Category Archives: Hope

I won’t worry about the rest of it

I Thessalonians 2: 19-20

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?  Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy. NIV

Paul is so clear here.

The point of our life here on earth … the accomplishment for which we should be striving … is investment in others.  We are called to share Christ’s love and His message with our fellow man.

Nothing we accomplish independently — no trophy, no title — will mean anything in the hereafter.  The glory will be in those who join us there.

To keep that eternal perspective in our world is sometimes difficult.  We get bogged down in the day-to-day, in the expectations that others have for us.

If I can remember that what’s important is what God expects of me, I won’t worry about the rest of it.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Hope, I Thessalonians, New Testament

Tied up in knots …

Colossians 1:5

… the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel … NIV

Paul’s letters are filled with run-on sentences.  This one started in verse 3, and someone, wisely, chopped it up over three verses.

This phrase is so descriptive!

In my mind, I see one of those elaborate Celtic knots … the Word of Truth is inextricably bound to my Hope in Christ, from which springs faith and love.  It is impossible to tell where one of these concepts begins and another ends, and when viewed altogether they are something beautiful.

Sometimes, when I’m worried, I feel tied up in knots.  The next time that happens, I will call this image to mind.  A beautiful knot that binds me to the past and to the hope that is my future.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Colossians, Hope, New Testament

Open the eyes of my heart

Ephesians 1: 18-19a

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  NIV

This letter from Paul to the church at Ephesus is filled with such encouragement!

I love to read it in The Message, where verses 15-19 say, “That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus, and your outpouring of love to all the Christians, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you — every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks.  But I do more than thank.  I ask — ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory — to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him — endless energy, boundless strength.” MSG

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.  Help me to know the hope to which you have called me.  Flood me with your incomparably great power.  Help me to be intelligent and discerning.  Keep me focused on exactly what it is you are calling me to do.

That’s my prayer today.

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Filed under Ephesians, Hope, New Testament

There’s just no time for it!

I Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love. NIV

I love this verse.

I love the parallels between these three and the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit bolsters my Faith.

My Hope is in Christ, my Savior.

And God, the greatest of these, is Love.

If I am focused on loving others as I am called to do, if I’m turning myself outward and performing my role within the family of God, there is no time for worry.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Hope, I Corinthians, New Testament

The New Me … joyful, patient, faithful.

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. NIV

Welcome to year two of this project.

I began this journey one year ago today.  February 20 was a Saturday, and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground when I sat down to start a blog.

I’d never been a blog reader, and I’m not a twenty-something.  But, it seemed intuitively to me to be the right way to catalogue what I hoped would be a year of help and hope and healing.

It has.

If I’d stayed on track with my goal to find one of the Bible’s reminder not to worry each day, I would have finished yesterday.  But, there were six days this last year when life got in the way, in one way or another, and I failed to find a reminder, or to write one down on those days.

So, instead of finishing yesterday, my plan is now to finish this coming Friday, with 365 reminders found … in one year plus a little less than one week.

Today, my word search on “hope” has brought me here to Romans.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Joyful in hope … note that it doesn’t say that hope is our last resort.  Instead, it is a joyous privilege.

Patient in affliction … Times of affliction are times of learning.  If we rush to get through them in order to stop the pain or the inconvenience, we don’t learn. For me, it seems that if I deal with affliction with impatience (or with worry), I’m likely to repeat exactly the same thing that caused my problem in the first place.  If I’m patient in affliction, such that I can get to a place of truly accepting my circumstances, God can and will open my eyes to see the world in new and different ways and to learn new things about myself and to see new ways that I can be useful to others who are in need.

Faithful in prayer … I’m called to pray without ceasing, in goods times and in bad.  It is through prayer that I can turn my worries over to God; through prayer that I can experience the peace that passes understanding; and through prayer that I can develop a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I absolutely want to be these things.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Hope, New Testament, Romans

No constraints

Romans 8: 24-25

For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  NIV

Hope that is seen is no hope at all.

I love that.

Hope that is seen is certainty.  Anyone can trust in what he can see or feel.

Hope is the opposite of worry.

When I’m worried, I’ve either figured out what I want, and I’m worried that it won’t happen … or, I’ve figured out all the terrible things that could happen, and I’m worried that they will.

When I hope, I put no constraints on the future.

I make my requests known to God, with thanksgiving for whatever He may choose to do.  And, when I’m hoping, my heart is thankful for all of the incredible things that He already has done for me.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Hope, New Testament, Romans

Because …

Micah 7: 7

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.  NIV

I Watch.

I Hope.

I Wait.

I Trust.

This is what my life here has become.  A year ago, I would have viewed all of these verbs as sideline activities.  “People who just watch, hope, wait and trust are not ACCOMPLISHING anything,” I would have thought.

But, accomplishing is not the position I’m called to play at the moment.

I’m not on offense, nor am I on defense.  Instead, I am part of a Special Team — watching, hoping, waiting and trusting in God for what comes next.

I’m not engaged in these activities from a position of desperation … I’m quite calm about it, actually.

The Message states just exactly how I feel, “But me, I’m not giving up.   I’m sticking around to see what God will do.  I’m waiting for God to make things right.  I’m counting on God to listen to me.” MSG

I believe that this is the peace that passes all understanding.  When I step outside my circumstances and view them critically from the world’s position, they might not look so good.  But, when I stay here, in the moment, watching, hoping, waiting and trusting, I feel like the rock that is at the center of the ripples … calm, steady and firmly grounded.

Many years ago, I was a Girl Scout leader.  Two friends and I had grown up in scouts.  We’d all gone off to college and gone our separate ways, but, after a few years, we found ourselves back in our hometown together.  One friend suggested that we should lead a troop, and the other two of us agreed.  I called our old elementary school, and found that there was a troop of Juniors (4th, 5th and 6th graders) that needed a leader … the school year was about to start and none of the mothers had stepped up.  So, we did.  We were issued six little girls, and by the end of three year’s time, we had more than 20.

On one of our first camping trips, I learned a very powerful lesson about children.  The concept of “Because,” is very important to them.

I had been assigned to help them build a fire.  Just as my leaders had done, I had each girl tie her hair back from her face before we began.  The next step was to get a big bucket of water.  I asked one of the girls to go and fill it, while I was showing others how to arrange rocks around the fire pit.  After a few minutes, I realized I wasn’t hearing any water going into the metal bucket.  I turned around, and there was the girl, holding the bucket, but making no progress.  I asked again.  She moved toward the spigot, but, didn’t quite make it out of the fire pit.

Finally, I turned to her and said, as calmly as I could muster, “Kristin, go and fill that bucket with water, because I’m about to start a fire, and if your hair catches on fire, I want to have a bucket of water handy so that I can dump it over your head.”  Boom.  The kid was off like a jackrabbit.  In moments, I had a full bucket of water.

Because …

I began this project with a strong sense that I had to stop worrying.  I knew it was a waste of time.  I’ve learned that God warned against it over and over.  I’ve learned it is a sin, that it is disobedient to worry, and that it shows a lack of trust in God.

Within the first couple of days of my project, I found myself in Philippians 4, but, it was just last week that I saw it for the first time, the “because.”

Philippians 4: 6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” NLT

Did you see it?

Don’t worry, instead pray … tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done, BECAUSE then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand … His peace will guard your heart and your mind.


It was there all along … but it took me nearly a year to find it.  Both the clue that’s in the verse, and the true peace.

But, now that I finally get it, I can sit here — having turned my worries over to God, with thanksgiving — enjoying the view of the moment, while I watch, hope, wait and most importantly trust in God.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Hope, Micah, Old Testament

On worry and fried chicken

Lamentations 3: 19-24

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion therefore I will wait for him.” NIV

These verses speak to me.  I have walked a path similar to the one walked by the writer of Lamentations.

It does sadden me to think of all the time and energy that I wasted, worrying.

But, it didn’t eat me alive … God redeemed me.

And, His love and His grace are new every time I wake up.  He is faithful.

That last part, “The LORD is my portion,” is pretty powerful.

My mom grew up in a large family on a small farm with several brothers.  She tells a story of fried chicken.  My grandmother made amazing fried chicken.  Of course, the chickens were quite fresh … meal prep began by, well, stepping out the back door into the chicken coop.

When my grandmother would put the platter of chicken on the table for her brood, she would always say, “Now, no-one take the back.  The back is mine!  It’s my favorite.”

My mother was the baby.  The first time she fried a chicken, as I understand it, was after she was married.  She told me how after she had fried her first chicken and sat down to her own table, she took the back onto her own plate, expecting a delicious experience.  What she found was quite different.  The back of a chicken is indeed the poorest cut.

My grandmother had fooled her all of those years.  By making the poorest portion seem like a treat that she relished, she had guided her children to the best she could offer them.  My mom said she cried when she realized it.

My portion … the LORD is my portion.  Regardless of my circumstances, whether in times of plenty or in times of want, the LORD is my portion — the best cut, not the poorest.

The LORD is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Hope, Lamentations, Old Testament

It’s not impossible

Isaiah 40:31

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. NIV

What a beautiful verse.

I love the promises here.

I love that things that are difficult (or downright impossible) for me as a human will be accomplished with ease when my hope is appropriately placed in the one true God.

God can make the impossible … possible.

God can make the difficult … easy.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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It can’t be cut off

Proverbs 23: 17-18

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.  There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.  NIV

I read ahead.

Some mornings, this project is really easy.  I open the concordance, look up the next verse in whatever word search I’m working on (currently “hope”) and there it is, a reminder not to worry.

Many mornings, it is just the reminder that I need and it speaks to my heart in powerful ways.

This morning, the next verse on the list wasn’t a reminder, so I skipped to this one, which didn’t seem right.  I have only twelve reminders left to find, and I feel that they should be good ones.  So, I continued skimming Proverbs.

What I found was that Solomon has used this same phrase a couple of times, “your hope will not be cut off.”

It appears here in conjunction with an admonishment not to envy and in 24:14 in conjunction with finding wisdom, “Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” NIV

Your hope will not be cut off …

I can see that this is true, and that it also is a reminder not to worry.  If my hope is in Christ, in the life everlasting that He promises in John 3:16, nothing that happens here can alter my hope … my hope cannot be cut off.

Cut off.

Sometimes, I think of that in conjunction with a knife — cutting off a piece of cheese.

My hope cannot be severed from me.

Some people use the term in the same way that I would use “turn off,”  “Cut off the light.”

The light of my life can never be extinguished.

I’ve used it to describe the premature failure of something, “The phone just cut off.”

My hope will never fail me.

My hope cannot be cut off.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Hope, Old Testament, Proverbs