Tag Archives: hope

Dry and thirsty

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to San Francisco. For the most part, it was a gorgeous drive with the crashing waves of the Pacific on one side and the rugged coastline on the other.

The middle part of the journey was a different story. California is undergoing a serious drought. The landscape shows it. The land is so parched in areas that it’s cracked open. In other areas, I drove over bridges where there were once raging rivers and flowing streams. Now, there’s not so much as a mud puddle. Everything is brown.

The irony is that there is a vast ocean right next to this parched land – millions of gallons of water. Unusable water. Salty, briny water that cannot ease the pain of the extreme thirst.

Similar to us. We have a desperate need, a gaping hole in our hearts that can only be filled with the fresh, living water of Jesus Christ.

Yet humanity tries to fill that thirsty cavern with the salt water of the world. The world’s offering looks good, just as the ocean sparkles blue and appears to be so refreshing. At first, it may even feel good to dive into the cool water and drink huge gulps. But as any sea captain will tell you, in a survival situation, drinking ocean water will only hasten death.

We can drink in the world and all it has to offer, but it will only lead to death. Jesus has promised us eternal living water. While the world is dying of thirst, He dwells within us and causes us to never thirst again.

How many times though, do we forget? How many times do we see the sparkling, shiny attraction of the world and drink it in? It may satisfy at first, but in the end we’ll only be left drier than before.

All the while, Jesus is calling. He is holding out to us the true living water.

…whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭14‬ NKJV)


A Christian Blogger’s Prayer

Before I set my pen to paper
Or fingers to keyboard,
Before I utter a word,
Let me draw nigh unto You.
Let me seek Your Holy Face.


Let me ask what You would say,
Through me and to me.

Let me lay down my pride
Of ownership, of authorship.
Let me empty of self,
To be filled with the Word
Of living water.

Let me be an instrument
For Your glory.
Let me be a tool
Of Your design.
My will is to please my Father above.

Before I set my pen to paper
Or word to thought,
Let me give my all to Thee.
Let me ask what You would say,
To me and through me.


I can’t do it

I can’t be holy. I can spend my whole life trying to be perfect by my standards, by the world’s standards, even by God’s standards. I will fail. Apart from Christ, I have no hope of salvation, no hope of glory, no hope of true success.

So to be holy, to follow the way of Christ, I have to turn my heart from what I can do. I must remove my focus from myself and my inability. I must look instead to Christ on the cross, Christ risen, Christ in me. Then, I have the only hope that matters, the only hope that is true.

This year my mantra has been the song, “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher. It perfectly captures my heart at at this moment in time. And it’s popularity suggests that it echoes the hearts of many Christians.

I especially like the second verse and the bridge:

V2: Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
 
Bridge: Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

The theme of grace, freedom and holiness are tied into one thought. No matter where I go, what I do, how many times I fall, Jesus is my hope and stay.

I tend to be such a control freak that I don’t always realize that I’m doing something in my own strength instead of relying on Him. Until I hit the wall or fall on my face. But the more I make a habit of falling on Him, running to Him, looking to Him, the more I realize I need Him in every way, in every minute of every day.

Needing Christ doesn’t make us weak, for He is our strength. His grace is always bigger than our sin. His power is always greater than our need. His love is always enough.

I can’t be holy, but I can surrender to Him. It’s a daily choice, sometimes hourly or even by the minute – but I can choose to cooperate with His unending grace. I can choose to let Christ be Holiness in me.

If you don’t know it, check out the song:

 


In His Hands

Psalm 31 has long been one of my favorites. The first half of the first verse says it all.

In You, O Lord, I put my trust.

What if you began everyday with that thought? What if you faced every problem with that frame of mind? How would it change your perspective?

It changes mine…

…if I apply it. When I'm facing a particularly difficult problem, especially if it's something I've faced before or something that drags out for a period of time, it can be easy to forget to start with trust in Him, my Rock and my Fortress.

In our lives we deal with issues everyday. Sometimes it's just a little issue, sometimes it's a big mess. We routinely rely on our experience and understanding to figure out a solution. After a while, we can begin to take that for granted and give ourselves a pat on the back for being wise or good. I hope we are those things. Those are good things. But they don't negate our need for God's wisdom and counsel.

When I get too caught up in my ability to handle things, I can forget to put ALL my trust in Him. Not just my trust for spiritual things. Not just my trust for personal things or easy things or really hard things. My trust for ALL things.

When I get too caught up in my ability to handle things, I find myself at verse 22.

For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before Your eyes.

I run around crying out for God's help wondering why He's not listening or telling me what to do. When in reality, He's waiting or me to stop trying to do it all myself and remember where I began.

In You, O Lord, I put my trust.

When I find that place, then I can rejoice with the psalmist and say to myself and to you:

Be of good courage,
And He will strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord. (v.24)

Things Unseen

Quote of the week

“Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.”
– Thomas Aquinas

Though my eyes cannot see Him, I believe He is with me – always.

Though I cannot do as Thomas the Apostle did and put my finger in the wounds of Christ, I believe He suffered those wounds for our salvation.

Though the reason of this world tries to tell me that having such faith is foolish and archaic, I believe that there is Hope in Christ.

Though the way is sometimes difficult, I have a hope and a future in Him.

Today, I pray for ever increasing faith because faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1, NASB).


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