No, I'm not eating a sandwich...
...it's an in-between day.
I'm in-between speaking at one retreat and heading for another.
I'm just home from a weekend with a lovely group of ladies (from three different churches, actually).
My heart is full.
What could make it fuller?
Last weekend I was at Estes Park, Colorado, and this weekend I'm in Machias Valley, Maine (that's 2311.6 miles in difference...I checked).
These opportunities, where I get to share my messy, broken stories and how the Lord God has redeemed them, are HOPE-GIVING for me.
Every speaking assignment God sends reminds me the Lord is still using what He's doing in my life to point others to the abundance of life in Him.
So, when I'm in the middle of a story-not-yet-reversed-by-Jesus, the old stories leave me filled with HOPE.
That's what remembering does.
That's what speaking out loud the moments of past-peripety will do for the soul: HOPE WILL BE BORN ANEW.
The Apostle Peter, focused on suffering, says this:
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you...
1 Peter 1:3-4
That is a passage packed full of lessons...there's just one I want to focus on today.
At salvation, our merciful God gifts His children a LIVING HOPE.
Not just any hope.
Have you ever thought about what that means?
Our HOPE is meant to be active.
It's not ever passive.
According to my lexicon, in JESUS our HOPE has a vital power that is exerted upon our souls, and then, makes a difference in someone else's soul.
Our hope is fresh, never perishing.
It's strong, not meant to fizzle, or become weakened...
Hope is a verb, not a noun, that turns around and puts more hope into the heart of someone else.
No wonder the enemy fights hope-in-our-hearts so hugely.
??? Think what our world would be like if everyone lived with more hope, then passed it on to someone else, who passed it on to someone else...???
I'm not sure, but I think REVIVAL could be an outflow!
Revival is desperately needed in the American church.
Hope is at a premium.
The enemy stands at the gates of our hearts ready to deplete us of hope at every turn.
The "foxes are in the vineyards."
It's time to trap them, eliminate them, and restore LIVING HOPE once more.
Hope waits, but does not sit. It strains with eager anticipation to see what may be coming on the horizon. Hope does not pacify; it does not make us docile and mediocre. Instead, it draws us to greater risk and perseverance.
I, for one, can't wait to share the source of my living hope for another weekend!
May the Lord show up in all His Glory!