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DSC00649Would God ask us to love others as we love ourselves, and even more— only to break our hearts in the end?

Maybe for a while, he would— as he allows our pains and longings to turn our hearts to him, and as he allows our concern for others to deepen our trust in what he alone can do.

But in the end, or as we often say, “at the end of the day” what will our God do with our unanswered prayers of love for others?

Do the Scriptures give us no certainty for the longings of our heart when it comes to the ultimate well-being of anyone other than ourselves? If not, does a careful reading of them give us hope… or no hope—in God?

If we live long enough, we eventually discover that, when it comes to finding hope in the Bible, the mysteriously incomplete words we cling to depend on what we want to prove, who we love, and what we hope for.

For now, what we do know— is that “at the end of the day” in Jesus’s life among us, he fulfilled countless hopes, dreams, and mysterious hints in the Law, writings, and prophets that could not be known or proven before the fact. In the end he showed us in ways that Old Testament prophets could never have foreseen how far our God would go to show how much he loved— not just us—but those he has asked us to love… as we love ourselves—and far more.

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121 Responses to “Hope”

  1. jeff1 says:

    Yes, if it is what takes my wandering heart to come back to Him I believe He will break it!

    Perhaps you have to be raised in a Christian country where you see hope and faith but very little love to understand what matters to God!

    As we love ourselves is an assumption that Christians do but what when they don’t, what then?

    I am making an assumption Mart that you do not truly know what it is to intensely hate but I am a believer who does know.

    Intense hate for others creates intense hate for yourself as well so the battle is just as much within you as without.

    God breaks those He has to because it is the only way to get His message through to them and the message is that “He loves them”.

    There are some who are hard nuts to crack but God has His ways and means.

    The wrong assumption we make is that Christians love themselves and are capable of loving others when they have never mastered loving themselves.

    Many people struggle loving themselves but until they do they cannot love others.

    I must be consumed by God’s love to love my enemies and as someone who is struggling with this for 40+ years it is one step forward and two steps backward.

    When I focus on Christ, His power can consume me and make me the person God wants me to be.

    It is ‘I’ and ‘I’ alone who gets in God’s way of making me that person.

    I create my own difficulties between God and I but the truth of the Gospel never changes and that is the Good News that “Christ” died for the sins of the world because it is “God” who understands “Us” and not the other way around.

    I am not saying there are not saints who walk perfectly with God but I am not that saint.

    God loves us because “HE DOES” no strings attached.

  2. joycemb says:

    Hope enables us to love even those that are incapable of loving us in return, or when there is nothing to return. Without faith in God there is nothing to hope for.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Agreeing with you over here, Mart, that many decades of hoping in the promises of the Bible does not always bring the satisfaction of realizing our individual hopes — especially for those others we love so dearly.

    It is stunning how little the worldview of our closest ones seems to change over time. Is this part of being so self-directed in error on their part? Or clinging to possible transformation on our part? There is no easy answer, it seems to me.

    The Lord spoke to the Prophet Ezekiel and said,

    “’Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it…send famine (or sword, or wild beasts or plague) against it and cut off from it both man and beast,

    “even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,’ declares the Lord God.”

    After the promise of a Savior was fulfilled, the Apostle Peter wrote to the churches, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”

    When “the end of the day” arrives, may we be found full of hope in Jesus and the power of His sacrifice for those who believe in Him. Will our loving words and actions add to others’ belief?

    God is good.

    14C here — forecast to be 27C and clear

  4. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Maru, for 1 Peter 4:8
    When I just read these words, it suddenly dawned upon me:
    That is an awesome promise!
    We keep loving all those who are in love attached to us.
    We keep our eyes ever on Jesus, and fix our gaze upon Him, and not on the waves ( the unrepentance of our loved ones)
    And we rest on the promise of God!
    There is another promise:
    John 7:38
    Whoever believes in Me, .., streams of Living water will flow from within Him!
    That is a spiritual reality, that I want to envision, or use my imagination, all those attached to me in live will be touched by the Holy Spirit, some day.
    But as Jeff said, some are hard nuts to crack!

    Keep hoping!

  5. foreverblessed says:

    But when our hearts are being broken, there is another promise:

    He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.

    Psalm 147:3

  6. poohpity says:

    Maru, hey are you reading through the bible chronologically? From your Ezekiel passages that was in the morning reading? :)

  7. jeff1 says:

    God is also faithful to His promises and that is where my hope lies.

    He has defeated the enemy that lies within me and around me.

    He knows my weaknesses and reassures me that He is all I need.

    The church’s one foundation
    is Jesus Christ her Lord;
    she is His new creation
    by water and the word;
    from heaven He came and sought her
    to be His holy bride;
    and His own blood He bought her
    and for her life He died.

    Called out from every nation,
    yet one through all the earth;
    her charter of salvation
    one Lord, one faith, one birth:
    one holy name she blesses,
    and shares one holy food;
    as to one hope she presses
    with every grace endued.

    We see her long divided
    by heresy and sect;
    yet she by God is guided
    one people, one elect:
    her vigil she is keeping,
    her cry goes up, ‘How long?.
    and soon the night of weeping
    shall be the dawn of song.

    In toil and tribulation
    and tumult of her war,
    she waits the consummation
    of peace for evermore:
    till with the vision glorious
    her longing eyes are blessed;
    at last the church victorious
    shall be the church at rest!

    Yet she on earth has union
    with God the Three-in-One;
    and mystic, sweet communion
    with those whose rest is won:
    O happy ones and holy!
    Lord, grant to us your grace,
    with them the meek and lowly,
    in heaven to see your face.

  8. poohpity says:

    God seems to have asked us to do what is only possible by and through Him. Stepping aside and watching as God does His work in the world around us asking us to trust Him means laying all my junk out before Him. If He can change this old heart of mine then I can trust Him to work everything out in others. That gives me much hope but on the other hand when I look at my abilities or should I say my unabilities I lose hope.

  9. remarutho says:

    The prophetic Scripture passage quoted above is Ezekiel 14:12-20, Pooh. I am reading the Bible chronologically using the Thomas Nelson Chronological Study Bible.

    I actually read this passage almost a month ago, but Mart’s post brought that thought to mind — referring to those three persons of great faith and righteousness. Even Noah, Daniel and Job would not be able to save those around them in a time of God’s cleansing action in the world.

    It is in the great outpouring of Jesus’ sacrifice that our hope for the saving of many is fulfilled. Any trust in other people, things or idols is false hope.


  10. poohpity says:

    cool :)

    I think we lose hope when we expect the love we show others to come back to us by them. Jesus loved first and knew that it may never come back to Him by many but it did not stop Him from doing it in the first place.

  11. jeff1 says:

    I believe that it is not until I see a change within myself that I can see it in others also.

    It is not that others change but my perception of them changes because I see them through Jesus’s eyes instead of my own critical ones.

    You are the one having the relationship with Christ and in turn He gives you His power to see others in a different light and subsequently they react to His love which is being transmitted though you.

    You are the vessel but you become more like the one whom empowers you which is God’s will for you to be more like Him.

    God is not seeking Glory for Himself but wants us to know Him personally.

    The battle is in the mind because God dwells in the heart of men.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Philippians 4:4,:5,:6,:7 KJV “Rejoice in the Lord always. Let your moderations be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

    Proverbs 3:5,:6 KJV “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

    Hebrews 11:1 KJV “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Hebrews 11:13 KJV “These all died in faith, having not received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

    I just want to begin here for this subject has deep heartache and pain for all who love another and ask for them constantly and await God’s hand upon them, even unto death.

    Have any of you seen hope die? I have, but see it rise from its ashes time and time again each time with more disappointment and pain then the last, yet still alive even there in its cold ashes of disappointment and pain.

    This “seed” of hope is supernatural and in reality never dies, just as Jesus rose from the grave, though hope goes down into the pit with death it also rises with Him.

    Lots more on this subject for sure.


  13. joycemb says:

    Jobs wife lost all hope, if she really had any in the first place. We don’t know for sure. But it’s very sad to be without hope.

  14. joycemb says:

    She did, though, admit there was a God but obviously didn’t see Him for the loving God He is through her own pain. Pain does that sometimes.

  15. poohpity says:

    Is there hope in desiring to have things the way I want them or letting go and accepting that maybe God’s ways are different than I want. I can see from the past some things that I had hoped and prayed for were not what God had in mind and after throwing a fit I asked Him to reveal how His way was the best. If I had my way I could see the damage that would have caused in the long run and because God can see in the future He already knew. I am learning to trust His heart even when I can not see His hand because it is always there.

  16. jeff1 says:

    It is knowing there is a bigger picture though I cannot see or comprehend it.

    I believe, Pooh, I have learned to trust God’s judgement because I have found no others to be just.

    The sands have been washed in the footprints
    Of the stranger on Galilee’s shore,
    And the voice that subdued the rough billows,
    will be heard in Judea no more.
    But the path of that loan Galilean,
    With joy I will follow today;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

    There are so many hills to climb upward,
    I often am longing for rest,
    But He who anoints me my pathway
    Knows just what is needful and best.
    I know in His word He hath promised
    That my strength, “It shall be as my day”;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

    He loves me too well to forsake me,
    Or give me a trial too much;
    All His people have been dearly purchased,
    And Satan can never claim such.
    By and by I shall see Him and praise Him,
    In the city of unending day;
    And the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

    When the last, feeble step has been taken,
    And the gates of that city appear,
    And the beautiful songs of the angels
    Float out on my listening ear;
    When all that now seems so mysterious
    Will be bright and as clear as the day,
    Then the toils of the road will seem nothing,
    When I get to the end of the way.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    Across my adult life as a Christian, like most others, I have been exposed to many well-meaning writers who try to somehow encourage their readers. As well as the mixture of TV preachers who try to teach as well as give hope.

    The older I get the less of an impact such writers and TV charismatic personalities have on my look at being Christian.

    Without doubt Billy Graham stands out as a steady rock in evangelism and as a writer. Not that others have not helped or aided in my walk, but Reverend Graham has been exceptional.

    I think the reason why is that because His message has remained the same; “come just as you are” and receive forgiveness of your sins, by and through Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.

    No promises of health or wealth, or of even being happy, a message of being saved from the consequences of sin with God. Not from the consequences of sin here on earth.

    There isn’t much talk any more of the incurable AIDS virus and certainly not of how it spread among humans.
    The fact being though that any and all who come to Christ for forgiveness with God is forgiven, yet even among those who came to Christ from the numbers of AIDS suffers still they died of their choices.

    The cruelest of all workings here in this world being “false hope”. Just like sin it has a fleeting moment, but in time causes the most pain and the most damage.

    Yet we all cling to hope.

    I have read of mothers who never gave up hope their missing sons would return from World War II the remainder of their lives and siblings who continued to hope at least their remains or information may yet come forward the remainder of their loves as well.

    Hopelessness sees life as cold and indifferent, cruel and without purpose. Hope sees life as being that no matter what the circumstance the worst of it can be overcome. Hope keeps us going and gives us a reason to get up each and every morning.

    Martha had accepted the death of her brother, Mary believed that Jesus could turn heartache into joy, she had hope.

    Lots to talk about with this subject.

    54 degrees this morning under stars and approaching bottom fog as the morning moves along.


  18. poohpity says:

    My hope is of the place called heaven and while walking this rugged journey on earth that I do not walk alone but with God’s help. Experiencing His presence even in the roughest of circumstance or in the times of great joy or in the drudgery of the mundane everyday things. If I never see another miracle or get prayers answered how I think they should be answered just holding in my heart the amazing grace shown by God to me through the Cross and resurrection is enough even though I did not see it and I still believe but it seems there will always be more because I can share every thing, everyday with Him and He answers. Sometimes in the quietness of thought or through a song at just the right time or in reading a passage of scripture or bringing one to mind or even watching a TV show that fits right in with our discussion.

    Some days I pray I believe, help my unbelief or I think to myself is God really here or what is it all about, that calm confident assurance sweeps over me eventually. More times than I can imagine I say I do not understand or I even get so angry with Him but the sense of and knowing His presence is still there, I have hope.

  19. SFDBWV says:

    While we ponder Mart’s subject Read John 17:1-26 and as you can read Jesus prays for others to be blessed.

    In fact Jesus’ entire message was for us to love others and pray for their wellbeing as well as act on their needs.

    I think the message is clear and Mart’s questions answered. Take care of others while here and keep our eyes upon that far distant “country”.

    Believe God.


  20. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh unless you have never made homemade taffy you wouldn’t know that in order to finish the product the candy has to be “pulled”.

    While still pretty hot you take the candy in your hands and stretch it and pull it over and over again until the texture is just right to lay out on the wax paper to cool and harden.

    It is how I think most of us feel while we stumble and stutter around trying our best to be Christian.


  21. poohpity says:

    Sometimes hopelessness comes from wanting things we do not have and feeling we have every right to have them while totally missing what we do have and being grateful for it. Sometimes it comes from being trapped and feeling we are unable to spread our wings when the only thing stopping that is most often ourselves and never attempting to step out into something new because of fear.

  22. poohpity says:

    Steve, I do think I have to try to be Christian, I know I am because of my belief in Jesus and what He did. I stumble a lot and often fall but I get back up again lately the getting back up is harder but eventually I do and God brushes me off and says just take it an inch by inch it will be a cinch. He does not beat me up for falling but with a gentle nudge says I am here to help you and it will be alright. I know His patience but it has come from experiencing it over and over even when I am not faithful I “know” not feel but “know” He is. I learned that not only by my experience but by watching others experience it too now but from history as well.

  23. poohpity says:

    oops I meant to say I do “not” think I have to try to be Christian

  24. jeff1 says:

    I agree Pooh, that believing makes me a Christian and should I do nothing else that is what makes me right with God, faith, but it is love that triumphs over hope and faith.

    I have seen hatred in action because I had wrong beliefs about God and many Christians today still have wrong beliefs about God.

    The apple does not fall far from the tree; but God will establish Christ’s church on this earth, whether in my time or not, it will be done.

    Until that happens there will be division and difficulties in the churches on earth which are so divided but it is all part of God’s plan.

    I do not have to see this to believe it because it is God’s promise and God delivers on His promises.

    Man just keeps repeating the same mistakes because religions divide and create false teaching.

    Change here is temporary, because we are all part; and as such; only see and do in part.

    I have learned to accept the things I cannot change and content myself taking a day at a time as each day brings its own challenges.

    The world is complex and I can get in over my head and create my own demons. I have learned from experience that God knows best.

  25. poohpity says:

    I will never think for a minute that it was God’s plan for division in His body, the church. That happens when human beings think they know better than God by inserting unreasonable demands, rules, religious moral regulations and traditions that demand performance rather than in resting in what Jesus has done for us. So yes it is religions because they were created by man for man and are either supporting superiority or inferiority not a relationship with God. Many even let people believe that we need someone other than Jesus to go through to talk to God. The bible says “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 NLT

  26. jeff1 says:

    I believe God will use the religions of the world for his purpose whether or not they are wrong in their teaching because not all believers know their bible and unless you are telling me that it is only people who know their bible know God then religions have to be part of God’s plan or He probably will make it part.

    I know many very faithful men and women who have been faithful to God through their religion and I would not judge them on false teaching by their churches.

    It is for God to judge and not us on religious practices and teachings by churches.

    As for Christ’s church on earth, God will not allow division because we will be changed to be like Him otherwise as you say as humans we would never agree.

    It is all God’s miraculous work and God is very capable of changing His followers whether they come to Him through religion or not.

    Those who know God best will be greater in the Kingdom of Heaven but God will also make a way for the lessor in the Kingdom I believe.

  27. poohpity says:

    Oh that was not what I was saying at all. Did I say anything about the bible being a measuring stick as to anyone’s relationship with Christ? No I did not nor would I. Jesus came not to judge or condemn but to save that is the unifying rock the church is built on. Good grief I get so tired of this putting words in my mouth or attributing one’s own thinking process or thoughts to the way I think or how I am. It just isn’t right.

  28. jeff1 says:

    You are saying that if they knew their bible they would not be led astray by religions and I am saying you are not being realistic about the fact that there are Christians who listen to their clergy rather than interpretate their bible and it is by choice because they have listened to others with so many different interpretations and decide they do not want to go there.

    I am not arguing who is right or who is wrong only that people choose not to for very good reasons.

    I have heard too many bible scholars in heated discussions about what God said or didn’t say and it does not encourage me to read my bible and there are many like me who prefer to listen to preachers that we trust.

    I was simply saying that Jesus will break down these barriers when He establishes His church on earth and no I was not saying you where using the bible as a measuring stick for a relationship with Christ but that you are saying that lack of knowledge of the bible leaves us open to wrong beliefs about Christian living.

    While I do not disagree with you on this fact I believe that God does not expect us to be all knowing but rather all willing.

  29. poohpity says:

    When did I say that? People can and will use the bible to promote their own agendas and twist what it says to fit their own vain imaginations. I would say if people knew God and listen to the Holy Spirit they would not be led astray. Comparing what people say to what the bible says is a good way to identify false teaching because many will take advantage of people’s lack of knowing for their own edification or self promotion.

    It is not about being right or wrong it is about taking time to get to know God just like everyone does in any relationship. The bible is just a tool that can be used for that purpose. God will use whatever means for those who truly want to know Him.

  30. jeff1 says:

    I am sorry if I misunderstood what you meant but I personally believe that the only way to know God is having a personal relationship with Jesus because I have listened to false teachers and have been lead astray.

    I also agree that it is not about being right or wrong but sadly I live in a country where other Christians do not.

    It is not unusual to hear Catholics say that Protestants are destined for hell and vice versa.

    God does use whatever means because I know when He speaks to me through music, poetry, sermons, books, people.

    I truly believe that it is God who finds a way to make the connections because God found me when I was wandering and not seeking Him.

    It is God who is truly faithful to us and I am just responding to His love.

    I also believe that it is myself that allows distractions in my life that takes my focus off Him and I have no one to blame but myself for that.

    The most amazing thing is that He never rejects me and it makes me sad that I do sometimes neglect Him.

    Somebody cares and always will,
    The world forgets but God loves you still,
    You cannot go beyond His Love
    No matter what your guilty of –
    For God forgives until the end,
    He is your faithful, loyal friend,
    And though you try to hide your face
    There is no shelter any place
    That can escape His watchful eye,
    For on the earth and in the sky
    He’s ever present and always there
    To take you in His tender care
    And bind the wounds and mend the breaks
    When all the world around forsakes ….
    Somebody cares and loves you still
    And God is the Someone who always will.

  31. poohpity says:

    I have never doubted that you hear from God, Viv. I hear it in your testimony and that it has come from songs, poetry, sermons, etc. but they have gotten their information from the bible. That is all I have ever said. I know how you feel about the bible. I accept that and know God sees your heart and will talk to you by whatever means. I pray that your love for Him will continue to grow even though sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back but that is really common among most Christians, I know it is for me. None of us are perfect in our relationship with God that is why He sent Jesus and we can be so very thankful for that.

  32. poohpity says:

    I know God is close to the brokenhearted, crushed in spirit and those who admit to their need. I also know that for those who think they can do everything on their own and do not want help from anyone God will give them what they want and back away but I do think He is ready to answer the call when they decide they need Him.

  33. street says:

    lets talk about hope. the best story for hope, this side, other than the resurrection, i think happen in the Old Testament. 2Kings4:8-36 i am thinking like the woman in the story,“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!” in my mind, please Lord no false hope. the Lord did not give her false hope. the story paints a powerful picture of faith and hope. she was not disappointed. i guess disappointment and hope go together.
    Romans 8:24
    For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

  34. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Thanks for steering this contraption, Street! Hope is one of the major themes of Jesus-followers everywhere, whatever the interpretation of God’s Word!
    Faith – Hope – Love :o)

    The Apostle Paul offers the example of Father Abraham, who lived by faith, then offers us words to live by:

    “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

    “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

    “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.

    “And endurance develops strength of character,

    “and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

    “And this hope will not lead to disappointment.

    “For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

    People and circumstances, it seems to me, bring discouragement — and also can lead us astray, as can our own benighted imaginings.

    Hope does not disappoint. Hope keeps me going.

    Peaceful rest this night,

    PS My quote is from (Romans 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5 NLT)

  35. remarutho says:

    While I quoted the NLT, the logos system put up the default ESV. Maru

  36. jeff1 says:

    Hope is what I have for those who are still blinded to the truth of the gospel because I was blind myself once and is still capable of wandering from His righteous path.

    As you say, Pooh, none of us does it perfectly but those of us who are growing understand the difficulties of the weaker among us and have a responsibility to be patient and endure for the sake of the truth of the gospel because without God’s truth then men are doomed to reliving history and continuously repeat the mistakes of the past which in the end keeps us all captive in one way or another.

    I don’t hope ‘Christ’ has saved me I ‘believe’ Christ has saved me. My hope is that I get to be a better runner as I often grow weary of running this race.

    Christ is my refuge, I take solace in Him, He is the one I am running this race for and when I focus on Him I renew my strength.

    ‘If only’, Christians focused on ‘Christ’ rather than religion then this world would be ‘heaven’ right here on earth.

  37. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Recently, a dear prayer partner sent me this prayer of affirmation. The friend suggested that I pray this every day aloud, as a sign of hope — Christ in me — the hope of glory:

    “I am deeply loved, divinely appointed, abundantly equipped, and profoundly cherished by God.

    No enemy plan, scheme or obstacle can keep me from
    God’s highest and best will for me.

    As I follow the voice of my Savior, I see the invisible, accomplish the impossible and love the unlovable.

    I am a living, breathing miracle because Jesus Christ
    lives in me! Amen.”

    Joy all day!

    14C here with light showers

  38. remarutho says:

    Dear Vivien —

    Each affirmation in the little prayer above is firmly based upon Biblical teaching. That fact makes the prayer alive, true and powerful for living in divine hope.

    Yours in Christ,

  39. SFDBWV says:

    Though the title of this subject is “Hope” the content of it is from a hurting heart who “hopes” for another and seeks conformation that God hears, cares, and answers our heartfelt prayers for another.

    I will give a small glimpse of Matthew’s (my son) early days after coming home and still awakening from a coma as still “connected” to that supernatural realm that people near death or comatose experience.

    Matt used to think that if he got up at 12am and sat on his portable toilet, that at 12am he would have a bowel movement and then I would return and everything would be back to normal. So for weeks we went through this ritual time and time again. Always followed with deep disappointment.

    Yet each and every time as he would set there (sometimes for over an hour) I would go into another room an lay prostrate on the floor and pray for his healing.

    On one such occasion after I re-entered the room he was in He quoted to me word for word my prayers to God and ask why I had ask for healing as he was already healed.

    Of course I was flabbergasted and remain so to this day, even though he is not healed nor restored to his former physical or mental state.

    Yet he “heard” my prayers for him I had only whispered to God in another room of the house.

    On more than several occasions Matt told me he could hear other people praying for him, while we sat alone here in our home.

    There are many people in the world, but only one Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit hears everyone’s prayers and will speak to us in many voices.

    Matt does not remember these things today and would deny they ever happened, but they did and many other things as well.

    I guess my point is that praying for others is essential to being Christ Like and being Christian. The most difficult thing for all of us is to give it to God and leave it there on the altar trusting it to Him no matter what we see. Putting our “Hope” in Jesus and trusting it to God.

    49 degrees this morning and 75 as I write.


  40. poohpity says:

    Steve, I am praising God with you for all the healing that has happened in Matt’s life since those first days. He can do so much more and continues to improve. Hallelujah!

  41. street says:

    But in the end, or as we often say, “at the end of the day” what will our God do with our unanswered prayers of love for others?

    i think of job again and the bet satan had with God over job’ trust in God. the bet was over job speaking correctly about God. job’s trust in God was not based on the blessing that came his way earlier in his life, before adversity. it was a disinterested trust not connected to the world, in other words he trusted God because of who He is not for things, a God that he had only heard about. later in the tempest job came to know God personally. thinking of jacob’s struggle that left him limping. i don’t think jacob will limp in the future. what will God do with unanswered prayer….maybe find our all in all in Him.

  42. joycemb says:

    Psalm 42-43 were very helpful and meaningful to me back in the 80’s when I was told I needed intensive therapy to help me remember all the abuse I’d suffered in my childhood so I could be healed. I memorized v. 5:
    Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
    Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

    There is everything I needed in this scripture to get me through, and I clung to it with everything I had. My little faith was rewarded with a deeper appreciation for and trust in my savior Jesus Christ.

    And now abide faith, HOPE, and love…I Cor 13:13

  43. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for the prayer remarutho, I have copied it and will say it also to remind me I am His.

    Safe in His keeping.

    This lady, I knew, who knew I was very concerned for my wayward son offered to pray for him.

    Her prayers where answered and soon after she had prayed for him he found his way back from addiction.

    This lady I had complete faith in because I knew she prayed with such conviction that her prayer would be answered while I seem to pray half expecting it not to be.

    I am so blessed to have had this lady who passed away about 18 months ago and I miss her very much.

    At 95 years old she was a real character who had been through so much in her life yet her faith still was the most important part of her life.

    She gave me hope by her generosity of prayer for my son and that hope turned into a blessing, may she rest in peace until we meet again.

    There are people who touch your life in small ways but she touched mine because she renewed my faith in God by her generous and sincere prayers to God for someone she never had even met.

  44. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for the prayer remarutho, I have copied it and will say it also to remind me I am His.

    Safe in His keeping.

    This lady, I knew, who knew I was very concerned for my wayward son offered to pray for him.

    Her prayers where answered and soon after she had prayed for him he found his way back from addiction.

    This lady I had complete faith in because I knew she prayed with such conviction that her prayer would be answered while I seem to pray half expecting it not to be.

    I am so blessed to have had this lady who passed away about 18 months ago and I miss her very much.

    At 95 years old she was a real character who had been through so much in her life yet her faith still was the most important part of her life.

    There are people who touch your life in small ways but she touched mine because she renewed my faith in God by her generous and sincere prayers to God for someone she never had even met.

  45. joycemb says:

    Yes Mart the scriptures give us hope for anyone, no matter how lost, disagreeable or contentious even. I woke up thinking of the song “They will know we are Christians by our love”. What a challenge that is some days even and especially on the Internet! Yet ultimately it’s God who is to be glorified, not ourselves and whatever we think we may know.

    Blessings to all today, with love,

  46. SFDBWV says:

    During the first years of taking care of our cemetery I received a phone call from a mental hospital not far from here about a woman who was in her mid-90’s and had been a patient at this hospital since she was a very young woman. She had died and they understood that she had a baby buried somewhere in the Bayard Cemetery and wanted to have her wish to be buried aside her baby carried out.

    With no more information than that and a last name I began looking into the books and records to see what I could find. I was having some clues, but no real concrete evidence as to where the baby was buried I went to the cemetery to see if I could stumble upon something to help me help this woman.

    While there another woman whom I knew very well was also in the cemetery planting flowers and caring for some of her family’s graves. She was also in her mid-90’s as well and so I recanted the situation to her.

    Her eyes lit up and then saddened as she said “Oh yes I remember her”. Her baby had died at birth and her husband abandoned her. She had a nervous breakdown and was taken to a mental hospital at the time.

    My friend then took me over to a small wooden head board with only the initials A.S. and said there is where her baby is buried.

    With this information we were able to bury mother with her baby some 70 + years later.

    I have lived long enough to know that in this world there are countless sad stories, many known and too many unknown. That everyone has a sad story and no one escapes the pain of living in a broken world.

    Life would have no meaning and living no purpose without the Hope that Jesus brings to it. It would be a very dark place without Christ to give light and every day I give thanks to Him for all of His miracles in my life.


  47. joycemb says:

    Steve that’s a beautiful story yet sad. But with God our hope the woman is now with the Lord and her child.

  48. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Thanks for the dear story, Steve. And thanks to all who share out of the treasure of memory with us here.

    I visit many in nursing homes, hospitals and private residences. Reflecting on the reference to the hope our Savior brings to life, please note that the definition of “assisted living” is that the person (you or I) must be able to “rise unassisted and to take nourishment on their own.” If not, that person has entered acute care or custodial care.

    We rise each morning by the promises of Jesus — that there will be some good in the day ahead, and that He can use us to encourage those around us to continue in life. We lie back down at night with a prayer of thanksgiving that we have received another day of grace in which we have served Him a little or a lot.

    We consume nourishment to keep this body and soul together. We eat to live another day, so that we may praise and worship God in Christ by the leading of the Holy Spirit. We could not accomplish even these basic essentials of living if we were not given such a magnificent hope in Jesus, it seems to me.

    You are my strength when I am weak
    You are the treasure that I seek
    You are my all in all

    Seeking You as a precious jewel
    Lord, to give up I’d be a fool
    You are my all in all

    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name
    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name

    Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
    Rising again I bless Your name
    You are my all in all

    When I fall down You pick me up
    When I am dry You fill my cup
    You are my all in all

    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name
    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name

    You’re my everything
    The beginning and the end
    The first, the last You are
    The great I AM

    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name
    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name


    12C this morning, cloudy with rain — high of 18C predicted.

  49. jeff1 says:

    This story I found really amazing and came from the 95 year old I mentioned earlier.

    She had one daughter and one time her and her daughter where waiting at either the airport or for a ferry, I just can’t remember which.

    She said the next thing she new her daughter who was only five or six at the time ran off towards a nun who was standing close by.

    Alarmed that the child had run off, she followed, and asked the nun what her daughter had said to her.

    The nun replied your daughter has just answered my prayer for I needed sixpence and prayed to God and your daughter just handed me sixpence.

    I think it is stories like these that refresh us to the mystery there is to the working of God and also renews our hope and faith because it warms our heart to realize that God may sometimes seem invisible to us but He is still at work just the same.

  50. joycemb says:

    Maru I love that song! Viv thanks for sharing that story of how God answers prayer. What a hope we have!:-)

  51. street says:

    the thing i find interesting, about steve and jeff’s stories of the past, is that God is so involved with the most minor details of life that it begs for praise and thanksgiving on our part. it seems it is the norm.

    also thinking of some the details of Christ burial, and there importance in the resurrection. His crucifixion became a futile action of man and salvation for the children of God in the face of God.

  52. street says:

    maru, love that song. thanks.

  53. street says:

    Would God ask us to love others as we love ourselves, and even more— only to break our hearts in the end?

    thinking about the self centered me and how i fail myself in every imaginable way possible and then needing to love others!!!!!! you got to be kidding. really need an auto pilot!!! or a really forgiving plane. did i hear there is a Savior available??? did i hear right? now that looks like Hope to me.

  54. foreverblessed says:

    You are so right Street! Only in Grace we can live. The Grace of Christ Living through us. If I yield.
    But many times a day I forget, and live by the rules, and then irritation follows for those who do not follow the rules. Outch, wrong path!

    God’s love is unending, for me, but also for my neighbour who is irritating me with his music ( he is doing better lately), and for my worst enemies too, if I would have them, that is!

  55. foreverblessed says:

    This week we were on a boat trip, lovely wheather, sitting on top deck, watching nature.
    But then, we had in our sight a Family, father mother and in between a young adult. The mother was lovingly conversing with her child, you could see that. The daughter, though I thought, was very busy with her hair, with her make up, with her clothes. We saw their backs. Suddenly I saw that she had no breasts! Then I had a better look, it was not a girl, but a boy!

    Then my thoughts stayed with that family! How would that have evolved, their little boy, behaving differently?
    And how dearly loving the mother was. (The father was ok too.)
    I wondered, if they would have been christians would they have done the same? Or would it have been war? Fighting against the femininity of their boy?
    That thoughtis still with me.
    How does God look at the boy?

  56. remarutho says:

    Good morning all —

    The Apostle Paul has said “hope does not disappoint us,” and I have found that to be workable in my own life. Disappointment comes along in the form of shattered dreams, perhaps especially our dreams for our own children and grandchildren, parents, siblings or spouses.

    Paul also calls love “a still more excellent way” — more excellent than all the gifts that are poured out upon the church by the Holy Spirit.

    Society is bending toward redefining obedience, the authority of the judiciary, and even redefining human physiology. Can Jesus followers answer the world’s call to accept all lifestyles because they are lawful and sanctioned by the highest civil courts?

    Can civil mandate redefine holiness?

    As for me, I look to Scripture to change my heart to hold fast to Jesus during these massive shifts in the world. The Apostle Peter offers me hope:

    “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

    “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

    “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

    “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies;

    “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

    Joy all day,

    12C and cloudy here. Rain forecast. Praying for Florida as Hermine passes through.

  57. poohpity says:

    Jesus seems to be more involved with what is inside the cup rather than the outside. Who am I to be so concerned with the lifestyles of others when I myself have much work to be done in my own. My hope is that Jesus said that His work in me is not complete until that day I meet Him face to face so how can I expect the work in others also to not still be a work in progress of process? I am an unfinished art project with a sign posted, “CAUTION, construction zone, God at Work”. I hope He never gives up on me!!

  58. poohpity says:

    forever, if you have time I think you may find today’s Discover The Word dot org called “Rest Well” interesting.

  59. joycemb says:

    Forever what a beautiful response you had to an abnormal situation. There are cultures within cultures that vary so much, even shocking sometimes, yet you were able to apply Gods love to this family. My dear sister it is refreshing to hear you tell of living out your faith through the eyes of love. Blessings, Joyce

  60. joycemb says:

    I don’t mean that you DO NOT live through the eyes of love but on this blog you are a bright light and I so appreciate you!

  61. street says:

    it seems to me that we are to help widows and orphans in distress not when things are going good for them. married people and children, with fathers and mothers, can be orphans and widows. they will become distressed when confronted with personal failure, moral failure, and a run into pure evil. when they come into distress will they find the same grace and mercy we found when we were there? if i might remind you of the question who is my neighbor? then ask who are widows and orphans? could it be those who do not know the betrothed Husband and The Father?

  62. joycemb says:

    Excellent point street.

  63. poohpity says:

    I think to understand the meaning of what James was writing(pure religion that is undefiled…) one has to read it within the context of what all was being said. To whom he was writing it to and what was going on when he wrote it, then it becomes more clear especially if one asks the Holy Spirit for enlightenment.

  64. joycemb says:

    Remembering how Jesus berated those who gave their money to the temple rather than taking care of their elderly parents. I think it is a universal responsibility to care for any who need help. But as the verse says, if you want to appear religious do the manual, ordinary -get your hands dirty- work of caring for those unable to care for themselves. Children and often widows are dependent on adults for food, safety, shelter, and knowing someone cares about them.

  65. joycemb says:

    Mother Teresa didn’t care whether people knew Jesus or the Father, she just took care of them and still does through her many missions to the poor, sick and dying.

    This begs the question what is a missionary?

  66. joycemb says:

    Pooh there are many theologians that disagree on Bible interp. But everyone, you included as also myself bring our own bias to scripture. This is why there are differences among us. And have been for over a thousand years. Advice given for Evangelical interpretation is to let scripture interpret scripture. That in itself is a daunting task and cause for differences. The work of the Holy Spirit is to comfort, convict and guide; yet used the written word (God breathed) to teach us along the way.

    This is my training anyway.

  67. joycemb says:

    “uses” not “used”

  68. poohpity says:

    Joyce who said anything about interpretation most often it says what it says no interpretation needed. It was not written by theologians but by people like us sharing their relational experiences with God. When one shares in those experiences it is plain to see even when one has not shared in some of those experiences they still trust the people who have had them. I can see we agree that the Holy Spirit teaches isn’t that what I said earlier? I understand your need to always find fault with me so trust me you will not be disappointed because I do have many but I think God does a better job. He makes me aware of my faults by His truth but shows me vast amounts of grace rather than trying to slam me for pleasure to feel better about Him self.

    Maybe more training is needed since we never stop learning. All our lives we will be students learning from the Master. It is all in James letter; who he was writing to and the point he was trying to get across. All right there in black and white the only need is to read it. But I was talking with street about what he wrote and pointed him to scripture not my bias or opinions.

  69. poohpity says:

    James was talking to Jewish Christians and he was pointing out that they were only Christians in name and showed no faith in action.

  70. joycemb says:

    I wasn’t finding fault just thinking about what you said. The blog is about thinking so disagreeing with another’s position doesn’t mean fault-finding but if you feel that way I’m sorry. Sorry you feel that way. Please don’t get upset when I disagree with you. But feel free to ignore me when you don’t like what I say. Being agreeable all the time isn’t possible amongst thinkers. Don’t take it personally.

  71. joycemb says:

    PS. I think it’s cool that you give Bibles away from your car :-)

  72. street says:

    could pure religion be “love” because love is from God? it doesn’t come from man in his fallen state. a man that is born again has to learn to love against his own flesh. i did notice student master relationship mentioned earlier….to some extent true, yet the highest calling of man is son-ship. conformed to His Image. i noticed 1Cor.13 today and as i read it i though about what Jesus did on the cross for us. each attribute in 1Cor.13 played out on the cross.

    still struggling with the idea of loving self and self centered. anyone have anything on this? just doesn’t work for me.

  73. street says:

    poo said,” It was not written by theologians but by people like us sharing their relational experiences with God.”

    i have to think it was written by God. it claims this in it’s pages and a lot more. it is a really bad idea to approach it with bias or any other way. i do respect the idea that others are trying to understand God for the purpose of pleasing Him. for nothing….job. just thinking again.

  74. joycemb says:

    Street I think we are all self-centered as far as there are certain needs we have to have to survive, food-shelter-safety. In that primal sense we love ourselves by seeking out ways for these needs to be met. I would add spirituality as a need that is just as important as the others. We know about bad spirits and the Holy Spirit of God. We are in a spiritual battle according to scripture so the need is primary also. I can love a good peach pie and that’s ok. But am I willing to give my pie to someone else? To share what I love with others? Whether pie, money, time, houses or whatever I love given away is loving others as ourselves. I’m probably just touching on the concept. The early church sold and shared things with each other, out of love, a mutual love for one another. Ananias and Sophira betrayed the HSpirit and the early church by defrauding it, that was not love and their remorse for going against God caused their death. Love is powerful and life! Life for ourselves and others.

  75. poohpity says:

    Joyce I have no problems whatsoever about disagreeing. I pointed street to read James about the questions he asked. Finding fault however is a whole different thing. This is disagreeing; It seems that Anania and Saphira showed NO remorse according to scripture that is what caused their death if they had maybe they would have lived. Acts 5:1-11

    street, I believe God inspired His Word yet He used people to write down their experiences with Him that is why they are called Testaments in other words testimonies.

  76. poohpity says:

    Loving ourselves is what Jesus said in relation to how we treat others(Mark 12:31) and how He loved us(John 13:34) however it seems to have nothing to do with being self centered.

  77. poohpity says:

    If you were hungry, naked, homeless, etc. how would you want someone to treat you or would you deny yourself food, clothes or shelter. You love yourself by providing those things.

  78. joycemb says:

    It doesn’t say they were remorseful but God did kill them to serve as an example to the early church that He abhors sin. So God used them as He did Judas to construct His Church on earth. There has been much speculation about what would have happened if they had repented, yet we see the outcome. Death for death. Yet life for life!

  79. street says:

    17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21 for in your eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.

  80. joycemb says:

    What does fault finding look like to you, pooh?

  81. poohpity says:

    What I think is not that important. What does fault finding look like to you?

  82. joycemb says:

    You brought it up that’s why I asked. Have a great weekend Pooh!

  83. joycemb says:

    (Referencing 9:44pm)

  84. street says:

    thinking again…..what i think, what i say, what i do, and what i don’t do are extremely important in every respect. they testify to what i believe is right, proper, and good, unless i am deceived or just plain evil. i do know there is nothing good in me. Romans 7:18 made free in Christ from the law. law of sin and death. this is the hope of the Christian heart.

  85. street says:

    6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? 7 Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. 11 If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. 12 So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.

  86. poohpity says:

    Re: the death of A+S; I guess I did not read that it was God who killed them either. I can see some who get caught in the lie of a life time might have a heart attack when found out and drop dead. That may be a possibility.

    Pertaining to hope in the Lord they sure did not show any because they did not have to give even a nickel to the cause and did not have to say anything. I can imagine my wide eyed child saying “I did not do that” for eating the cake before dinner with chocolate all over their mouth.

  87. jeff1 says:

    In this world we will have troubles but let not your heart be troubled because ‘Christ’ is the fulfilment of the Gospel.

    Street, says what I think, what I say, what I do and what I don’t do are extremely important in every respect.

    Yet how often do I fail?, when it comes to me being a Christian; tomorrow never comes!

    Christ died for the sins of the world and I as a follower know in my heart that it is His grace that I am saved by, and my hope is that one day all will know the truth that His love and mercy is not exclusive but inclusive.

    Apple blossoms bursting wide
    now beautify the tree
    And make a Springtime picture
    that is beautiful to see…
    Oh, fragrant lovely blossoms,
    you’ll make a bright bouquet
    If I but break your branches
    from the apple tree today…
    But if I break your branches
    and make your beauty mine,
    You’ll bear no fruit in season
    when severed from the vine…
    And when we cut ourselves away
    from guidance that’s divine,
    Our lives will be as fruitless
    as the branch without the vine…
    For as the flowering branches
    depend upon the tree
    To nourish and fulfil them
    till they reach futurity,
    We too must be dependent
    on our Father up above,
    For we are but the branches
    and He’s the Tree of Love.

  88. street says:

    thinking of hope
    James1:14 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

    thinking of lust aka coveting, our compass is broken and spinning out of control or the least, unreliable.

    thinking further, if you can be pregnant with sin, you should be able to be pregnant with the Word of God. the Father, refer to as a gardener, will come by and do what gardeners do to increase yield. hope.

  89. joycemb says:

    Thinking of hope, I’ll never no never give up on the Fathers love for me. Oh what Joy to be the beloved of God!

  90. joycemb says:

    Hope does not disappoint.

  91. jeff1 says:

    I’ve been walkin’ through the valley, thru this vale of tears;
    At times I’ve even questioned even if my Lord was near.
    Many times that ol’ tempter says, “Why not turn around?
    You can’t get any farther, you’re just losin’ ground.”

    But, I’m not given’ up, no, I’m not turnin’ round,
    By the grace of God, I’ll win a shinin’ crown some day.
    Well I’ll keep holdin’ on to that nail scared hand;
    I’m not given up, No, I’ll keep going on.

    Would you mind to tell me, there’s been something bothering me?
    Why is it that old devil just won’t let God’s children be?
    You see he has purposed and determined to get right in the way;
    And turn us from the way of life and lead our souls astray.

    But, I’m not given’ up, no, I’m not turnin’ round,
    By the grace of God, I’ll win a shinin’ crown someday.
    Well I’ll keep holdin’ on to that nail scarred hand;
    I’m not giving up, No, I’ll keep goin’ on.

  92. street says:

    dear jeff, thinking of your question reminds me of my own struggle. i don’t think the devil is the one i deal with on a daily bases, thinking there are bigger fish to try and get. mostly i think is our own flesh and broken spirit of man we are dealing with. also remember we are spinning on a potters wheel in the hands of One who loves us. one thing i remind you is that we are made of dirt, but we have nerve endings in the clay. i have to believe God is doing better than anyone could possible do to make me like Jesus. even though i am affected by everything around me. as you throw this question across my bow, the Scripture that comes to mind, before they were born, God said the older shall server the younger. Genesis 25:23

  93. street says:

    another verse omes to mind, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”

  94. street says:

    “comes” not omes

  95. jeff1 says:

    This is a hymn that gives me great encouragement as the words remind me that He is always with me.

    I think in my brokenness I find it difficult to know why God would still love me because I have not managed to love others as I should.

    My heart tells me one thing but my head tells me another and upsets the joy I should have in Christ.

    I am not sure that I will have that joy this side of heaven as what goes on around me often drags me down and it is knowing God loves me is what helps me get back up again but it is a cycle of depression and exaltation. My mother and brother where also affected so it has been inherited.

    This hymn appeals to me because of the simplicity of the words.

    One more step along the world I go,
    one more step along the world I go,
    from the old things to the new
    keep me travelling along with you;
    And its from the old I travel to the new;
    keep me travelling along with you.

    Round the corner of the world I turn,
    more and more about the world I learn;
    all the new things that I see
    you’ll be looking at along with me:

    As I travel through the bad and good,
    keep me travelling the way I should;
    where I see no way to go
    you’ll be telling me the way, I know:

    Give me courage when the world is rough,
    keep me loving though the world is tough;
    leap and sing in all I do,
    keep me travelling along with you:

    You are older than the world can be,
    you are younger than the life in me;
    ever old and ever new,
    keep me travelling along with you:Refrain

  96. poohpity says:

    The devil is a very real adversary or there would not have been instruction given in God’s word about the constant battle we face daily. There is no one to small or to large that he does not come against to take our focus away from trusting and depending on God. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12) So never let your guard down and think it will not happen to you because it does just like cooking a frog.

    You can not put a frog in boiling water because it will jump out but if you put it in cold water and turn up the heat slowly it never notices as it is being cooked. Jesus Himself faced the devil and so will we that is why we are given spiritual armor. (Eph 6:10-18 NLT) To turn just one person away from God is his mission.

  97. street says:

    good point poo.

    jeff the verse,”4 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. ”

    even now we long to be mature like when we were little and everything else seem to be. even paul longed. some how i don’t think we will be disappointed.

  98. joycemb says:

    “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
    by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
    1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When every earthly prop gives way,
    He then is all my Hope and Stay.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found,
    Clothed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne!
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    Hymn #370
    The Lutheran Hymnal
    Text: 1 Timothy 1:1
    Author: Edward Mote, c. 1834, cento
    Composer: John Stainer, 1873, arr.
    Tune: “Magdalen”

  99. jeff1 says:

    I agree with you Street, it has been my experience to see the broken spirit of men and to struggle with my own broken spirit.

    It is that I struggle with personally because I know that God has overcome the devil so it is me focusing on Christ is the struggle and not letting what is around me affect me.

    The demons are in my head but Christ talks to my heart and it is there I find the peace and strength to face another day.

    I have seen war and hate up close and personal and there is brokenness in this world that can only be put right by divine intervention.

    My struggle is just as much within as without.

    God does put people in our path who inspire us along the way. I met the lady the other day; who in the past always seemed so burdened by the death of her husband and son in a bomb; and it did by heart good; for she was smiling and mentioned her husband again and I can see an amazing change in her because she speaks now naturally about him and the strain on her face is no longer evident.

    It is 18 years since that bomb so healing can be slow and while she is getting there I know too many who have turned to alcohol and other addictions; broken spirit of men as you say Street and not all get healed in this life for I have known many personally.

    I am thankful that I have found comfort in my faith in God for many do not. Many drink themselves to death to be free from the hellishness of what their lives have become.

    It is in death that they at last find peace and a loving Saviour who has always loved them to wash away their tears.

    I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
    A little silver and a little gold
    But in that city where the ransomed will shine
    I want a gold one that’s silver lined

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we will never grow old
    And some day yonder we will never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold

    Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely
    I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound
    I’m but a pilgrim in search of the city
    I want a mansion, a harp and a crown

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
    And some day yonder we will never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold.

  100. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    11C where I am this morning. Forecast to be 22C and clear today.

    Mart, you ask:

    “Do the Scriptures give us no certainty for the longings of our heart when it comes to the ultimate well-being of anyone other than ourselves? If not, does a careful reading of them give us hope… or no hope—in God?”

    There are two separate questions presented together. The way your questions are stacked, Mart, we might ask ourselves whether the unfaithfulness of our loved ones should destroy our own faith — our own hope in God.

    Some here have quoted Romans 9 to continue the conversation in light of the Apostle Paul’s deep compassion for his Hebrew brothers who do not accept Jesus Messiah. When Paul asks himself about that heartbreak, he offers words that may or may not comfort:

    “What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.”

    “So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” (Romans 9:14-18)

    There is a strong movement away from trust in God’s sovereignty and authority in our time. Each one makes his/her own judgment in this, it seems to me. Reminds me of Judges 21:25.


  101. jeff1 says:

    I believe there is a strong movement away from trust in authorities here on earth because they do not concern themselves with God’s sovereignty.

    Each one is making his/her own judgement rather than trust in those in authority because of lack of leadership from those in authority.

    Just my thinking.

  102. street says:

    “Do the Scriptures give us no certainty for the longings of our heart when it comes to the ultimate well-being of anyone other than ourselves?

    God’s love and mercy changed us is it possible it could change others like Christ’s did? i think of noah daniel and job and about the end-times. wonder if the longing drives us to trust in the One Who can change a leopards spots.

    thinking about jeff and the mind in regard to the Word, to renew it. the old Words of God are still good today, they are timeless and a treasure worth holding on to.

  103. street says:

    “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

    “I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.

  104. street says:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  105. street says:

    yes it is difficult ground to cover. Jesus walked it with out fail in human flesh and we know how that turned out. thinking about all the pain and suffering we have inflicted on each other, the people of God’s love.
    there is much hope in the cross and a risen Savior.

  106. street says:

    2 Corinthians 4:7-18

  107. street says:

    the Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.

  108. street says:

    19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

    20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

  109. jeff1 says:

    Stand up, stand up, for Jesus,
    Ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high His royal banner,
    It must not suffer loss:
    From victory unto victory,
    His army shall He lead,
    Till every foe is vanquished,
    And Christ is Lord indeed.

    Stand up, stand up, for Jesus,
    The trumpet call obey;
    Fourth to the mighty conflict,
    In this His glorious day:
    Ye who are men, now serve Him,
    Against unnumbered foes;
    Let courage rise with danger,
    And strength to strength oppose.

    Stand up, stand up, for Jesus,
    Stand in His strength alone;
    The arm of flesh will fail you,
    Ye dare not trust your own:
    Put on the gospel armour
    Each piece put on with prayer;
    Where duty calls, or danger,
    Be never wanting there.

    Stand up, stand up, for Jesus,
    The strife will not belong;
    This day the noise of battle,
    The next, the victor’s song:
    To Him who over-cometh,
    A crown of life shall be;
    He with the King of glory,
    Shall reign eternally…

  110. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well in your lives… Read Mart’s intro comment earlier today, and I want to share my thoughts on his first paragraph (agree wholeheartedly with his 2nd paragraph)… Mart said…

    “Would God ask us to love others as we love ourselves, and even more— only to break our hearts in the end?”

    Was thinking about how were actually commanded to love others as we love ourselves, though, I’m sure most would agree, it’s very challenging to love some people the way we love ourselves because they don’t reciprocate the love. Have found that I can’t do it without the help of the Holy Spirit. So, God helps us to love people that He knows are not going to love us back. That’s reminiscent of what Jesus endured when He was on the earth (in bodily form)… He SO *loved*… but received hatred (by some) in return. My thoughts for now…

    89 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  111. jeff1 says:

    “He Was One Of Us”

    He was born as little children are
    and lived as children do,
    So remember that the Saviour
    was once a child like you,
    And remember that He lived on earth
    in the midst of sinful men,
    And the problems of the present
    existed even then;
    He was ridiculed and laughed at
    in the same heart-breaking way
    That we who fight for justice
    are ridiculed today;
    He was tempted…He was hungry…
    He was lonely…He was sad…
    There’s no sorrowful experience
    that the Saviour has not had;
    And in the end He was betrayed
    and even crucified,
    For He was truly “One Of Us”-
    He lived on earth and died;
    So do not heed the sceptics
    who are often heard to say:
    “What does God Up In Heaven
    Know Of Things We Face Today”…
    For, our Father up in heaven
    is very much aware
    Of our failures and shortcomings
    and the burdens that we bear;
    So whenever you are troubled
    put your problems in God’s Hand
    For He has faced all problems
    and He Will Understand.

  112. SFDBWV says:

    Many years ago I taught a youth group at our local church. As a group we began reading the Bible together and each week discuss what we had read starting in Genesis and reading forward.

    Almost right away the lady whom had ask me to let her help began complaining as she thought we should only be concentrating on the NT.

    During that time, but not amongst the group I had encountered a young boy who was doing his homework as he was waiting for his school bus. In conversation with Him as he shown me one of his math problems, I ask him for the answer, whereupon he quickly went to the back of the book where the answers were and gave me the answer.

    He did nothing to produce the answer himself, but only looked at the already given answer and repeated it. All he had learned was how to avoid all the work without learning how the answer was achieved.

    The Bible starts in Genesis and concludes in Revelation, without an understanding from the OT the NT answers may be correct, but missing is what it took and how it is that the answers came about.

    Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. For some maybe it might make better sense for them to understand that wisdom about the Lord begins with respect for Him. How He gained respect and why we should submit to His wisdom in all matters.

    Once we learn more about the Lord we are then able to place all of our hopes on Him especially when it may seem all hope is lost.

    Whereas it may not be easy, hope in the Lord will give us peace even unto death. RIP


  113. street says:

    thinking of hope
    reading about the natural man and the heavenly man. the natural one comes before the spiritual one. yet the natural one has to die before the spiritual one comes. yet we know the Holy Spirit shows up to begin the work of dying and living. learning to trust, learning to hope, learning to love.

  114. SFDBWV says:

    In my struggles to understand everything concerning being Christian, I have said many times that I envy those who are simple of mind and don’t ask questions. Just accept Christ and be at peace without any unrest.

    However if you read the subject content it is about not receiving peace concerning our hopes and prayers for others.

    I pray none of you reading this ever have to endure some of which others do in loving someone so much that unanswered prayer hurts deep as Mart stated, “heartbreaking”.

    Hope remains as long as life remains as for we here, the end of the day has yet to arrive.

    All any of us can do for those Mart speaks of is have compassion for their pain and pray for their peace and if able give help where and when they can.

    The rest is up to as Maru has stated up to God to either bless or curse as He decides.


  115. jeff1 says:

    To Swift the Way!
    To Short the Day!

    In this fast-moving world
    of turmoil and tension,
    With problems and troubles,
    too many to mention,
    Our days are so crowded
    and our hours are so few,
    There’s so little time
    and so much to do …
    We are pressured and pushed
    until se are “dizzy,”
    There’s never a minute
    we’re not “crazily busy,”
    And sometimes we wonder
    as we rush through the day-
    Does God really want us
    to hurry this way?
    Why are we impatient
    and continually vexed,
    And often bewildered,
    disturbed and perplexed?
    Perhaps we’re too busy
    with our own selfish seeking
    To hear the dear Lord
    when He’s tenderly speaking…
    We are working so tensely
    in our self-centred way,
    We’ve no time for listening
    to what God has to say,
    And hard as we work,
    as the end of the day
    We know in our hearts
    we did not “pay our way”…
    But God in His mercy
    looks down on us all,
    And though what we’ve done
    is so pitifully small,
    He makes us feel welcome
    to kneel down and pray
    For the chance to do better
    as we start a new day,
    And life would be better
    if we learned to rely
    On our Father in heaven
    without asking “why”…
    And if we’d remember
    as we rush through the day,
    “The Lord is our Shepherd
    and He’ll lead the way”…
    So don’t rush ahead
    in reckless endeavour,
    Remember “He leadeth”
    and “Time is forever”!
    in our

  116. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Steve, you wrote:

    “Hope remains as long as life remains as for we here, the end of the day has yet to arrive.”

    There you have it. As Maximus and his fellow gladiator, Juba, agree (in the movie, “Gladiator”) — “we will see our loved ones — but not yet, not yet.” This is keeping the faith in the face of great pain and opposition.

    We live in that place of “soon, but not yet.” We live in hope “in the meantime.”

    Our God is very great.


  117. joycemb says:

    Salvation is often spoke of as “already, but not yet”, which clearly speaks of the reason we hope also.

  118. street says:

    In the end he showed us in ways that Old Testament prophets could never have foreseen how far our God would go to show how much he loved— not just us—but those he has asked us to love… as we love ourselves—and far more.

    thinking along the line when we love others we love ourselves because we are just like them. maybe this is the correct way to love ourselves.

  119. street says:

    i get the picture mart. are we flesh and blood with a heart of stone destine for dust or way much more? lets talk about Jesus.

  120. jeff1 says:

    In holy places this truth can be found
    A promise to stand on when darkness abounds
    Oh, right never loses and wrong never wins
    And grace will always be greater than sin

    Grace will always be greater than sin
    Calvary has proven it time and again
    Whatever you’ve done
    Wherever you’ve been
    God’s grace will always be greater than sin

    Broken and bruised from the choices you’ve made
    Sin has a price and so often you’ve paid
    Oh, but Jesus is waiting
    New hope is in Him
    And grace will always be greater than sin

    Grace will always be greater than sin
    Calvary has proven it time and again
    Whatever you’ve done
    Wherever you’ve been
    God’s grace will always be greater than sin

    Grace, grace God’s grace
    Grace that is greater than all my sin
    Whatever you’ve done
    Wherever you’ve been
    God’s grace will always be greater than sin.

    Grace takes me from this world to the next because while my intentions may be good I know in my heart “I can not pay/do good works; my way to heaven”.

    The truth of the gospel remains the truth; and I, a sinner, am on my knees thankful for this truth.

    No man, no woman, no religion, no power on earth can change this truth and I am blessed to know it and if God, in His mercy, has brought me to know it then I have every hope that others in God’s time will get to know it too.

    God be with you today and always.

  121. Mart DeHaan says:

    Wonderful conversation on hope! Thanks to all of you for wading in together.

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