“And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope”
Hope is the anchor and the security of our life in God. It is the assurance of God at work in the human heart. It takes no confidence in the things seen for it is the temperament of a heart who is dependent upon God Himself. It is a strength when all outward help disappoints. It is a refuge from the storms of life. It holds us fast within the embrace of our Father’s love, it steadies us in the shifting sands of life and it keeps us moving forward in the path of faith. Hope brings to the faithful heart the great promise of God…
“John Wesley tells of a dream he had. In the dream, he was ushered to the gates of Hell. There he asked, “Are there any Presbyterians here?” “Yes!”, came the answer. Then he asked, “Are there any Baptists? Any Episcopalians? Any Methodists?” The answer was Yes! each time. Much distressed, Wesley was then ushered to the gates of Heaven. There he asked the same question, and the answer was No! “No?” To this, Wesley asked, “Who then is inside?” The answer came back, “There are only Christians here.”
– George Whitefield
Weeping expresses some of the deepest emotions of our humanity. It reveals life, empathy and love. Weeping in the valleys of our own life is the precursor to a greater purpose; weeping with and for others. These experiences give us the grace to identify with others.
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4
The comfort gained in our own trials brings a depth and capacity to share the comfort of the Lord with others. Compassion is a grace produced by sorrow. It is the press of this sorrow from which the wine of the joy of the Lord flows. His workings in us are not solely for our benefit; God always has a higher end in mind. He is ever looking for the seed of a thing to become a harvest. He sees the harvest and the multiplication of the Christ in each of us into the lives around us. He so desires us to see beyond the limited horizon of our own selves to the “fields which are ripe unto harvest”.
“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”
2 Corinthians 1:5-6
The cause of Mary’s weeping became the fountain of her greatest joy.
“Why weepest thou?”
Weeping has purpose and as we grow in our walk with Him the why reveals the maturity and depth of our life in Him. At every stage within the disciple’s walk weeping has tremendous purpose and it is as the wine matures and deepens within us that our tears for ourselves are turned into the tears for others.
How good and wise are the ways of God and may we in the valleys see the distant prospects of a harvest unto our God and Father by the very life of the Son arising from the ashes of our own experience.
“Blessed are they who mourn for they SHALL be comforted”
“What the world calls virtue is a name and a dream without Christ. The foundation of all human excellence must be laid deep in the blood of the Redeemer’s cross, and in the power of His resurrection.”
– Frederick William Robertson
“The hand of the Lord is not just a feeling; it is an anointing of power beyond the senses reach. Definite in touch, it demands attention even to the blotting out of all other considerations. His hand reassures, transmits confidence and gently directs focus. By His hand, one enters the “God realm of reality on an eternal scale.” It silences the noise of the world and causes one to step into the sovereign reign of heaven”
C.R. Oliver from his new book – “Exact Ezekiel“
God’s Love by its very nature is an active and creative power within the soul of man. Creation is proof of God ever seeking, ever desiring to expend and lavish His love in new dimensions. The Word declares that we were “created for His pleasure” and it is His pleasure to pour out Himself in unmeasured and unmerited means. His Love in us seeks, desires and ever works to color everything within its reach; not to own, rule or control but to inspire others to live fully in God.
The infinite and all-encompassing God whom our forefathers sought with passion calls us to depths unknowable and heights unsearchable.
“Deep calleth unto deep”
The Love of God is the call and His Love in man is the response.
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
“He said “Love…as I have loved you.” We cannot love too much.”