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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

I confess that I am easily confused and prone to doubting. The Lord is infinitely patient with this flaw in my character, forgiving me over and over again. What truly overwhelms me is that He not only forgives, He lovingly encourages and teaches - growing my faith.

I believe He gave me a word for this year. Not a prophecy, but rather a literal word to be planted into my heart like a tiny seed. A seed that He would nurture and grow and use to produce fruit of His choosing in my life.

Knowing the nature of my wavering heart, He kindly and gently reinforces what He has told me. I feel such a sense of gratitude at such love. It causes my love for Him and my faith in Him to grow. What a wise and loving Father.

Today I read an article in "Decision" magazine by Joseph M. Stowell. It could very well have been entitled: "To Linda from her Heavenly Father." It is all about hope. I'm going to share a few quotes that were meaningful to me in the hope that it will minister to someone else:

He began the article by saying that trouble comes to all of us. When it does, how will we handle it?

"The right answers are found by asking the right questions. And the right question is not 'Why?' Processing problems in the why zone too often leaves us cynical, hardened, angry and confused. The only right answer to why is 'I don't know why, and if I don't know why, I need to suspend judgement until I do.'"

"Hope beings when we start with the right question; 'Who?' ...It sounds simplistic to say that ultimately God is our only hope. Nevertheless, it is true that help and healing begin and end in all that He is and all that He provides. Our hope and eventual healing begins by looking in His direction."

"The only certain, steady reality when life takes a downward turn is our Father in heaven and the helping work of His Spirit through the guiding principles of His Word. God is full of certainties that provide something solid to hope in."

"When Scripture speaks of hope it literally means to trust in a present and future help that is certain. Our English word lacks this element of certainty. It is little more than a wish, a 'hope so'. Biblical hope is grounded in certainty."

"When we begin with who, we begin with Him. It may only be a determined resolve to look trustingly in His direction, but we must begin with Him. For some, hope in God will conflict with thoughts of the damage He has permitted in our lives. However, if we are willing to open our hearts and minds, we will come to know how His certainties can become realities that bring hope and eventual healing."

"When we begin to believe that He doesn't care, we cross a threshold of vulnerability to the debilitating forces of anger and cynicism that bring us further distress and eventual defeat.
We must turn to the entity over which we exercise exclusive control - our wills. My thoughts, my responses and my decisions are always within my jurisdiction. I can choose to keep looking to Him even when all is quiet in the sky."

"If we choose not to cultivate our hope in Him, where then will we place our hope? Will we hope in the gods of comfort, peace, pleasure and self-fulfillment? Or will we be children of the true and living God, who is indeed our ultimate and final hope?"

"It is an issue of where we look. We can look downward in despair and outward in fear and confusion as we survey our circumstances. Or we can look upward to Him and inward to our choices."

This has been such a long post, and I thank you for your patience with me. I have felt so encouraged just typing the words out. I want this kind of hope to sink deep within my spirit. I don't want my circumstances to put a barrier up between the Lord and me. I want to allow Him to use them to draw me ever closer.

  posted at 2:40 PM

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

Wonderful inspiration for the week. I don't know how people ever get along without the Lord...

Have a wonderful week. Stay warm!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Abba's Girl said...

Beautiful post...


At 10:59 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

I can't tell you how many times I have thought about your word of the year thing... it just keeps popping into my head which a reminder that God is speaking to me. Today's post spoke to me, as if you wrote it just for me, and... "I want this kind of hope to sink deep within my spirit too".

I also loved this quote; "God is full of certainties that provide something solid to hope in." Great post! Thanks so much for being a BLESSING to ME!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Angie said...

This was needed. Yes--just this morning my sister Aimee and I were discussing something that has invaded our lives..."doubt"---re: a family member---and what they are doing with God in their lives. BUT Linda---we "HOPE ON"! WE BELIEVE to the end that God is at work---even when we can't see!

You are such a sweet blessing :)

At 7:14 PM, Blogger eph2810 said...

Awesome post, Linda. It is so true though - if we keep looking at our 'giants' in life, like despair, hopelessness, we sometimes can get discouraged. I think that I so love David and the Psalms. David always focused on God rather than on his giants - that gives me hope too.

Thank you for sharing your heart with us today...

Blessings to you and yours...

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I definitely needed this again today - I will be sharing it with someone else who has lost a lot of hope. Thanks!

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Maxine said...

Sometimes just writing out the words does bring more encouragement to our own hearts than anyone else. But thanks for encouraging many others in the meantime.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger tonia said...

beautiful...and hopeful. thank you.

it reminds me of ann's post: "Peace is a Person."

Hope is a Person too. May He light your eyes this year...

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Linds said...

I have taken some notes here, Linda, because as you know, HOPE is my word for the year too. This was really excellent reading today.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger kelli said...

So lovely, Linda!

I love hearing your heart in this.

I am excited to see how your hope is stretched and developed this year.

At 12:49 AM, Blogger Rebekah said...

I love this. Hope has taken on new meaning for me this year. Thank you!

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

If there is one thing I need right now, Linda, it is hope. I will be thinking about this today. A lot.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Sandi said...

What a great post. I enjoyed being reminded of the hope I have in Him.


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