GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

November 2, 2012

I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life—specifically the fear of change, the fear of the unknown. (Erica Jong, American author)

Many people apparently live in constant fear, not of catastrophe or trauma, but of change or not knowing what lies ahead. A change of attitude could bring great joy and optimism into one’s

life, anticipating the positive and accepting change for its potential good.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

November 1, 2012

 

In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change. (Susan Taylor, American journalist)
 

Life would be so pleasant if we didn’t have to face a crisis from time to time, wouldn’t it? On the other hand, every crisis provides an opportunity for learning and growth. So, rather than 

complain, we’d do well to look for what we can learn from the experience.

 

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

October 31, 2012

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century American essayist)

We often are so entangled in the affairs of life that we rarely consider who we are, rather concentrating on what we have done or what we think we can do in the future. As Emerson suggests, however, the internal is much more important than the external. We must develop our inner character to be able to accomplish anything worthwhile.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. (Romans 12:2)

October 30, 2012

It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.
(Jim Bishop, 20th century American journalist)

A simple statement of profound truth! We might wish we could go back to the “good ol’ days” or jump ahead to a bright future, but it just doesn’t work that way. So, we must live in the moment, prepared by the past, and working for the future.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:58)

October 29, 2012

One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something.
(Henry David Thoreau, 19th century American author and philosopher)

Work is a privilege. Men were created to work, and little of value is accomplished without hard work. Working provides for one’s needs and earns the respect of others.

Make it your ambition to . . . work with your hands . . . so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

October 28, 2012

Difficult times have helped me to understand . . . how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.
(Isak Dinesen, penname of Danish author Karen von Blixen-Finecke)

Many others who have suffered difficult times have come to the same conclusion: We worry too much about nonessentials, ignoring the more important things of life.

Jesus: “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)

October 27, 2012

Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of our hearts announcing the King is in residence today. (Walter Knight, author)

Happiness is often a fleeting emotion, dependent upon circumstances or happenstances (are the words related?). Joy, on the other hand, is an expression of lasting contentment and satisfaction. You can have confidence and joy when the proper authority is in control, like a king in residence. Who’s in control of your life?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. (Romans 15:13)

October 26, 2012

To ignore facts doesn’t change the facts.
(Andy Rooney, late television social commentator)

We often are like the ostrich, aren’t we: hiding our heads in the sand so we don’t have to face the facts? When we pull our heads out, though, the facts remain. First, we must know the truth and then we can respond to it with thought and courage.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

October 25, 2012

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one. (James A. Froude)

We would all like to be known for our stellar character, but how do we gain that reputation? It doesn’t come without effort and the determination to live and act honorably. And often it grows stronger as a result of bearing trials courageously.

We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

October 24, 2012

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.
(George Washington)

Politicians in America continually take sides on the question of religion and government. It’s clear, however, that America’s founders were more concerned about government interference in religion than the church’s influence over government. In any case, we would do well to seek counsel from God in the affairs of men.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)

October 23, 2012

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have . . .. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. (Carl Sandburg, American poet and Lincoln biographer)

We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. No one has an advantage when it comes to time; we are all created with an equal amount while we live. Who will determine how you spend your time and for what purpose? Be your own person, looking to God for wisdom in the use of your time.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15, 17)

October 22, 2012

The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.
(Albert Einstein, perhaps the most influential physicist of the 20th century)

What an insightful thought! We often respond strongly to those who do evil among us, applying the strongest punishment the law allows. But, is it possible that our toleration of those who promote evil, though not committing it, plays a more dangerous role?

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (Habakkuk 1:13)