Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wait Expectantly

I pray to GOD - my life a prayer -
and wait for what He'll say and do.
Psalm 130:5 The Message

The Living Bible uses these words ~ I wait expectantly, trusting God for help, for He has promised. When we wait expectantly, that is called hope! In A Long Obedience in the Same Direction Eugene Peterson writes this about Psalm 130 and hope:

Hoping . . . means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. . . It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.

[Hope] is imagination put in the harness of faith . . . a willingness to let God do it His way and in His time.

Is it our lack of trusting in God's faithful promises or the our cynicism towards hope that binds us to despair? Do we worry more about not being able to control circumstances than confindently going about our assigned tasks? Allowing God to work in His way and in His time often requires us to wait. By studying the Scirptures and through prayer, our relationship with God grows; our understanding of His character increases. In His presence we find a peace within the uncertainty; we are embraced by His peace through the waiting. We must wait expectantly on God ~ Who is Faithful, Who is Promise, Who is HOPE! ~ dho

Gracious LORD,
I come to the altar shouting praise for
all the blessings in my life. You are the Light
that writes the words of my soul-song. It is
You that gives my heart its desires. You are Hope!
Faithful Father, I am God-strong; my blessings
abundantly exceed my needs. Creator, gather the
details of my life, take Your holy threads and weave
a tapestry of Your design. . . You transcend all
circumstances, expose all evil, reveal all love but
never measure Grace. I am God-strengthened! ~dho

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hope Endures

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall still praise Him
For the help of His presence. . .
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:5,7-8 NASB

The soul must remain willingly unguarded in its struggle with suffering, not for the lessons of despair, rather hope. It is Hope that reaches into the chaos and rescues us. Lindbergh's description of suffering is more about hope than despair. If hope prevails, God must have access to our suffering souls, and it is only in our willingness to remain vulnerable that He can offer lessons on mourning, understanding, patience and love. While not bound by time, His Grace is released in our praise, released by His presence, released through His unfailing love, released with our prayers. Hope in God endures. ~dho

Faithful Father ~
I come into the Holy of Holies! On my knees, my head
bowed in reverence, I ask for wisdom and understanding.
Sometimes my faith seems weak as circumstances crowd
around me and threaten to come between You and me.
Forgive me when the noise of the world drowns out Your
voice, when the chaos inside my heart closes the door to
Your beauty, when the ramblings of my thoughts interfere
with Your desires. In my weakness, I need You more than
ever. Let me love with a tender heart. Fill me with hope.

Come with me - wherever I must go. Remind me of Your
unforced ryhthms of grace. In Your loving arms I can always
find rest from the world. In the name of Jesus, Amen! ~dho

Friday, October 17, 2008

Promise Keeper

Nehemiah 9:1-15 The Message

They stood and confessed their sins. . .
read from The Book of the Law of the LORD their God
. . . confessed and worshiped the LORD * (NKJV)

Blessed be Your glorious name,
exalted about all blessing and praise!
You're the one, GOD, You alone;
You made the heavens,
the heavens of heavens, and all angels;
The earth and everything on it,
the seas and everything in them;
You keep them all alive;
heaven's angels worship you!

You're the one GOD, the God
who chose Abram . . . signed a covenant with him
. . . kept Your word because You are righteous.
You saw the anguish . . . heard their cries . . .
amazed Pharaoh . . . with wonders and miracle-signs.
. . . You split the sea before them . . . their pursurers . . . sank.

. . . by day You led them with a Pillar of Cloud,
and by night with a Pillar of Fire
To show them the way they were to travel . . .
You spoke to them . . . gave them instructions . . .
You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger,
You sent them water from the rock for their thirst.
You told them to enter and take the land
which You promised to give them.

In his devotional book The Power of His Presence, Ray Stedman describes this prayer in Nehemiah as a great model. God is more than Creator and Protector, He is compassion and provision, sustainer and redeemer. God knows our needs before we do, hears our pain's depth, provides for our hungering and thirsting souls. Stedman writes God sustains us momemt by moment.** Forever offering manifold mercies, God is the Promise Keeper. ~ dho

** Where To Begin, August 18, The Power of His Presence; Ray Stedman