Monday, March 4, 2013

Nuggets of Wisdom: Hope

I started reading a new book this week. I've barely started it--only 16% of the way through it--and I've already uncovered some incredible nuggets of wisdom.
Perhaps these little nuggets mean a lot to me now because of the stage of life I'm in. I wanted to share just a few of these little jewels with you. I've pulled these quotes from a book called Hope Being Gone: Trusting God in the Tough Times by Cherie Hill.

  • When life is going according to our plan, seldom do we ask God about His.
  • When there are no signs of victory and your faith is failing, its your shouts of praise through the pain that will bring Light to your darkness. It's by faith that we have hope... and hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
  • Faith is more than just belieivng in God. It's about trusting Him, even when there is no evidence you should.
I'll leave you with some encouraging scripture from 2 Chronicles 20:15-17. It's the account of Jehoshaphat facing war with his enemies. He prayed and cried out to God for help. The Lord encouraged His people with the following words:

He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

The story doesn't end there. Jehoshaphat bowed before the Lord and instead of sending out his strongest warriors for battle, he sent the singers. Yes. You heard me right. He sent the singers out ahead of the army to begin praising and thanking God. The Lord gave His people victory over their enemies.

I don't know about you, but praise and thanksgiving is not the first thing that comes to mind when I'm faced with trying circumstances. Yet, over and over the Word tells us that we should be praising and thanking God--even for the difficult times. And as a singer, I don't particularly want to be on the front lines of battle with the rest of the army behind me. Once again I am reminded that praise and thanksgiving is essential. If anyone is looking for me, I'll be out front trying to be brave enough to eek out some praise songs.

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