Hope Is a Beautiful Thing – Part II

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)

 

Last time we were together we were talking about the perks of being a Christ follower and how you can receive them for yourself as His child.

If you remember, I’d asked God if the promise in Exodus 14:13-14 was still valid or if that perk had an expiration date. I have to admit, I was a little nervous to ask Him because I was a little scared of His answer. I shouldn’t have been. He showed me through various means that He was going to continue fighting for me. Because our God is so generous, He gave me an additional promise to cling to, that piggybacks the first promise but gave additional hope. He gave me II Corinthians 5:17 (NIV): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Through a series of very personal, yet very different avenues, God reaffirmed to me that He was indeed giving me this message and I could claim its promise for our lives.

The point of this post isn’t to talk about me, which is why I didn’t always give lots of details. The point instead is this: God loves His children. People talk a lot about the bad things that happen in this world, and yes, bad things happen. If it wasn’t for the “bad thing” that happened to our family in August 2013 (as well as other “bad” things that had happened years earlier), I might not have seen the powerful way God provides like I did as a result of the trial.

 

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However, the point I’m trying to make is this. There are literally hundreds of promises (blessings) in the Bible and God has specific ones, individual and very personal ones just for you. Unless you ask, though, you may never receive the blessing that has been waiting for you this whole time. God wants to bless His children and when we obey His commands and cultivate our relationship with Him, choosing to be more like Him daily, we can then start to experience the blessings available to us. It’s not hard. It’s as easy as cultivating a relationship with your husband, your best friend, or your children. Spending time with God, reading about His characteristics in the Bible and reading and receiving the blessings He has to offer you individually.

I was talking about the promises God gave to me with a friend. She was happy for me, but she made a statement that reinforced just how personal our Father is. She said that the promises I shared with her don’t mean anything to her personally because they don’t fill a need she has. They mean so much to me, and give me hope, because God fills up our empty spaces and makes beautiful masterpieces out of our lives when we allow Him full access. She, on the other hand, had other promises she was daily bringing to the Lord that filled up her spaces because God knows exactly what she and her family need.

I don’t know about you but as much as I like parking close to a building and I truly do love the masterpieces that my children present to me – the perks of being a Christ follower are indescribable. The hope that rises when I know I’d heard directly from the Creator of the Universe to a need so personal in my life brings peace. And peace, my friend, Heavenly peace, feels real good.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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