How High is Your Hope?

“My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. Lamentations 3:18-22 NKJV

Jeremiah was sorrowful. He had hung his hope on God’s promise to bless the Israelites if they worshipped according to His law. But many turned from God to false gods and sin pervaded the area. And now Jerusalem was in ruins. Here is what God promised the Israelites, for worshipping Him.

Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously. 2 Samuel 7:10

I get why Jeremiah was lamenting. Jerusalem had so much going for them, but sin invaded and so did Babylonians. They came in and destroyed everything, even the temple. This makes me think of the war going on in the East. My heart is broken for Ukraine as I am sure yours is. As I read Lamentations, I wondered… ” How can Ukraine have hope when the enemy is after them and their world is crumbling?”

They do have hope and I think it’s because they believe in something bigger than themselves. They believe in freedom! This is an ‘Aha!’ moment for me!

If WE are in crisis, personally, we can only get through if we have hope in something bigger than ourselves, the Lord! And we will all be in crises at some time. The Bible says so:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. James 1:2 ESV

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 ESV

Both of the verses say WHEN we have trials, not IF we do. When they occur, when we have a ‘Jeremiah moment,’ instead of despairing at things around us that have leave us at our wits’ end, we can look high to our hope that will never end! That is exactly what Jeremiah did! Despite the destruction, he still had hope. (Lamentations 3:22) We never ever have to be without hope. God, is always there:)

Hmmm…How high is my hope? Does it rely on everything going according to MY plan? When disaster strikes (not if) will I look up and see hope?

Dear God, Thank you for sending hope to the world through Your Son. That You would give us something eternal, knowing we would have trials, shows what a loving God You are! Please help us during stressful times and grant us hope enough to share with others. Amen

With love and hope from the Father to you, have a wonderful day!…Tina

The Jelly Bean Story

Happy Wednesday! Here is your poem devotional for today. March 17, 2022
Gloryinthemorning.com

*I wrote this poem last Easter…

The Jelly Bean Story
I have a bag of jelly beans, a treasure meant for me,

The colors tell a story that’s meant for all to see.

Purple is the color of the robe that Jesus wore,

When on the cross He died for us, as all our sins He bore.

Black, the color of our heart that makes a home to sin,

When we come to Jesus, though, He makes us clean within.

Red the blood that Jesus shed, a gift to me and you,

It washes us from all our sin and we are made brand new.

White, the color of the lamb that took our sins away.

And white our hearts become when we just ask the Lord to stay.

Blue, the color of the sky, our new eternal home,

We’ll live with Him forever and never be alone.

Yellow is for bravery, for telling others this:

My candy tells a story that you don’t want to miss!

So when you buy some jelly beans to have a treat or two,

Remember to share candy but share the story too!

©Christina Crute gloryinthemorning.com

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for what You did on the cross for us. You gave us everything You could. As your servants, we want to give You all WE can. We might need help doing that, as we are human. Touch us, Jesus with unselfish love for others. Give us people and opportunities with which to share Your love and our blessings and Your story. We love You so much! Amen

Love and prayers to all,

Just me. Just His.

Tina

An Awesome Roomate

I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

The unwanted Covid pandemic showed me what a great ‘roommate’ of a husband I have. Staying home, away from germs, meant being with him 24-7. We did everything together….chores, entertainment, reading and eating meals and even crafting… and we enjoyed it! Many months into the pandemic, he remarked that he felt sad for some couples. I asked why and he explained that WE like each other and like being together all the time, but not everyone is made like that or has that. He made me consider those who were struggling during this time, with confinement or their ‘roommate.’

Please allow me to make a big jump here and compare finding the perfect roommate to finding the Savior. We all need a roommate and friend of the heart and soul. We need Jesus to take up space in our hearts and live with us…and IN us! When we do not have His presence, we seek to find something or someone else to fill that space. I know because I have done that in the past. I chose things other than Jesus to be obsessed with and I was wrong.

At any time, money, fame, work success and promotion, even our kids’ achievments can easily fill our hearts. That joy does not last and we will get caught in the trap of looking for something better and better. But you know what? Jesus understands what we REALLY need in that space in our heart that longs to be filled…HIM:) He is the best roommate ever. He never makes a mess in there. All He wants to do is clean our heart space with His forgiveness and abide with us in peace.

I hope this all makes sense. Abiding with Jesus and Him abiding in us is the perfect roommate situation. Whatever shape your heart is in, Jesus will move in and improve your living situation. He will help you purge the space of things that clutter or take our focus from Him. He will be with you and help you as much as you ask Him to.

Hmmm…Do I have anything in my heart that takes my focus off Jesus? Do I have clutter in my heart? Do I love things too much? Do I have dirty corners of my heart that need a cleaning? Just food for thought. The more we release things that we hold in our hearts as our treasures, the more room we have for Jesus! Time for Spring cleaning, I think!

May you have a blessed day in the Lord. May you know the wonderful love of the Savior who longs to be with you and live in you, dear friends! Love to all….Tina

Praying our Praise

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I almost cried during a recent prayer! At my daughter’s bridal shower, I was asked to pray. Uh-oh, why didn’t I plan a special prayer? Up in front of everyone, behind the microphone, my brain whizzed. With a quick prayer, “Help me, Lord,”

I began thanking Him for all He did that caused everyone there to be in that gathering place on that special day of Kellie’s shower. Words would not come at first, but then my heart grew in gratefulness as I thanked God for His immense goodness over the years. These people in the room were special!

He brought my two daughters and I through a seemingly impossible situation. He supplied the right friends at the right time. Right pastors, mentors, coaches and godly men appeared in their life. Right teachers taught and befriended them and prayed and watched out for them. Parents of kids they themselves coached and still coach, have taken them into their friend and family units with love.

These things were no accident. God knew they needed those angel friends. What more could a Momma ask for?

That’s why I almost cried…because of His goodness through all the days and years. Do you ever do that… sit and marvel at how God has carried you and provided what you needed? Then you know what I mean!

This moving experience reminded me to not just be grateful, but to proclaim it publicly, to share how glorious God is, so I am attempting to do just that. To Him be all the glory for whatever His plan is!

David’s words remind us to TELL of our thanks:

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.
Psalm 107:121-122

The phrase, ‘Thank offering’ made me smile! Praising Him is a sort of thank offering, isn’t it? You never know…someone may need to hear YOUR thankfulness to a loving God in word or in song. All I know is…it makes God happy when WE know that HE knows it all and controls it all and we are happy about that! He is so faithful:)

I hope you have a great day knowing God is faithful and working in your life. Sometimes it is hard when things do not go as we expect. He is there with us always, though. Isn’t He the absolute best? Love and prayers to you all!…Tina

Dressed in Righteousness

So put all evil things out of your life: sexual sinning, doing evil, letting evil thoughts control you, wanting things that are evil, and greed. This is really serving a false god. These things make God angry. In your past, evil life you also did these things. Colossians 3:5-7 NCV

When you go to get dressed for the day, how long does it take? Do you have trouble deciding what to wear? Does it depend on what is easiest to put together? Are you like me and you choose what is most slimming, lol? We want to look good, don’t we? We dress ourselves spiritually too. Colossians 3 opened my eyes to that fact.

As I read Colossians 3 this morning, I was struck by the way Paul describes our coming to Christ. He describes our ‘dying’ to self and getting rid of sinful things that represent who we are and then reaching for the righteous things that represent Christ’s character. That makes sense!

Some examples Paul mentions, that we need to die to, are sexual sins, evil passions and desires, and covetousness. That is not unlike getting undressed and re-dressing, is it? So now, as Christians, we want to figuratively dress ourselves to project a new, righteous image of Christ. This begs the questions…

What exactly do we want to clothe ourselves with, spiritually-speaking? and How do we do that?

Paul tells us!

But now also put these things out of your life: anger, bad temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and using evil words when you talk. Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before. Colossians 3:8-9 NCV

Paul reminds us to put off these things and then he tells us what to put ON! (Thanks, Paul!)

 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:12-13 NCV

Colossians 3 is chock-full of amazing advice, so I have to show you one more verse, perhaps the most important one yet…

Colossians 3:14 says: Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.

I have found this verse to so especially true and helpful in the past year. God has taught me to love unconditionally. The Holy Spirit nudged me the other day when I started to complain about someone. In my heart, I instantly said, “Thank You, Holy Spirit, because I do not want to be like that.” We get to CHOOSE what we want to look like and be like. If we want to look like Christ, we must do the things He did and love like He did. We must put on spiritual qualities and desires after shedding our sinful clothes.

Just a note…dressing in righteousness is an ongoing process. If we dress in the wrong thing, the Holy Spirit will let us know! Just remember…it matters what you say and do every day. We are God’s ambassadors to a needy world. Love all you can today!

Have a great Monday! Sorry this is late. Migraine came to visit and stayed awhile,lol! Love and appreciate you all!…Tina

Taking What You Need

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.  Luke 9:1-3

I am the worst suitcase packer in the world! Focusing what I might need, my bag ends up being over-filled and hard to close. Of course, I never use all I take, but I want to be prepared for every situation. All that is in my suitcase gives me confidence that I am well- equipped for my journey. I feel ready.

In Luke 9:3, the disciples were going away too, but Jesus told them not to take ANYTHING with them! How could they survive with NOTHING? Didn’t they feel unprepared? How could they feel ready?

If we look back at verse 1, we get our answer. Jesus had filled them with power already, HIS power! Now I am re-thinking this verse this morning…How could they NOT feel ready? Wow…This was a pivotal moment in their lives, the beginning of the most important mission in the world, for the world! They were full of the power of Jesus.

Remember Monday’s and yesterday’s devotion about having our faith refreshed by spending daily time with God? It amazes me that God showed me again today that He fills us with Him. He is in us! Whenever we meet God, He gives us what we need, doesn’t He? Whether it is peace or strength or wisdom, He gives us what we need for our journey to do His will and glorify Him. Isn’t He awesome?!

That’s life-changing! I love how the Lord is teaching me this week and month about trusting Him more. My husband and I have taken some leaps of faith, but how much more can we do if we go with ‘nothing’ but ALL of the Lord? Food for thought and prayer… 🙂

Please have a wonderful day in the Lord and don’t forget to ask the Lord for what you need as you head out today. Tell or message someone how cool He is, too! I will do the same! We all need more of Him…Tina

Hope’s Harbor

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

On a regular basis, we all need a healthy dose of hope, so thanks for joining me today at Hope’s Harbor, a weekly post devoted to encourage you in your daily walk… Tina

Here is a bit of encouragement for whatever situation you are in. God knows and He cares! With faith in that, we please Him. Here is a short analogy that helps me to understand the glorious light that comes from faith in Him:

Faith in God is like a lantern with fresh and full batteries. The batteries will shine light on our path for hours and days as we carry our lantern with us. When we go to God daily, He refreshes and refills the batteries, making us to see hope, even in the dark!

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to carry your lantern of faith:)…Tina

Lantern-Like Faith

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Theses are trying times aren’t they? It feels like one bad thing after another in the news, right? There does not seem to be enough positive news or answers to balance out the bad. At least that is what I had been thinking, until God corrected me. He showed me what I already knew, but desperately needed a refresher course on. We can still feel hopeful, despite our circumstances!

How can we do this? By going to the author of hope! Jesus knows what it is to feel the pangs of darkness, pain and even death, yet even HE resolved to trust His Father, our Father, and obey Him through His trial. Jesus, who knew much sorrow, understands our fears and emotions. He knows we are not immune to doubts and fears. Even as Christians, it is normal to be brought down a bit when surprisingly evil things are going on in the world.

But…can I tell you a secret? THIS is not our forever. We are here for a short time until our heavenly future starts! Jesus went to prepare a home for us! Just as Jesus endured the cross for a heavenly future, so can we bear our ‘crosses’ (trials) with hope.

As Christians, we KNOW our future. That calms my soul when I get stressed. I hope it helps you, too! Have a great Monday. May the Lord bless you with peace and light…Tina

Just a Thought…

Ape, Monkey, Primate, Animal, Mammal

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Hey all:) I thought a note might be in order. Not to get too personal, but I wanted to put it out there that the reason I haven’t posted super consistently lately is I was dealing with life/health stuff. I am sure you have that stuff too, that makes you want to dive in, handle it and let everything else go on the back burner for awhile? My problem was, and is, I am independent and a planner, so when my plans go awry and life stuff happens, it throws me a bit. Well, honestly a lot!

Does that happen to you? I should not be surprised because, well, it’s a fact of life. Not all plans work out. Unfortunately, when they don’t it is a great time for the enemy to tell you to give up and give in to the stress. He LOVES it when we worry ourselves into inactivity. (He made me worry myself into not writing because I was so stressed. Grr…)

What he won’t tell you…is to praise God and have hope! Accept the changes, delays and winding path as an adventure. If our plans do not work out, I am convinced there is a reason for it. I will not begin to tell you what reason that is, because every situation is different and sometimes we never know the reason, right? That is sometime a hard pill to swallow for me. We have to accept that whatever God allows, He will take us through. That’s what I DO know for sure.

Dear Father God, Thank you for being my hope. When I get “sidetracked” into thinking that worrying will help me handle a trial, please nudge me to look up and see hope from you. It’s still hard for me to process that you are God and you love me, but I know you do! Thank you for your plans for me, whatever they may be. I love you! Amen.

Have a wonderful day. I am praying for you all to have peace in your trials and joy in your heart:)…Tina

Our Great Big God

Mountain, Landscape, Panoramic View

Today’s Verse:  But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.  Psalm 3:3-4 NIV

My husband and I love to explore small towns. As we drove down Main Street in a small town recently, I absorbed the beauty of old houses made of brick and stone and logs.  These smallish homes were squeezed together, side by side down the narrow street. There was a small park at the end of the street, with a little bridge over a creek. Young kids were playing there. Everything was just so small, simple and pleasant. It was a nice change of pace from the big city where we lived.

Then, I glanced up and was struck by the beauty of a huge mountain right behind the row of houses! I hadn’t noticed it. That mountain probably kept many storms at bay, so the little town stayed safe. Instantly, I thought of how big God is and how He surrounds us little humans with His protection. I also thought of how I missed seeing Him when I needed help.

Like the mountain I almost missed, how many times has God been there for us and we didn’t see Him? How much He must love us, to stand and guard us from harm. We are small but He is big enough to handle any storm in life that we may face. How comforting to know that we are surrounded, much like a mountain of rock, by His love and care!

Today’s Takeaway: God is always there. He is our shield of protection!

Dear God, Thank You for Your mountainous love and protection. I feel surrounded and safe when I consider how big and strong and good you are. You truly are my solid rock. Please nudge me to look at you when I forget how close you are. Amen.

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to look up today!…..Tina