We cannot live very long without hope. Biblically it is a very strong word – it means to expect something with confidence. God promised it. I believe it. That settles it. In Psalm 39:7, David said,” And now LORD, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.” In Psalm 71:5-8 we read “For You are my hope, O LORD GOD; You are my trust from my youth. By you I have been upheld from birth; you are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You. I have become a wonder to many. But You are my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day.”
Folks, that is the way it is when our hope/confidence is in the LORD. Our mouths and our lives will be filled with praise due to His faithfulness. In Colossians, the Apostle Paul wrote,” It is Christ in you, the hope of Glory. (1:27) we have eternal hope. In Cor. 15:19-20, we read,” If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitied. BUT NOW CHRIST IS RISEN from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” We have a living hope in the living LORD JESUS CHRIST.
I am sure that most of us get discouraged from time to time. I love the confidence the Palmist expresses (42:11), “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Savior and my God.” We don’t always understand God’s ways, but we can trust them because we know His ways are perfect and He always wants the best for us. God’s love for us is very intentional. In His own time and ways, He will reveal to us what He has had in mind for us, and it will be good.
I was twenty-five when the LORD first took me through the loss of my dear wife Barbara. I could hardly fathom her being taken. Pam was three and Sheldon was 10 months old. Yet in the midst of that dark time, I experienced the hope He offers. Now I am 83 years old and have shared life and ministry with the most amazing lady, Joyce, for the last fifty-six years. I have been so blessed to share life and ministry with her. Now, I am alone again, yet not alone, because the LIVING GOD is right here with me and I am comforted by His presence.
One of my favorite passages of God’s word is 2 Cor. 1:3-4, where Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. Who comforts us in all of our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
There are several amazing truths that I want to share with you, in these verses:
1. Our God is the God of all comfort. The word used here really has the idea of Him strengthening us, more than consoling us.
2. He does this to equip us so that we can help others with their struggles. He will be able to identify with them because we have already gone through that valley.
3. We will be able to share with them God’s faithfulness to us, and thereby encourage them.
4. Praise God for the hope and strength He provides for us daily.
We thank the LORD for you our Jubilee family. You are a constant source of joy to us. Let’s go forward together by faith to expand His kingdom in this world.
Pastor Leonard, Pastor Jim, Pam, and Caleb