Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Holding on to hope

Something remarkable happened in the last few days.

I was in a ministry situation that appeared would be a big disappointment. But as God calls us to be faithful, those of us in that circumstance pressed forward and continued with what we came to do.

Things began happening. Amazing things. Marvelous things.

I left with such a strong sense of God’s saving power and presence.

It reminded me of this story Terry Tekyl tells in his book, Most Wanted. “I held a New Year’s Eve service in my small country church. . . my first pastorate. With a steady drizzle falling and temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark. . . it was a night to stay home. My wife, my three kids, my sister-in-law, and I were the only ones in the tiny chapel. I decided to give a short message anyway, however, and when I was finished, my sister-in-law came to the altar. She said she wanted to give her life to Jesus to start the new year off right.”

The scripture that precedes Tekyl’s story is this, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

When we pray long and see no results, when we labor day after day, year after year, and the fruit appears nil, when we face closed door after closed door, that is the time to be diligent in what God has called us to do. Because in our acting and hoping, we express our faith.

I believe the events of the past days will help me reframe future circumstances. In a bleak situation, instead of thinking, “Oh, no. This is going to be awful.” I can now think, “Oh, wow, I wonder what God is going to do.” As the prophet Isaiah wrote, He wants to gives us “beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

So friend, if you’re where I was, scanning the situation and wondering--press on and be encouraged. Who knows what the Lord may do in His perfect time?

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