You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘hope’ tag.

Today I want to talk about hope. Hope is defined as a feeling that what’s is wanted will occur or be had, and/or that events will turn out for the best. My Apostle taught on this last Sunday and it struck me as interesting because I don’t think that Christians ever intentionally place their hope in anything besides God. But the fact is, we often do. I know I do, anyway.

For example, we really want to buy a new car and we are really hoping that our job will give us the raise that we are way-too-far-past-due so that we can buy it. Is our hope in God or our job? Well, our job, let’s be honest. We are not trusting that God will give us the car no matter what happens with the job, we are trusting the job to give us the raise so WE can buy the car. In other words, God’s not moving fast enough so let’s just help Him along, shall we?

I’ll use another example from my personal history. I recently seperated from the Navy. Unfortunately, I did not handle ship deployments with…uh…grace, shall we say? So after a three month deployment, I swore up, down, and all around, NEVER AGAIN. I wanted out, these people are crazy, these deployments are crazy, the Navy is CRAZY. OUT. OUT. OUT. So I put in a request for early seperation. I was really hoping it would go through. The Navy is downsizing, so no prob right? Right? Oh so very wrong.

There was problem, after problem, after problem, after a REDICULOUS amount of problems. And the result? I became extremely discouraged, angry, and deppressed. You see, because I placed my hope in a decision that the Navy would make, I didn’t place it in the hands of God. And let me tell you, God’s hands are the only ones that are sure and safe. So because He wasn’t the current carrier of my hope, I lost it. They threw my request back in my face and I lost my hope. I lost my joy. I lost my motivation.

And when God showed me the error of my ways in His kind and gentle manner, I placed my hope in Him. And in His timing, though His process, I was given my seperation. And there were many times it seemed like He was not moving AT ALL, but I had to keep trusting in Him because I knew He was faithful and He was the only One I could trust with my hope.

This, brothers and sisters, is a continual life process. Though God sent me through a…kinda extreme, in my opinion…circumstance in order to learn this lesson, it is a lesson learned through the process of trial and error. One cannot sit with me and tell me they do not have struggles with hope (unless they are extremely spiritually mature and bordering somewhere on perfection.) Anyway, we do, all the time. I have had plenty before the Navy one, and plenty since. Each time I learn, I get better, I trust God more, but I must always be proactive in my own thinking. I must always be aware of just where it is I have placed my hope, because it is so easilly misplaced.

You see, the Christian walk is a walk of hope and a walk of faith. But it is not a walk of perfection. That’s a lie. The was Christ’s walk because, and only because, we couldn’t get ours right. So embrace Christ’s walk but don’t expect it to be your own. We are flawed, flawed creatures redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We place our joy, trust, hope, faith, love, etc on every breeze of the wind and then throw tantrums when the wind switches to an unexpected direction. But that is that nature of wind, is it not? But God’s hand is steady. It is solid. Perfect. Safe. And that’s where our hope belongs, no matter how many times we have to re-place it there.

Advertisements

Love Amid the Ashes

Back Cover Blurb

When her beloved grandfather Isaac dies, Dinah must follow his final command: travel to Job’s household to marry his son. After Job’s world comes crashing down, Dinah finds herself drawn to this great man brought low. What will she risk to fight for his survival?

My Review

Author Mesu Andrews weaves a heartrending story of two lives; Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and Job, wealthy servant of the Most High. I was originally drawn to this book because of it’s unique take on the two character’s stories. Who would think to introduce the shamed Dinah to the prestigious but soon-to-be-shattered Job? But Author Andrew does, and she does it skillfully.

The reader can tell that Andrews did her homework on the detail she places into her character’s environment; anything ranging from specific geography to the way they prepared food in biblical times. And the story itself is very gripping. The reader can feel Job’s pain and is sorrowed by Dinah’s reputation. I wanted to cheer for them when they overcame obstacles and hug and cry with them when their pain is deepened. In fact, I was so entranced with their lives that I didn’t want to return to my own.

Excellent storytelling aside, there was a few technicalities that bugged me. The characters seemed to lack much depth. I understood their concerns and joys, but I didn’t feel like I really got a glimpse at their individuality. They weren’t very unique beside the individuality of their stories. I did, however, see a decent character arc in which they matured and grew throughout the story.

That said, the writing was a tad bit dramatic. The author used certain wording and exclamations that was meant to convey emotion but succeeded mostly in making her characters seem melodramatic at times. And though this made me raise a brow a few times, it was easy to ignore for the interest of the story itself.

Overall, I say bravo for a gripping tale full of love, redemption, and hope.

I give Love Amid the Ashes 4 out of 5 stars.

When the ground trembles,
And fear grips our heart,
When the earth is troubled,
By tsunamis and earthquakes,

When the children cry,
And few are comforted,
When the women weep,
And nobody hears them,

When the debts pile up,
And the bills go unpaid,
When the IRS calls,
With those taxes we hate,

When disease eats our bones,
And sickness fills our souls,
When the stomach rejects food,
And the heart’s lost all tune,

When temptations beckon,
And weakness surrounds us,
When images and magazines,
Tell us what to believe,

When families break,
And marriages fail,
When youth run away,
To sell drugs in the streets,

When the past arises,
And binds us with chains,
When the future seems bleak,
With promises of pain,

When hope seems so frail,
And the Word, so pointless,
When dreams don’t avail,
And God seems so distanced,

Will we pray nonetheless,
Though life seems so broken?

Will we sing all God’s praise,
Even when He hasn’t spoken?

Will we dance to His name,
As tears streak our face?

Will we hold on to the promises,
When we don’t see manifestation?

Yes.
We.
Will.

We will stand on the Word.
We will worship the Lord.
We will pray by the Spirit

Because if one thing is truth,
If there’s one thing that’s real,
It’s that children of God,
Are never forsaken.