Posted on: 11th June 2018
“ ‘…will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ ”
When we’re facing a tough situation, or a hard time in our lives that doesn’t seem to be ending, we can sometimes start to lose hope.
We feel like things will always be this way and that there’s no possibility of anything changing. We may have been praying for years and not seen any change. It can be discouraging.
When we lose our hope, we lose our ability to see beyond our circumstances. We can become consumed by fear, disappointment and resentment that our situation isn’t changing. But God says He ‘will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ (Hosea 2 v 15). Achor means trouble. So here God is saying that He’ll turn trouble into hope. And the Bible says that ‘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’ (Isaiah 40 v 31).
We have spoken about the Israelites before on their journey to the Promised Land. When the Israelites were in exile, there must have been days when many of them doubted whether they would ever be allowed to return to the Promised Land. They may have even thought that God had abandoned and forgotten about them. But Jeremiah the prophet (one who God talks to about the future) says, ‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy.’ The word ‘shall’ is a definite; that was what was going to happen – and it did. And we can have that same expectancy.
When God promises us something, He’ll always come through. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. He has the power to completely change our situations and turn our trouble into hope.
Posted on: 22nd January 2018
Two weeks ago, we talked about each individual being made up of mind, body and spirit. This week we are delving into how we grow in those areas. As many of us already know, studying, reading and learning new things grows our mind. We also know that exercise and healthy eating is good for development in our bodies. However, how do we grow our spirit? How do we remain strong not just in our mind and body but also in our spirit?
We can learn two things from health gurus and apply them to our spiritual growth.
- Work your muscles in a focused way.
You cannot just keep on going the way you always have if you want to change. You have to work on the area you want to change in a focused way. The bible reminds Christians that when they followed Jesus their old self, their old spirit died and they were a new creation (2 Corinthians 5 v 17). So what is the point in doing the same old things if it does not strengthen their new spirit?
- Eat right
Guard what you put into yourself. Instead of letting things around you just happen, take control of what you are exposed to. Again, for a Christian the bible reminds us that all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3 v 16-17). Reading the bible is healthy for us and our spirit, even if all we take from it is moral truths.
This week, consider: where does your focus need to be? What needs to change in your diet for you to be able to grow your spiritual self?
Posted on: 18th September 2017
“He will empower you with inner strength.”
Ephesians 3:16 (NLT)
Have you ever watched a super hero film and been convinced that you have super powers that you haven’t discovered yet? Or looked at a freshly run bath and thought, “It can’t be that hard to walk on water!?”
As much as we can close our eyes and convince ourselves we can teleport from our desk to somewhere lovely and warm especially in this September rain we seem to have, we sometimes feel pretty weak. In fact, for most of us, not having super powers is probably our version or normal. We’ve all had moments of sheer helplessness, where it’s almost impossible to get out of bed because we are physically/emotionally exhausted. Yet in those moments, as hard as it is we can trust God, then if you are willing to, His power goes with you. Isaiah 40v 29 says, “He gives STRENGTH to the weary and increases the POWER of the weak.” That’s a pretty cool encouragement, right?
We may not have teleportation powers, but that verse tells us that even in our weakest moments, we have power that God will build on. That verse means that we don’t have to live in extortion and weakness but that we can live in His power, His strength and His courage.
What does this mean for us?
When we try to do things on our own it can seem hard but have courage. Have the courage to trust in God, in our weakness he is strong. Have the courage to believe with Him you can do more that you can on your own.
This week, have courage, step out and try something new.