New Hope For The Day

Welcome to New Hope for the Day : My Personal Devotional

In the Indian language there is a greeting, 'Namante", which means "I honor the holy one who lives with in you." May you feel welcomed and honored as I share my strengths and weaknesses from my days which turn into years. I share from my heart, my spirit with HIS wisdom; never acknowledging that I have arrived, but always pressing towards the mark to be more like HIM.

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands."
Oswald Chambers

Please feel free to grab that cup of joe, or in my case a cup of hot chocolate, turn on some beautiful music, pull up a warm blanket, and let us together live life.

Thank you for "tuning in". I hope your day is wonderful and may HE bring you new hope for this day.



Friday, January 21, 2011

At An Impass?



"Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us."
1 Thessalonians 2:18


Have you ever been going a direction that you believed the Lord was directing you to go, yet your spouse wasn't on the right page, or there were obstacles that were keeping you from doing what you felt you were suppose to do? I am sure you have. I have. We all have. Even Paul was being "hindered" as you see here in the scripture above to get to this Thessalonian church. It says he was "hindered" not just once but twice.


If not spiritually you've been there, I know you have naturally been going to a destination only to find out that the airplane can not get you to that destination at the time you were expected to arrive, or as your driving down that road there is a snow bank or a icy spot that tells you that you need to get to your destination another way. We've all been there in own fashion or another.

In our Scripture today, the word "hindered" comes from the Greek word egkopto, a word that was originally used to describe a road so deteriorated and broken up that it was impassable. But the word egkopto means even more than this. In Greek times it was also used as an athletic term. It was used to portray the moment when a runner comes alongside another runner and literally elbows him out of the race. The second runner is running a good race, he is shoved out of the way by the aggression of a fellow runner. As a result of this action, the runner who was elbowed loses the leading edge he previously had.

When these two ideas are combined together, the primary idea of the word "hindered" becomes that of an impasse so severe that it prohibits you from going where you need to go or an aggressor who unkindly elbows you off course in your spiritual race.

Paul is saying:

"...Satan created an impasse that kept me from coming to see you."
"...Satan put obstructions in my path to prevent me from getting to you."
"...Satan cut in on me and prohibited me from visiting you as I wanted to do."
"...Satan tried to elbow his way in on me to keep me from coming to see you."

So when something happens that seems to prevent you from doing what it is that you feel the Lord is leading you to do, remember you are not the first to encounter such difficulties. Others have been in the same situation. In time, as in Paul's case, the devil's attack ceased, and the way cleared for them to move ahead.

In the process though we have to be sure we are using wisdom and spiritual discernment according to scriptures. If your married, it is absolutely necessary that you walk in agreement for many times it is just a timing issue or your just not suppose to go that direction. God is a big God! And in all things that we walk in patience and peace. When you begin to feel anxious and want to start working things out on your own that is a good sign that your operating and the Holy Spirit isn't. Walk in patience and peace.

The story of your life isn't over! Regardless of where you are at right now. Regardless of what the devil has tried to do. It is time for you to remember that what God has promised shall come to pass as you hold fast to your faith in HIM.

Let's Pray: Lord, I feel I am at an impasse. I don't know what to do except to seek you first. Today I am asking You for the strength that I need to keep pushing forward with the spirit of peace and patience in all that I do to overcome obstacles if there are obstacles to overcome. I know that greater is HE who is in me than he that is in the world. Father, you are going to give me the exact wisdom I need get where I need to go. I pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Learning To Trust Again

Here is a devotional that I have come across back in 2010 that arrived before my eyes at the most opportune time. I wanted to share with you, perhaps its just what you need at this time. This was written by Micca Campbell.


"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
John 11:40 (NIV)


Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus were in Jesus' inner circle of friends. As part of the "in" crowd, Mary and Martha felt certain Jesus would come to them when Lazarus got ill. They had seen Jesus heal and minister to complete strangers. Surely, He'd come to those whom He loved. However, we see in John 11:4-6 that was not the case.

Jesus indeed loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Yet, when He heard that Lazarus was sick He stayed where He was two more days.

Let's pause here for a moment. I find it very confusing that while Jesus loved His friends, He waited two days before He went to their side. These verses appear to validate our fear of rejection. We think, "If Jesus ignored His friend Lazarus, then He can ignore me too."

After my husband died, I felt unloved and forgotten by God. I had trusted Him and believed as His child nothing bad would happen to me. When something bad did happen, I bought Satan's lie. "I knew it, God. I knew You really didn't love me!" I believed Satan's propaganda which caused me to doubt God. He had promised never to leave or desert me, but there I was, alone. How could God betray me? I wondered.

Do you know that hollow, helpless feeling that accompanies the pain of rejection, loss, and loneliness? It may be the loss of your home, the loss of a pregnancy, or perhaps a loved one rejected you in some way. The pain of that rejection warns that trusting again is too risky.

The truth is, when you and I experience either emotional or physical trauma, and God doesn't respond like we think He should, we will do one of two things. Either we turn to God, trusting Him with the result; or we run from God and feed on bitterness. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can learn to trust again.

Perspective is often limited by circumstances. God knows exactly what He's doing in your life and it's always based on love. When I'm overcome with fear I'm not really looking for answers. I'm looking for the assurance that God is near, that He's in control, and He cares about me and my circumstances.

While others may reject us, you and I need not fear rejection from God. As I began to understand that God had not left me, but was in the pit with me, I started to see a deeper truth. Bad things are going to happen to me while on earth. Usually they are the result of living in this fallen world.

Sickness, abuse and death are part of life in a fallen world that God will someday restore. Until then, God may allow me to go through these things. It's not to cause me any undue pain, but rather He allow them and then use them to accomplish spiritual growth. Charles Stanley explains, "Some things are so important to God that they are worth interrupting the happiness and health of His children in order to accomplish them."

This was true with Mary and Martha. Jesus told Martha that she would see the glory of God if she believed. Did you catch that? Believing is seeing. If you and I choose faith over fear, we will see the glory of God turn our pain into life and blessings.

As Mary and Martha believed, they witnessed the glory of God when He raised their brother from the dead. Their fears vanished and their faith was restored. If you and I want to exchange our fear for faith, we must believe that what Christ has in store for us is worth our present pain.

Dear Lord, even when I don't understand Your actions, help me trust that You have my best at heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Jesus told them to remove the stone covering Lazarus' grave. The stone can represent our hurt, anger or pride. In order to see your miracle, you may need to remove the stone that has hardened your heart against trusting Christ.

Reflections:
Can looking at my circumstances from God's perspective lessen my anxieties?
Will I chose to trust God (again) today? Why or why not?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 54:10, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed;" says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (NIV)

© 2010 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 7, 2011

As Christian BELIEVERS We Must Forgive

I wrote this article the day that the accused killer was arrested, but have waited until now to release it because any earlier may not have been appropriate and I cautiously release it now. . . .

We have a man arrested. He is innocent until proven guilty, we must remember that.  We must allow a jury to bring justice to the correct invididual.

As a community, we will grieve and then we will come to a point where we will also begin to heal, Through the process of healing we will come to a place to choose to forgive or not forgive. This will decide how much we will heal. This will be harder for those that have been transgressed against themselves. If your not willing to forgive this man; this is a sign that forgiveness has not been completely walked out from a prior incident. If anger arises within you just by reading this it is also a sign that forgiveness from a prior situation has not been resolved.

I believe forgiveness is a choice we make through a decision of our will, motivated by obedience to God and his command to forgive. The Bible instructs us to forgive as the Lord forgave us:

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13
 
You may say, "...well, I don't feel like forgiving!"  I understand that emotion. I've been there. Forgiveness is a choice to be obedient.  I recommend being honest and emotional with the Lord and ending with "BUT I choose to forgive because YOUR Word says that I must forgive."

We forgive, BY FAITH, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.

I believe God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive (our job), by faith, until the work of forgiveness (the Lord's job), is done in our hearts.
 
I want you to understand that I do get it. It is a process. It is okay to be angry and want justice for the person we need to forgive. In the process of dealing with this person and walking out forgiveness to forgive. We can pray for God to deal with the injustices, for God to judge the person's life, and then we can leave that prayer at the altar. We no longer have to carry the anger. Although it is normal for us to feel anger toward sin and injustice, it is not our job to judge the other person in their sin.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37

You may still be wondering,  why must we forgive? The best reason to forgive is again because Jesus commanded us to forgive. We learn from Scripture, if we don't forgive, neither will we be forgiven:

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-16

We also forgive so that our prayers will not be hindered:

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Mark 11:25

When such a horrible crime as this that has been committed to a child undoubtedly it is going to be hard to forgive. OUR forgiveness will not happen over night. It is a process that will be walked out.
I can think of no better person that set an example to us of walking out forgiveness that most of us would know then Corrie Ten Boom.  Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you."

As you walk out forgiveness and every day choose to express yourself to the Lord and end with "BUT I choose to forgive because YOUR Word says that I must forgive." You one day will find you have forgiven and in the process each day you will find new hope for that day.