonder what it would be like to always get whatever you want?

I mean like from the moment you were born…. this never ending supply of goods.

Not just material goods but everything.

I’m talking about like when I was a toddler….what if I would have always been able to win and not share and have anything I pointed my chubby little finger at.

Well…

We as adults know that isn’t good for our children.

That it is ACTUALLY good to give them opportunities to share.

And in fact…

It is to the child’s detriment to give them everything they ever want.

It makes them over indulged and spoiled.

Let’s move a little further…

How about when we get to be a little more “mature” (like age 10) and our character gets tested by unfair treatment.

Like the time when I was a kid and I remember being blamed for something I knew I hadn’t done.

Or I was in a contest and the judge thought someone else had done better then I had. Even though I felt like I had worked just as hard.

Or when I was in high school ….

After moving to a larger school in the eleventh grade I realized I was swimming in a bigger pool of fish and I had to learn lessons from the bench.

Or the crush in which the affection was not returned.
Ahh… the heartache!
Should I go on…

You get it right?
I understand looking back that really ALL that was good for me.

Not fun.
Sometimes Not fair.
A lot of pain and discomfort.
But It actually deepened me.

And yet the funny thing is I STILL don’t like it.
When it happens to me or my children or anyone else I love.

There is something in me that still reacts and cries…

“UNFAIR”!
However, I really know that it is happening to bring about a better end!

It’s really about Hope!

“For we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us”. ~Roman 5:3-4

Hope… so when we face our personal “character building class” we can say,

We have a hope that does not disappoint us.

He is creating something lasting in His vessel.

And that gives me something to smile about!