This Sort of Hope

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. – (Hebrews 10:23, NIV)

We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what He promised. – (Hebrews 10:23, ERV)

So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps His promises! – (Hebrews 10:23, TPT)

 

This sort of hope is the hope that is found in Christ. What it means is that we trust and have confidence that God is true to His word; faithful to keep His promises. Hope is not wishing for “things” to transpire, but rather is trusting in the nature of Him who holds all things in the hollow of His hands. It is believing and trusting in the person of God, not in what He will or won’t do for us in our timing. Sunday, hope was the topic of Pastor Omar’s message. He had a fantastic illustration that sank in. Hope is the pilot light for faith. As long as we have hope, faith ignites and fans to flame. However, if we lose hope, our faith wavers and we need something or someone to come along and reignite the flame, in order for the fire of faith to burn true. The illustration made so much sense; for in hindsight, each time I think of seasons in my life where hope waned, it impacted my faith until glimpses of hope were brought back to life. Thankfully, each time I found myself in such a space, I was surrounded by a community that burned bright, and the light they bore reignited the hope within me. When we cling tightly to He who is our hope, we burn bright and encourage light and life in those around us. May we ever hold hope in He who is faithful; for God is good and His promises are true.

 

Hope is the anchor, Anchor

That settles the soul;

A confident trust,

That mends and makes whole.

True to what’s promised,

The God of all grace;

Fans faith into flame,

This hope we embrace.

So, hold onto hope,

The goodness of God;

Trust in who He is,

Today and beyond.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our hope is in You. Thank You that our reason for hope is who You are, rather than worrying about what we will or will not get. Forgive us for confusing hope with wishing and wanting. Teach us to trust and place our hope in You alone. Show us how to love those around us ways that fan flames of hope where they have grown dim. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You all of the days of our lives, allowing Your love to grow our faith into flames that burn bright and spread to those around us. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. – Hebrews 6:19a

A Fountain of Life and Light

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. – (Psalm 36:9, NIV) 

The fountain of life flows from You. Your light lets us see light. – (Psalm 36:9, ERV) 

You have the fountain of life that quenches our thirst. Your light has opened our eyes and awakened our souls. – (Psalm 36:9, VOICE) 

 

Spending time in a major city seems to open my eyes to where there is light and where it is lacking. Though that may be an alarmingly obvious statement, given the sizable homeless population that tends to reside in the downtown area of all major cities, I am actually speaking of the individuals with whom I had direct interaction – be it a cashier or a server or concierge, not just a smile, nod or “hello” on the street. Incidentally, I had several different conversations with a variety of folks, many of which were students from the nearby university. One seemed to be a bit distraught, as I asked her how her day was going. Between a late arrival to work, upcoming finals, and concern about making it home for the holidays, she was stressed and short on hope. I extended encouragement and wished her well throughout our brief conversation, and I now pray for the peace of God to be present as she navigates the next few weeks. When the light of the Lord is lacking, we are called to be His light, as His light within us, is made to illuminate the darkness. May we ever seek and depend on the Lord, who is the fountain of life that quenches our thirst and the light that opens our eyes and awakens our souls. 

 

God is a fountain, A Fountain of Life and Light

For each thirsty soul; 

He’ll fill and refresh, 

Restore and make whole. 

The light of the Lord, 

Opens eyes to see; 

Awakens the soul, 

To grace that sets free. 

Where there is no hope, 

God’s light makes hope known; 

Run to the Fountain, 

Where true love is shown. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Source of light and life and hope. Thank You that we can come to You and be filled, so that we can truly see. Forgive us for our tunnel vision that keeps us from seeing what surrounds us. Teach us to see the world through Your eyes, so that we would be ever aware of where Your light is lacking and shine Your love in such spaces. Show us how to love those around us who are hopeless or hurting or stuck in dark spots. Help us to extend light and life and hope in tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we rely on You to be our fountain of life and light, and seek You to show us life through the light of Your loving lens. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. – John 1:5

Love Lights the Way

Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. – (1 John 2:10, NLT)

Those who love their brothers and sisters live in the light, and there is nothing in them that will make them do wrong. – (1 John 2:10, ERV)

Anyone who loves his brother or sister lives in the light and will not trip because his conscience is clear. – (1 John 2:10, VOICE)

 

As always, it all boils down to love. If we are loving those around us according to God’s good and perfect will, we will be living in His light and will not lead others astray. True love, God’s love, points people in the right direction and helps others do good according to His will and His ways. For me, the more I am loved well, the more I am compelled to do the same. Love fuels love, and the overflow is light and life and the good that God intended all along. May we ever invest in our time with the Lord, who is love, so that we are filled and equipped to go forth and love those around us in His light.

 

Brothers and sisters;

dsc058193820928712157183979.jpg

Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Let us choose to love,

For as we invest,

Good shall rise above.

If our choice is love,

For one and for all;

His light will be spread,

Answer to His call.

A love that is pure,

Will point all to good;

As we love like God,

Grace is understood.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and loving and light into our darkness. Thank You that You call us to be the same to those around us. Forgive us for the times that we have chosen anything other than love, as love leads to the good You intend. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would love those around us, even when it is difficult. Show us how to love like You, allowing Your light to illuminate dark places and soften the hardest of hearts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invest our lives in Your love so that we may love others as You love us. Amen.

 

 

© Shannon Elizabeth (Moreno) Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. – Psalm 112:4

No Need to Argue

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. – (2 Timothy 2:23)

 

Rather than engage in trivial arguments or debates, we are called to be kind and gentle, patient and courteous, and speak the truth always. This requires us to listen before we speak, and to use wisely the words we choose allow to escape our lips. Let truth be told, but through the lens of love that draws others in so that they may want to hear what we have to say. Not engaging in arguments is just one example of how we can align our living with what we profess to be true. Respectful and honest discussion is good and beneficial, but anything that produces fuel to fight, is not the sort of conversation that we are called to carry out. May we choose our words wisely, ever speaking the truth in love in a way that others may see Christ in us, and desire to pursue that which we already have.

 

Allow not our words,Tether Our Hearts

be foolish, unkind;

for arguments are,

engaged with the blind.

Rather let our words,

be gentle and kind;

as we listen well,

may lost seek to find.

Let the words we speak,

offer love and life;

peace to the hearer,

an ending to strife.

As the truth is told,

through life we’re living;

what we have professed,

removes misgivings.

May we choose be light,

as we extend love;

without arguing,

through Christ’s call above.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to steer clear of foolish and stupid arguments, as they produce nothing productive for Your kingdom. Thank You that You instead call us to be gentle and kind, patient and courteous, as we share the truth through mutual respect and care for one another. Forgive us for engaging in quarrels or foolish arguments, and help us to trust You more, so that we would seek to listen first, before we ever choose to open our mouths to speak. Lead us to love others with words and actions that bring light and life, just as You illuminate our darkness and grant us eternal hope. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified Lord God, as we choose to not engage in foolish arguments, but rather invest in conversations that create opportunities for the truth to be made known. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

Confidence in Christ Compels Correct Living

When Paul was on trial before Felix for his faith, he eloquently captured the heart of why we as Christians, seek to do God’s will. I have the same hope in God that these Jews have – the hope that all people, good and bad, will be raised from death. This is why I always try to do what I believe is right before God and before everyone. – (Acts 24:14-16, ERV) It is our hope, our looking forward with confidence in Christ, that we are compelled to act in alignment with what we believe. This is not something that we are able to do in our own strength, but rather through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus, our example, spoke these words: The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him. – (John 8:29) May we go forth this day, seeking to do right before God, as we hold fast to the hope we have in Him.

 

Our hope is held,Confidence in Christ

in Christ alone;

Who’ll raise us up,

before His throne.

May we do right,

as He has shown;

speaking the truth,

so it is known.

Let all the lost,

make God their own;

as they too trust,

in Christ alone.

May our actions,

and words be sown;

as light and life,

so Christ is shown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because we have hope in You, we have reason to seek You in all things. Thank You that when we come to You, You hear us and receive us as we are. Forgive us for not keeping short accounts before You, and help us to do right before You, always. Lead us and guide us in all that we do and say, so that Your light is evident in everything. Teach us to trust You more, so that our fervent faith is contagious. Help us to love well, as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You, as Your light shines through us. Be glorified, O God, as we pursue the path of righteousness in You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

His Beauty Shines

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body is also full of darkness. – (Luke 11:34, NIV)

 

The only source of light for the body is the eye. When you look at people and want to help them, you are full of light. But when you look at people in a selfish way, you are full of darkness. – (Luke 11:34, ERV)

 

Jesus modeled light and life unto the world. Everywhere He went, His light shone brightly before all mankind. He touched the hurting, healed the sick, spoke to the forgotten, and loved those deemed unloveable by society. Christ was not afraid to associate with sinners, in fact, that is the very reason He came. We live in a world where darkness dwells, yet with Christ in us, His light still shines. “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” – Francis Bacon. We are more glaringly aware of just how brilliantly Christ’s light shines, when we recognize both the darkness in and around us. If we allow His light in, no darkness can remain. For where there is light, darkness disappears. May we allow the light of Christ to so consume us, that we cannot help but reflect His light to the world.

 

The eyes of our heart,

reflect to the world;

Kari Jobe shining for Christ. :)

Kari Jobe shining for Christ. 🙂

darkness and dismay,

or freedom unfurled.

In one we are trapped,

stuck still in our sin;

the other, by grace,

we’ve let Jesus in.

As Christ dwells in us,

His beauty shall shine;

we can’t help but change,

when touched by Divine.

Through Him there is light,

for eternity;

all darkness dispels,

and we become free.

Free from the darkness,

unchained from despair;

bathed in His glory,

light and life to share.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we come to You in darkness, You willingly and lovingly shine Your light in. Thank You that where Your light shines, no darkness remains. Forgive us for allowing the darkness that surrounds us to block the view of Your light that dwells within us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will shine brightly before all, regardless of situations or circumstances, and trust that You are in control. May Your love and light be what is seen through us, and may many come to trust in You for themselves as a result. Be glorified, Lord God, as we reflect Your radiance before mankind. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

His Love Endures Forever

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. – Psalm 136:1

 

The entire 136th Psalm  is a series of thanks and praise for God’s faithfulness, followed by the phrase, His love endures forever.  In the midst of the chaos of the coming close of the school year, accompanied by various other challenges, my heart is stirred to simply create my own list of thanks for His faithfulness, acknowledging how His love, does indeed, endure forever. Perhaps you too, might take a moment to reflect upon His faithfulness, and how His love endures forever.

 

To Him who grants me light and life on earth,His Love Endures Forever

His love endures forever.

Protected my babies before their birth,

His love endures forever.

Who provided a house that is our home,

His love endures forever.

Placed us in a loving church of our own,

His love endures forever.

Whom we can fully trust and call upon,

His love endures forever.

Who provides a place to teach and grow strong,

His love endures forever.

Supplies faithful colleagues, whom I call friends,

His love endures forever.

Granted family, Faithful knows no end,

His love endures forever.

To Him who lifts me each time that I fall,

His love endures forever.

And to the Holy, whom hears every call,

His love endures forever.

To the One who sees every tear that’s shed,

His love endures forever.

And to Him who’s leading this life I’ve led,

His love endures forever.

To the One who forgives my every wrong,

His love endures forever.

And to Him who deserves my every song,

His love endures forever.

All praise unto You, Mighty, Righteous One,

Your love endures forever.

To the blessed Savior, Jesus, the Son,

Your love endures forever.

To His Spirit, who shows what need be done,

Your love endures forever.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You thank Your love lasts forever. Thank You that it is a gift that You give to us, not because we are worthy, but because we are Your created, whom You love. Thank You that when we come to You and surrender ourselves unto You, You meet us where we are, and exchange our sinfulness for Your righteousness, making it possible for us to enter into Your Holy presence, always. Forgive us for not thanking You often enough for Your great faithfulness. Teach us to have an attitude of gratitude, always. Thank You that no matter what is going on around us, our hope is secure in You. May we live and love as You so faithfully and lavishly love us, and may many come to know Your eternal love, personally, as they enter into a lifelong relationship with You. Be exalted, Lord God, as our lives express songs of praise unto You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

The Presentation of Peace

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

These words were spoken by Jesus, to His disciples, in the upper room at the last supper.  He knew what lay before Him in the coming hours, yet His priority was to offer comfort and hope to His disciples.  He was not concerned for His own suffering, rather He was reminding His dear and devoted friends of what was true, regardless of how things appeared.  In this wonderful, yet sometimes challenging season, I too, find comfort in His word.  He is truth.  He is life.  In Him, we can place our trust and let fear be far from us.

Peace came and made His presence known

image by Stevan Lasorella

image by Stevan Lasorella

when He entered earth and left His throne.

Though Christ the King, His entry here,

in a meager stable, the babe came near.

No fanfare, nor an ornamental throne,

yet the heavens declared and made it known.

Unto us, the Son is given.

Unto us, we’d become forgiven.

The shepherds in the fields that night,

took in such a monumental sight.

For from the birth of one so small,

would come salvation, for us all.

Imagine, as upon Him they did gaze,

the awe and wonder, at the Ancient of Days.

God and King, yet infant child,

powerful and mighty, yet meek and mild.

He came to seek and save the lost,

He lived and loved and paid our cost.

Trouble and fear He’s overcome,

His peace He leaves, in Him, it’s done.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are our Peace.  Thank You that Your very presence is the promised peace on which we can depend.  When fear and trouble come, help us trust in You.  Forgive us for allowing fear a foothold, and grant us strength to grasp the magnitude of Your love and grace.  Teach us to live each day as if it were our last, and to make each moment matter.  Thank You for the glorious gift of Your Son, Jesus, that provided the path for our salvation.  Lead us in love today and always, Lord, so that the light we share may lead many to come to call You King.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present