Hope and Encouragement

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4,1-6) 
What happens to people when they lose hope? They give up. They quit. Hope and perseverance go together. Hope is a future promise that keeps us going. It is the carrot before the donkey. Hope knows that there is a goal, and that the goal is worth pursuing, even through hardship and difficulty. If we don’t have hope, we won’t have perseverance. 
Paul writes in Romans 15 is that everything in the Scripture—by which he means what we call the Old Testament—was written to instruct us in the Christian hope. Throughout the Old Testament we see God’s faithfulness in spite of man’s sin. We see the saints going through times of suffering and discouragement. We see the saints exiled to the wilderness, with no apparent future. But we also see that in time, God brings them back for greater service than before. The kingdom of God never shrinks; it may flow underground for a season, but it always emerges mightier than before. God is not going to be the loser in history! 
Thus, with the encouragements of the Scripture before us (Old and New Testaments), we should have hope. And following God’s example, we should encourage one another. Paul writes in Romans 15:5–6that we encourage one another when we live in unity, without being at each others’ throats, and that a fundamental expression of that unity is worship. When we stand together to sing God’s praises in the psalms and great hymns and prayers of the church, we encourage one another. The man who comes to worship downcast and beaten may emerge with new hope simply because of the unity of worship he has experienced. 
Paul says that God gives endurance and encouragement (verse 5). It is not just the history of redemption as recorded in the Bible that gives us encouragement. It is not just the continuing history of the church, which indeed shows growth over 2,000 years, that gives encouragement. And it is not just the fellowship of other saints, in life and in praise, that gives encouragement. But it is primarily God Himself who gives us encouragement. If we lack endurance and hope, we need to learn more about the attributes and intentions of God; for the more we know Him, the more encouraged we will be.
Psalms are a great source of encouragement, because (a) they meet us where we are, in the midst of difficulty and conflict, (b) they remind us of what God has done, and (c) they bring us face to face with God in prayer. Let’s get the psalms back into our worship and our private devotions. 
I pray this devotion encourages you today. It blessed me when I read it and encouraged me that the more we know Him, the more we seek Him, the more we read the word, the more we pray and seek His face, the more encouraged we will be. Make time for Him each and every day and watch encouragement poor into your life. We have an incredible hope in Christ.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Philippians 1:6

Everlasting Hope

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God. (Psalm 146:5) 
The week before Christmas, two months after my mom died, holiday shopping and decorating sat at the bottom of my priority list. I resisted my husband’s attempts to comfort me as I grieved the loss of our family’s faith-filled matriarch. I sulked as our son, Xavier, stretched and stapled strands of Christmas lights onto the inside walls of our home. Without a word, he plugged in the cord before he and his dad left for work. 
As the colorful bulbs blinked, God gently drew me out of my darkness. No matter how painful the circumstances, my hope remained secure in the light of God’s truth, which always reveals His unchanging character. 
Psalm 146 affirms what God reminded me on that difficult morning: My endless “hope is in the Lord,” my helper, my mighty and merciful God (v. 5). As Creator of all, He “keepeth truth for ever” (v. 6). He “executeth judgment for the oppressed,” protecting us and providing for us (v. 7). “The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down” (v. 8). He protects us and cares for us, and He will always be King (vv. 9–10).


Sometimes, when Christmas rolls around, our days will overflow with joyful moments. Sometimes, we’ll face loss, experience hurt, or feel alone. But at all times, God promises to be our light in the darkness, offering us tangible help and everlasting hope. Amen! 


When I read this devotion I was reminded, God secures our hope in His unchanging character. Find hope in Him today. He is faithful. 


Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!



Today’s Reading is Mark 8:34-35 


Our Only Hope

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Romans 8:24-25) 
Have you ever talked with someone who seemed to have no hope? They were beaten up, beaten down and hopeless. My heart breaks for those who have no hope in the future and have no idea how to take a step towards it. Maybe some of us know people who fit this description; maybe some of us have these same feelings ourselves. To a certain extent I think most people have times in life when it appears that all hope is lost. A sudden tragedy, a chronic illness, or just life in general can bring feelings of hopelessness. 
But what is hope? To hope for something is to have an expectation and anticipation of getting it. In a way, hope is like faith because we cannot see hope; therefore, we must believe in what we cannot see. This is easier said than done, especially when we cannot see the sky for the clouds. What can we do in times like these? Our only “hope” is to turn to God’s Word and ask Him for help. Romans 8:25 is a good verse to pray back to the Lord in asking Him to help us with our hope. A sample prayer might be: 
Dear Lord, I am struggling with hopelessness and I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need Your word to give me hope and I need Your presence to lift me up today. Your word says I am to hope for what I do not see. I do not see (__________) but I pray for the perseverance to eagerly wait for it. Help me to believe in the hope that only You can give so that I may see Your hand upon my life today. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for giving me hope. In Jesus name, Amen. 
Try writing your own personal prayer today. Ask the Lord to help you find hope in Him. Explore other verses that speak to your heart and pray them back to God. He is listening and ready to help. 
When I read this devotion it spoke to my heart and I knew I needed to share it with those in need of hope. We all struggle with this very thing from time to time but it’s when we take hopelessness and we turn to The Lord to lift us up and give us a hope that we can only find in Him. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). 
Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Romans 10:17

Jesus Lives

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). (John 20:13-16) 
Can anyone take the Lord away from us? Mary thought so. Her heart was broken, her Lord was dead and now she thought His body had been taken away. Mary cried deeply, thinking that someone could have taken the only part left of Him away from her. At this point, she did not even notice that angels were speaking to her. She just wanted Jesus back. Even when Jesus was standing (literally) behind her, Mary thought He was the gardener. In her loyalty and despite her depression, Mary was willing to do whatever it would take to “get Him” back. 
Her devotion is sincere but how can she serve a dead God? What kind of Lord would we have if others could change His position or steal His body? What kind of God would we serve if we have the ability to lose or misplace Him? That kind of god puts the burden on us, regardless of how devoted or sincere we may be. Thank the Lord Jesus that He arose from the grave. We do not worship a dead god but a living Lord. We worship a God who has placed all the burdens on Himself. We do not have to find Him because He never loses us. And God promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him as He comes to us. We are never lost from His sight. We may not see Him but He is always there, even sometimes from behind. 
I love the verse in Isaiah 30:21 that says, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” God does lead us from behind at times and we can feel that we have lost Him. But like Mary in John 20:16, when Jesus calls your name even from behind, you will recognize His voice. Remember to keep seeking Him and desiring to be with Him even if He seems to be missing. You have not lost Him because He can never lose you. He conquered death on a cross and rose again. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life and He is always with us, leading us in every step. 
When I read this I couldn’t help but think to myself, what an incredible reminder. The Lord dropped Psalm 25:5 into my spirit at 2:30 this morning, long before I read this devotion. He always amazes me when the scripture He gives me coincides with the devotion, unknowingly. So often we can get so caught up in the situation and circumstances before us that we feel alone and abandoned but we are truly never alone, He is always with us, leading us. He is The God who saves, let us put our hope in Him. Another version of today’s reading in Psalm 25:5 says, Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Hope in Him and find rest for your weary soul. Jesus Lives! 
Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 25:5 


Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)

One definition for hope is: To look forward to with confidence or expectation. We must bring the Word of God with all its hope to someone who does not know it is real. When we bring hope, we bring life. It is life changing to finally believe again. It is more than just asking God for something we so badly need; we must expect our miracle. Somewhere in the midst of asking, believing, and expecting God to answer, we will find what we are looking for.

I have felt for a long time that the biggest problem we have in the world today is there are so many people who have lost hope. There seems to be so many hurts, problems, sicknesses, troubles, financial woes, family problems, world issues, political concerns, etc. It seems the world has no hope.

Apart from God, it is an awful, hopeless place. But with God’s help, we can make it. I want you to know that whatever situation you find yourself in at this moment, there is hope. You may not be able to see or feel the hope, but it is there for you. How do we find the hope? There is only one place where hope can be found, and that is in Jesus Christ.

Trust God. He wants you to trust Him. You need to agree with God about your situation. What does God say about who you are and what His will is for your life? Don’t go by your feelings. Instead we should remind ourselves that God only has plans for us that are good. Jeremiah helps us remember what God has to say about us. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

We do not need to be disappointed and feel alone. We can have hope! God’s love in our hearts will ignite the flames of hope we have buried deep inside our hearts. God’s Word can encourage us as we read it with great anticipation and faith.

I don’t want this to be just another Devotion. I want it to bring life to you. Pray out loud the words of hope into your life and your situations. I have hope! My hope is in the Lord! I will be strong and wait on the Lord. I trust God with my life and the life of my family. Speak these words every day. Hope Is Real. It comes from God! He has placed it in your heart. Speak it out and watch what God will do for you. Amen!

As I prepared to post a devotion one word kept coming to my mind this morning, Hope! I feel someone needs a little hope today. When I read this devotion I felt someone needed to read it and my prayer is it touches someone in a way nobody could ever know but God. Hope in God! He will never fail you.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 31:24, Psalms 119:74, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 8:24, Romans 12:12