Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Hope, How I’ve Missed You!

To hope is to be truly alive!

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three…” -(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Hope is essential. So essential, it made it to a very short list, which includes love of all things!

When I started Hope’s Diaries, I never imagined how great a thing hope was. I thought I knew its worth, but I’ve learnt over the past almost 4 years that I didn’t.

In some of my posts, I have written about my optimistic outlook on life. I’ve always been an optimist. I had no idea I could ever struggle with that part of myself. I thought it was this unshakable, unchangeable thing.

For these years past, I have learned patience and endurance, contentment and trust. Trust in God means that I don’t have to bug Him every 5 seconds about something I’ve thought or planned or wanted. It was first God’s offer and then it became my choice to learn patience, trust and contentment. It was very difficult- has been difficult.

However, somewhere along the line, having faced disappointments in walking down my path of good intentions, I lost a lot of hope. I say a lot of hope as if hope can be quantified, because my eternal hope in God was secure, and my hope in some of His promises was intact. I lost a lot of hope, and dreamed less. Why? I was afraid.

“I was afraid”, the very first words of Adam after he sinned against God.

“I was afraid, and so I hid”. I hid from life, from hope, from dreaming.

The Bible says that perfect love casts out all fear. Fear also works against hope. And hope against fear. To hope is to overcome fear. Hope.

Hope is essential for faith which is essential to please God, which is essential for life. I haven’t been taught much about hope; in some circles, hope is for the weak; for those who aren’t making their own destinies.

There’s such a thing as sure hope. Like the Hope the Bible talks about for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. That’s a sure hope. And it’s within your reach. We can have hope assured because of God’s love and God’s promises which are so many. We can hope because we are loved by Someone so large, so…Love. We can hope so we can believe, and then we would truly live.

To hope is to truly be alive!

Can I hope again? Or dream again? Can I look forward even as I look up? Yes. I can. I will hope. I will have lot’s and lot’s of hope!

Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Chasing Joy

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

This world can be a difficult place some times; and during certain seasons of our lives, maybe more often than not. I’ve found myself moving down some good old paths as well as starting new things. I love new beginnings. But I realize new beginnings can be difficult too. New beginnings are even more difficult when you’re navigating them alone.

It’s not that I want to exclude people. In fact, I think, now more than ever, I’ve become more inclusive. But at the same time, I’ve learnt to be completely cool with being by myself. We won’t always have the pleasure of other people’s company especially the pleasure of the company of like minds. And some times, we wish, only wish, someone else would physically come alongside us on our journey. At least I feel that way.

Sometimes, I think, in the middle of all this, we have to chase joy. Joy can be elusive. We have to actively look for joy in the Lord, because the joy of the Lord is where our strength lies.It’s not an easy thing to do. Some days we just want to drown in the pool of our self pity. It’s much easier – less tasking.

Joy requires a little bit more energy than self pity, but its reward Β is so worth it. There are some dark days, when the only thoughts that come are thoughts of failure, loneliness, confusion, worthlessness, but joy is always so near if we would only reach out just a little bit.

It usually takes one painful step to get to joy. It takes looking away from all the ugly, closing your ears to the heartless voices and looking up. Just one act and then another. It begins with lifting up your head, your eyes shifting their gaze. Then you utter one word and then another. God… Lord… Father.

Father, help me. Help me. I trust You. I choose You. Help me, I have no strength of my own. Your joy is my strength. Thank You for joy. Thank You for making my life so beautiful. Thank You for never leaving me or abandoning me. I’m so glad You think of me. And You love me, and You’re with me. I cannot be brought down because You lift me up. I can never be ashamed because it is Your face that shines on me! Hallelujah! God is with me now!

So one first move, and then another. Look to Jehovah and give thanks. Thanksgiving is a wonderful expression of our faith in an amazing, unchangeable God (who is Love, by the way). So chase joy; don’t let it slip away. Chase joy in God; He is never far away from His family.

And finally, you can be a part of God’s family by calling on the Name of His Son, the Lord Jesus, who has already paid the price for your sins. Is sin a dirty word? Yes, but perfect to ascribe to us. No one, not one is righteous. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. Call on the Lord and discover the joy of the Lord as your strength! Choose God; choose joy.

You can comment or email me directly if you have any questions about this call to God’s family. You can comment or email anyway! Β πŸ˜€ I pray that you will know God’s joy, love and mercy in Jesus Name. And so it will be.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

God Knows Me.

God knows me.

He knows my likes and dislikes and He knows what makes me tick.

He’s led me through beautiful scenes just to bring me pleasure – to make me smile at the sunrise early in the morning. He knows me like that.

Some days I don’t feel worthy at all. On those days I see myself through what I think are other people’s perspectives; I see myself through the eyes of condemnation. On those days I feel that I look like the version of myself God saved me from. The more I look into people’s eyes to reveal what I look like, the less satisfied I am. And then I find myself becoming more like that terribly inaccurate reflection of me.

I am not my old self; I am my new self. God knows me.

He knows when I struggle under the weight of my own expectations. He also knows when I’m triumphant, and when I act like He does.

Early today, I prayed to my Father and asked for His help. I was struggling with my negative thoughts about myself and others. In that moment I really asked for His help and believed He would help me. He helped me. He really did. And He helped me while He showed me beautiful sights. I saw plains and felt the cool breeze on me, while the sun was rising. I like things like that, and He knows. God knows me like that.

I am under my Father’s wings. Kept and groomed. And much loved.

Sometimes I fear that I am far from Him. He is always near to me. Never departing. I actually, not figuratively, have the Holy Spirit living in me. Don’t ask me how. He’s living in me, He’s all around me and near me. With me.

I know God – at least I’m getting to know Him. And He knows me. What’s better than that? What’s better than His love? Like David said, God’s love is better than life! Cool huh?😊

I’m at peace now. And I can rest in this truth: I’m known and loved by God. God knows me.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Tag! I’m It.

 Not my ministry, not my work, not my relationship or marriage, not the movie I want to make, not the help I want to give, not the things I know, not the ideas I come up with, not all my good intentions.

It’s like we’re in a game of Tag, and God says to us “Tag! I’m it.” That’s not how the game is played we say. “It’s tag you’re it, so I’M it.” We say. Duh, God.

“An idol is whatever you look at and say in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” – Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery (Pulling Back the Shades)
I said this quote over and over to myself before writing this post. My striving was exposed for what it was. I felt like I was watching a movie of my life plus the bloopers! I have made good things idols along the way. Some I recognized , and others I didn’t until now.

Can God fully and truly satisfy us minus all the other “good” things that we just must have? All the logical things that we just must have – that we are certain we need? Could we truly be satisfied?

The truth is I don’t have all the answers right now. But I hope to have the answers I need soon. My eyes feel like they’ve been opened. I had no idea that they were closed.

I’ve thought about Joseph. God gave him an amazing dream (two actually, but they were pointing to the same thing), but it took thirteen whole years experience what God had showed him long before. The dream was good – great even. I imagine what torture it could have been for Joseph if that’s all he thought about while being a slave and subsequently, a prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit?

How about Abraham? Father Abraham. God says to papa AB, “I’m going to give you a son. Like from your actual body.” He waits twenty-five years with his wife Sarah before that would ever happen. If all he ever thought about was having that child, what torture it would have been to wait without a set date? God didn’t tell him when. Not until a year before anyway.
God didn’t always tell people exactly when. Not Noah. Not David. He still doesn’t always tell us now. Wouldn’t it be torture if that’s all we thought about? When our God-given dreams would come true?

God doesn’t want us to look to any thing to fill us up. Even good things – especially good things – can become idols. God wants us to look to Him. He wants to be IT.

If I was really honest with myself, I would say that I would love to know what that’s like: A life of God completely satisfying.

I want to be full today. Always. Never wanting for anything. Come rain or sunshine. Through storms and stillness. To be truly full. Not ok. Not just ok.

I don’t want to strive anymore. I don’t want to push and claw through life. To have and have. I want my identity to be completely in Christ. My value, my significance, my happiness and joy, my peace, my hope, my adventures.

I know in my heart that the answer lies in saying, “Ok, God, Father…I give up. You be IT. Have it your way. I don’t like surprises but fine. Why don’t You decide where we’re going today? Why don’t You decide our activities today? You want me to go where?! Ok..? OK! I can do that. Do what?! Uhm..no problem. Wait? Err..sure. Anything You say is fine with me. I trust You with my life. You already gave me Yours. I’ve got absolutely everything to gain and nothing to lose if I realize that I’m not even mine.”

OK GOD. YESSS. I’M DOWN WITH WHATEVER. Yes, Lord, whatSOever.

Your turn.
 

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Beloved, and Loving the Wind of Change!

I’ve been navigating some difficult things this period of my life; the silence, the confusion…did I say the silence?

It seemed like on the things that mattered to me, God was silent. It seemed like God was unfair for allowing me to experience the pain I did. I struggled some and triumphed some, but I still wondered if God was with me. I knew it but I could not feel it.

Today, God opened my eyes to the thorn in my side. I said to my Father, now, in my mind, I am free, but I do not feel free. I asked Him to MAKE me free. He showed me something WAY bigger than I could ever have anticipated. He freed me from the bondage of ignorance. He blew on me a wind of change.

God made me realize that He is love, and as large as He is, He wants to pour every drop of Himself into me! So I saw through His eyes, how precious I was (am) to Him, and I began to thirst for every drop. I have become convinced – FULLY convinced – that God wants to give it ALL to me!! To Him, I am worth every drop of His amazing love. I am precious in His sight. All His love is for me to desire and receive and experience. I am the Beloved of God!

Today, I cried out to my Father, “You are just! And Your judgements are fair O God!” God is indeed just and merciful for allowing me to go through the darkness and pain. I could not see it when I was in it, but when I came out of it, I saw that it was by the mercies and love of God that He took me through the valley of darkness. I praise You God, for You are merciful; all Your ways are true!

Now, I can begin again, in full assurance of God’s love because He patiently took me through this place from which I have come. I am eternally grateful. I would have given much to know what I know today. Dear fellow sojourners, if you see me, you will see a thirsty soul, thirsty for the love of God. You will see an insatiable soul, because I will never say enough! Oh God! Your love is better than life and I want EVERY drop!

    

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Only One Love

There is only ONE kind of love.

Thinking otherwise is the cause of broken marriages, for example. There is only ONE kind of love. You can do no wrong in this kind of love. There is no danger, no fear in this kind of love. (Romans 13:10)The only risk is becoming more and more like our God. 

This only kind of love is the live we were made for – the love that makes us more like Him. We cannot sin in it; we cannot do wrong to our neighbor. Anything else – anything outside it – is fear and self preservation. Anything outside it is prison. When we realize that there is nothing to lose but everything to gain (even when we lose!), we are no longer afraid. “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1John4:18)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”(1Corinthians 13 NIV)

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Certain Truths

I believe that at this time God is calling me into a new way of life. Whereas, previously, I was building the Tower of Babel, now, He wants me on the ground. He wants me to till, to plant, to water and to wait patiently for the harvest!

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is steady foundation that I can lean on. God is truth – there is no falseness in Him. He is light – in Him there is no darkness at all.

My Heavenly Father wants me to know that some things are certain: God, His love and His Word which is unshakeable truth.

I’ve been called to worship Him in spirit and in truth, in simple child-like faith, without ambition and without worry.

So many things look different to me now, and I’m rediscovering who God made me to be. By this I mean that He is opening my eyes to every needless weight my soul has borne so I can be as free as a bird to serve Him.

It’s all new to me. I fear stumbling, but God reminds me that some things are certain. God is unshakeable truth. God IS and that’s all that matters!

Amen.

Thank you LORD!

  

Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Seeking After God

Jesus died so I could be restored into a relationship with God, and He has given me the same ministry of reconciliation.


I realize that when my daily pursuit isn’t God Himself and His calling to join Him in His work, I am vulnerable to enslavement by false gods because I start to seek my identity and worth in things rather than in my Creator.

My goal in life is to seek after God. Each day- every day. God spoke to my heart and helped me see that everything has a place. He was teaching me about Himself as my priority, but I understand now that I didn’t quite get this. For a period, I have been chasing after things and fallen into a dark pit of doubt, sin and shame. But now He’s showing me the beauty of His word, of His love and of His life. I’m so excited! Thank You LORD!

I love knowing I am loved and saved through Christ!!! πŸ˜€

Life is so simple when we realize who and what we are living for each day- every moment of our lives. For me, it just makes everything else in my life- every seemingly important activity that has taken over my mind- so inconsequential. Gosh. I feel like I’ve been living in the dark for so long! Now I can see. God’s freedom is mine and I embrace it. I feel like I’ve been living life out of context! God is my life and my purpose!

P.S. I a just spent $15 on a blog theme I can’t use. Paying for my impatience. 😦

Inspiration · Life Hacks

Dear Female Person

Dear female person,

You are NOT alone. Right here, as I sit uncomfortably in my chair, I am overwhelmed with pent up passion for you, woman. I refuse to stay silent and let you walk on alone. I am a part of you, and you are a part of me; I refuse to watch you die in silence. I refuse to let you be swayed by lies about yourself. I refuse to walk with my head bent down when I could show you what it looks like to have your head lifted up-not in pride. I am angry for you when people step on you. I cry for you-I would give myself for you, woman. 

You are not who they say you are, but who HE says you are. I don’t care what woman or man told you otherwise. I am angry with them with a righteous anger for making you feel small and insignificant when you are a princess, a queen. Female person, you are not what they did to you-not what he did to you. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone-I don’t care what the statistics say. You don’t have to beg for what is already yours. 

You DON’T have to trade your diamond for bronze because someone told you your diamond is all wrong. You are unique. Your emotions are not your weakness; they are your strength. Your body is not your weakness. Your body is beautiful the way it is-you don’t have to mutilate it to fit anyone else’s mold. You are fine, woman-female person. Your brokenness is God’s opportunity to show what light looks like-what glory looks like. You bear His mark. His love is yours.

If you give yourself to the One, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for you, you’ll be right where He wants you to be-wrapped in His arms, in the shelter of His Fatherly wings. My dear, wonderful, broken, female person, God loves you. You will not be left in the pit. My sister, my friend, He won’t let you, and I won’t let you either. You are so precious-you have no idea. God took His time to design you, beautiful female person. He took His time, and saw that you were good. He was like, “Man, she beautiful. That’s what I’m talking ’bout”. 

I want to hold your hand beautiful one, and tell you to your face that you are not alone. I am with you in the journey- the good times and the hard times. And even though I may never see you, you have a God who sees you. You have a God who wants to show you the beauty that He designed in you. And those people? Forget them. What do they know? God knows, and that’s what counts. I know too, because I’m just like you.

Dear female person, lift your head up. The journey is long and hard, but you’re a winner. So lift your head up. Lift your head up. Lift your head up! Aargh! Lift your head up!