Into the Wind

by Nan Corbitt Allen

They’re loud and demanding and messy. No, I AM NOT talking about my grandchildren.

I’m talking about seagulls.

Recently, my husband and I were on the Gulf Coast of Florida taking a few days of R & R. We spent a couple of days just sitting on the beach watching the waves and the dolphins roll in and out of our view. And though I’ve been to the beach many times, I always learn something each time I go. (Maybe it’s because I choose to look for something new.) Anyway, this time I chose to watch and learn from the seagulls.

They’re scavengers, no doubt, and they find no shame in begging for morsels from unsuspecting beachcombers. Reflection: don’t throw out anything edible if you don’t want to reenact a horror scene from a Hitchcock movie. This I already knew from experience.

Observation: seagulls are almost always found in flocks. You hardly ever see one alone (no matter what the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull implies). Sometimes it’s a small flock, sometimes a huge herd. But I knew that, too.

Here’s what I did learn:  Seagulls in a flock, while on the ground, face in the same direction. It was funny at first. A single gull might fly off for a few minutes, then return and resume the position as if compelled to fit in or because he was being careful not to ruffle the feathers of the alpha male or a higher-up in the pecking order. Was it east or west or what that lined them up facing one way?

Finally it dawned on me. They all seemed to face into the wind.

When I got home, I did a little research and found that this was exactly what they were doing. It was the wind that determined their on-ground direction, and for a bird of flight, that is important. Seagulls need to vacate the beach quickly when danger arrives or when a food source suddenly becomes available. If their tail feathers are facing the wind they would be less aerodynamic and more in danger of getting saltwater, sand, or debris under their perfectly designed down and feather covering.

It just makes sense. They protect themselves from harm, by always being ready for flight by leaning into the wind.

Eagles can soar to great heights, and like Isaiah tells us, “Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles” (Is. 40:31 CSB). Ducks can fly long distances but not necessarily so high. (That’s maybe why they are sometimes easy shots.) However, you have to give them credit for endurance. Like James says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2 CSB).

Eagles fly high, and sometimes so do I. Ducks fly far, and often perseverance is required of me.

But seagulls stand on the shore, feel the wind on their beaks, and wait for the next thing. Right now, I’m not really soaring to great heights or flapping furiously for distance. Often I find myself …waiting…leaning into the wind a little, and trying to respond as the wind’s direction changes, ready for whatever is coming.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.   Psalm 91:1-4 ESV

Nan Corbitt AllenAbout the author: Nan Corbitt Allen has written over 100 published dramatic musicals, sketchbooks, and collections, most of these works in collaboration with Dennis Allen, her husband of 40 years. A three-time Dove Award winner for her musicals written with Dennis, Nan’s lyrics and dramas have been performed across the U.S. and around the world. Throughout their writing careers together, Dennis and Nan have sold almost 3 million choral books. Nan lives with her husband Dennis in Cleveland, GA where she teaches English and Creative Writing at Truett McConnell University.

Nan’s book, Small Potatoes @ the Piggly Wiggly, is a collection of devotionals that reveal the seemingly insignificant experiences that can have great impact on a life. She describes what she learned of God’s providence and wisdom while growing up in the Deep South in the 1950’s and 60’s. Bible passages given throughout the book make this a book for all readers.

Join the conversation: What kind of bird do you find yourself most like at present? Soaring the heights? Flying long distances? Or facing into the wind, ready for whatever God has for you next?

Waiting Patiently

by Crystal Bowman

Several years ago, my son and daughter-in-law found themselves in a cold and sterile infertility clinic 1500 miles away from home. They desperately wanted a baby, but things didn’t happen the way they had planned. After all attempts to conceive had failed, they flew home with shattered dreams and lost hope. Their story is heart wrenching, and it’s shared by more than 6 million couples in the U.S. who just want to have a child.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (ESV). Whether it is hoping for a child, a career promotion, or that special someone to share our life, it’s only human to want things to fall into place. We pray and plead and weep, wondering if God hears us. Our well-meaning friends quote Bible verses for us. We read and reread God’s promises. But when what we hope for is deferred, it truly does make the heart sick.

During a season of waiting, bitterness can take root and hopelessness can overwhelm us. We ask questions and wonder why, but the answers don’t always come. In Psalm 40, King David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (40:1, 3 NIV). Waited patiently. Two words that tell us what David did in his time of distress, and that God heard his cry. But I wonder how long David had to wait before God responded—one week, two years, or a decade?  The Bible doesn’t say.

Waiting patiently for something our hearts long for is physically and emotionally exhausting. It consumes our thoughts and can make us feel weak as we attempt to go on with our daily lives. The prophet Isaiah offers encouragement with these words: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). When our hope is in God, rather than in doctors or bosses or dating websites, he renews our strength. His love and grace and mercy are great enough to cover our shattered dreams, heal our broken hearts, and restore us to wholeness.

My son and daughter-in-law were finally blessed with baby boy, and three years later a baby girl. They now have a noisy home with scattered toys on the floor and fingerprints on the windows. Of course, not every desire or hope we have will be fulfilled the way we want, and only God knows how each person’s story will be written. But while we wait patiently for his plan to unfold, we can soar with the eagles knowing that God will answer our prayers in his time and in his way.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.  Psalm 130:5 NIV

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The struggle and the hope of waiting patiently – Crystal Bowman on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Crystal BowmanAbout the author: Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children including Our Daily Bread for Kids, M is for Manger, and Does God Take Naps? She is a mentor for MOPS and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music. Her latest release, co-authored with her daughter-in-law, is Mothers in Waiting, Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms. She lives in both Florida and Michigan (wherever the weather is best), and travels often to get hugs from her grandchildren.

Join the conversation: For what are you waiting?

Who’s Really Driving the Car?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

When our oldest son was just a few months old, my husband and I felt like God was calling us to leave our home in Arkansas, and move to South Carolina. We had no friends or family in the Carolinas, but my husband had a job offer, and there had been some issues with his job in Arkansas that made both of us uncomfortable.

So we began to discuss the possibilities. My husband, ever the engineer, made lists of pros and cons. While I, the creative right-brained one, tried to discover how I felt about the chance of moving. We wrangled over the decision for weeks, but for every pro there was a con, and for every upside there was a corresponding downside. The situation had us stymied.

Then one night, as I drifted off, I was captivated by a dream. I was the passenger in a car, a convertible to be exact, and we were driving a dangerous, winding road that led the side of up a mountain. The road was a tiny two-lane affair, minus guardrails. There were granite cliffs on the mountain side of the road, and a sheer drop to the valley below on the other. I knew about the drop off because the driver kept veering toward the edge of the cliff and I’d have to reach over and yank the steering wheel to keep us from crashing into the valley below. As we hurtled toward the top of the mountain we were up so high I could occasionally see clouds below us.

Finally, I got really irritated because it seemed the higher we got the more often I’d have to pull us back from the edge, and it suddenly occurred to me I didn’t know who was driving. While I kept a cautionary hand on the steering wheel, I risked a quick glance at the face of the person driving.

Even though I couldn’t describe the features to you now, I immediately recognized him…it was Jesus driving the car.

I was immediately mortified and jerked my hand away from the wheel and sure enough, He drove us right off the edge of the mountain. But we didn’t crash. No, instead we were suddenly free, and soaring above the mountain. I don’t remember Him saying anything, but he held tightly to my hand, and I remember Him smile.

At this point I woke, and shook my husband awake to tell him about my dream. He got excited and gave me hug, “That’s it. That’s the answer.”

I was still a little groggy, and I voiced the first thought that came to me. “Okay, but what’s the question?”

He laughed and hugged me again. “That’s our answer about moving. We’ve been trying to make the decision all by ourselves. God wants us to just let go and follow Him.”

Within the month we were gone, headed to South Carolina. It has been one of the single-best decisions we’ve ever made. That decision caused a domino effect in our lives leading us straight to God, strengthening our faith as well as our family.

Through the years I’ve found myself at crossroads, with God once again asking me to trade the security of what I knew and was comfortable with, for His path, which lead only He knew where.

You might think the choice would be simpler each time, but it isn’t. Never-the-less, I’ve learned the joy and peace that comes when I trade my control for His.

What about you? What part of your life is God trying to get you to relinquish to Him?

I invite you to join me and let go of the steering wheel. You won’t be sorry you chose to trust Him.

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Who’s Really Driving the Car? Thoughts on Following God from @EdieMelson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Edie-MelsonAbout the author:  Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged Edie Melson soul careaudiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, Soul Care When You’re Weary, is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.comand on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the conversation: What part of your life do you need to turn over to the Lord?

Up in the Air About Who I Am

by Deb DeArmond @DebDeArmond

I like your top,” the silver-haired flight attendant commented as I boarded the Denver-bound flight, “So sparkly.”

“It set off the metal detector in security,” I complained.

“So does my hip,” her snappy reply.

We exchanged glances with a nod and a laugh.

Seated at the front, I watched as she welcomed each passenger with a personal comment or smile—almost like she was welcoming us into her home, greeting us as she would a group of friends. She’s been at this a long time, I thought to myself. She’s good.

We laughed during her safety briefing, breaking from the traditional stuffy announcement. People chuckled – and they listenedYep. She’s good.

Because I had the prized front row single seat in this smaller regional aircraft, she sat opposite me during takeoff, our knees nearly touching. I could see the nameplate pinned to her uniform. Elizabeth.

“How long have you been flying?” I asked.

“Seventeen years. It’s changed so much over time. It’s not what it used to be.” She detailed some of the changes she’d experienced. Her biggest complaint was the decline of civility from passengers. “Demanding. Loud. Impatient. Rude. Just plain rude, ” she said, shaking her head.

“So, why are you still flying?” Clearly, she was old enough to retire.

“Several reasons. My husband is retired and not well. We need the benefits. And if I quit working, what would I do with myself every day? I’d be old before my time.”

I smiled. For most of us, we’d have said her time had come a long time ago. But that’s not how she saw it. That’s not how she saw herself. And because of her self-image, she was still here – going and doing and living at 30,000 feet—rudeness and all.

I was curious. “Do you still enjoy it?”

“Most days, I love it. For every cranky flyer I encounter, there are two or three who are lovely. Like you.” She smiled. The girl’s got skills.

As I thought about her later, it occurred to me—she’s good, because she has decided to be good. She’s also decided to stay young and to show up each day with that mindset.

Life is a daily decision. What’s my plan for living today? What’s my purpose at this point in my life? How will I show up? We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re as young as you feel.” I’d suggest an alternative, because I decided long ago not to be led by my feelings. I’d propose: “You are as young as you choose to be.” I’m not talking numbers here.  I’m talking mindset.

The story of Joshua and Caleb is inspiring. Both men were around 40 when Moses sent them as part of the twelve to explore the land. And because of their decision to see the promise of God instead of their circumstances, they were the only two God allowed into the promised land.

Many years later, as Joshua is dividing the land among those entering, Caleb comes to Joshua with a request:

“Now, as you can see, the LORD has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So, give me the hill country that the LORD promised me” Joshua 14:10-12a  NLT.

Caleb chose to see himself as God did: able, strong and prepared to enter into God’s promise.

My flight ended uneventfully – my favorite kind. But I had been reminded by my new friend that I can’t afford to be “up in the air” about how I show up each day. I will choose to be as young as I need to be – He may have important things for me to do!

Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.                                                                                                                                                      Isaiah 40:31 NASB

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Up in the Air About Who I Am – @DebDeArmond on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

DeArmond-29 copyAbout the authorDeb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship, and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb addresses topics related to the family and women. Her books include: Related by Chance, Family by ChoiceI Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last and Don’t Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! Deb’s books help readers, whether engaged, newlywed, or long-time married, create the life God meant marriage and family to be. You can read more from Deb at Family Matters/Deb.

Join the conversation: How do you plug in?

 

Join the Conversation: How do you choose to see yourself today? Have you decided to be able and ready when He calls on you?

Lessons on Learning to Fly with Faith

by Sheri Schofield

It had been a difficult spring. My husband, Tim, had suffered a breakdown from enormous pressures of life-threatening retaliation after he stood against fraud at work. He was too broken to support the family now, and too fragile for me to leave him home alone for more than a couple hours at a time. We had two school-age children. There were no savings after a year-long legal battle, and now there was no income. I had enough money left to buy food and gas for about a week.

A foot of snow covered the ground outside our log home on the mountain that morning in early March. I shoveled a path out to my car and headed down the mile-long dirt road to the highway into town to buy food.

I told the Lord, “Tim is suffering because he took that stand against evil for Your sake. That makes this money situation YOUR problem. So, Lord, please provide!”

As I drove down the mountain through the snow, an eagle flew across my path. The Lord reminded me of how eagles teach their young to fly. My imagination took me to the eagle’s nest. Day after day, the eaglet watches his parents soar through the sky. “Oh!” he thinks, “I want to be just like Dad!”

One day his father asks, “Are you ready to fly?”

“Yes!” cries the eaglet.

“Then get up here on the edge of the nest and start flapping your wings,” Dad orders.

The eaglet hops over to the edge and experimentally flaps his little wings. Just as he starts to get the hang of it, Dad pushes him out of the nest! What treachery! The eaglet squawks and tumbles through the air. He’s sure he’s going to die! But then Dad sweeps beneath the fledgling, catches him on his back, flies gracefully back up to the nest and dumps him.

“There’s no place like home!” the eaglet breathes, clutching the nest.

“Ok, let’s try this again. But next time, try flapping those wings!” Dad says.

“What do you mean by ‘next time’?” the eaglet croaks. “I’m NEVER leaving home again!”

As Dad pushes the eaglet back over to the edge, the eaglet tries vainly to grip the twigs in the nest. But it’s no use. As he tumbles toward the ground again, he croaks, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!”

Dad repeatedly catches the eaglet and carries him back to the nest to try again. Eventually, the eaglet overcomes his fear and learns to flap his wings. Soon he is soaring gracefully in the sky with his dad.

“You are like the eaglet,” God whispered to me. “I am pushing you out of your security so you will learn to trust Me more. I always catch you before you are in danger. So flap those wings of faith and come fly with Me!”

I laughed out loud. At the end of the driveway, I stopped at the mailbox. Inside was a letter for our family. . . and a check for three-thousand dollars.

Whenever a bill or a need arose that year, a check for the corresponding amount would show up in the mail. “The Lord told me to send this to you,” the writer would say. That year, we received thousands of dollars from friends through the mail. We always had food on the table and every bill was paid on time.

That was the year I learned to soar on high with my Father.

“…Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NIV

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The Eaglet & Lessons on Learning to Fly with #Faith – Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Join the conversation: When has God demonstrated His faithfulness to provide in your life?

Again, Again!

by Kristine Brown

“The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah,” (1 Samuel 1:19a NLT).

I watched from the park bench as the toddler lifted his feet once more – mom in one hand, dad in the other. He knew if he held on tight, they would swing him forward to his delight.

“Again, again!” he shouted. The boy’s squeals sent me back to the early years with my own son, a time when a simple swing brought such joy. He used to say those same words when he wanted more. More playtime. More laughter. More mom and dad.

Now at 16-years-old, those moments of unbridled freedom have been replaced with the seriousness and responsibilities of pre-adulthood. Driving tests, job searches, and college planning fill the daily schedule. And in the midst of the madness, I find myself longing for those days when his mom and dad were the center of his universe.

I wonder if God feels this way about me, too. I’m working so hard to be a good grown-up, a responsible parent, and a trustworthy employee. Time with God can be one more thing to check off my never-ending list. Yet God’s desire is for me to view time with Him as far more important than another task to complete.

In today’s verse, a woman named Hannah and her family made their annual journey to the temple to worship God. They’d walked the same path year after year, but this time God had a special message for Hannah. While praying, Hannah received a miraculous promise from the Lord through Eli the priest. God assured Hannah she would soon have the child she’d yearned to have for so long.

Hannah had every reason to pack up their supplies and race back to Ramah. After all, she needed to prepare for the arrival of her promise! Yet she and her family decided the next morning to go back to the temple and worship God again. Instead of rushing off, Hannah returned to God’s presence once more.

One more chance to thank Him for answered prayer.

One more moment in the comfort of His presence.

One more time to praise Him, just because.

Hannah knew the importance of worshiping God again and again. When I read her story, I couldn’t help but question: have I let the weight of life’s demands distract me from spending time with God? Maybe in all my striving I’m forgetting about what that unbridled freedom feels like. Maybe in all my striving I’m forgetting about what unbridled freedom feels like: putting my hands into His strong ones, trusting Him to lift me up. If you’ve been in that place too – a place where your worship has faded with the growing responsibilities of life – let’s learn from Hannah’s example today.

Let’s lift our feet with adventurous abandon, knowing God’s grip won’t let go. Let’s swing forward, laughing along the way. And when our tip-toes touch the ground, let’s call out to our heavenly Father, “Again, again!” God is ready to raise us up, and his muscles never grow tired of holding us.

Yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.                                                                                                                                                    Isaiah 40:31 NASB

kristine brownAbout the author: Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing biblical insight with her readers and audiences in relatable ways. Her hodgepodge of life experiences blend together to create a backdrop for her lessons that highlight God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. She is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. You’ll find Kristine’s weekly devotions and Bible study resources at kristinebrown.net.

Join the conversation: What specifically do you do when you spend time with the Lord?

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Leave Your Parachute at Home

by Edie Melson

 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes, actually more often than not, I get caught up in the process of life. The details grow large and overwhelming and I lose sight of the bigger picture. It happens because I’m an analytical sort of person, and definitely a planner. With every project I tackle, I map out what’s ahead, trying to anticipate any possible potholes and pitfalls. I build timelines and set expectations.

I should probably mention that I’m also a recovering perfectionist.

For years I didn’t acknowledge that fact. Partly out of ignorance and partly out of denial. My perfectionism shows itself in strange ways. In the past it has kept me from trying anything I thought I couldn’t succeed at. Because I set such high expectations for my own performance, fear of failure kept me in a box of what I knew I could achieve. That kept me from pursuing my dreams.

In the past I’ve gone to great lengths to build in safeguards that keep failure at bay when I tackle a difficult project. I always thought of these things as packing a parachute. They’d be a built-in safety net that would keep me from crashing and burning if I hadn’t covered all the possibilities.

But the biggest turning point came one day as I had my devotion time. I came up with the idea that following God was like getting ready to skydive. I began to record comparisons between packing a parachute and all that skydiving entailed in my journal—certain I’d hit on a wonderful metaphor for life.

Until I felt a metaphoric tap on my shoulder from the Holy Spirit. He whispered a question I’ve never forgotten.

Are you skydiving or flying?

God reminded me that He is in the business of helping us to fly. He’s not interested in skydiving, and He has no need of parachutes. Parachutes are the baggage of those who are trying to do things apart from him.

I won’t argue that there are things we need to do to get ready to fly, but packing a parachute isn’t one of them. God wants us to fly free, chasing the dreams He’s placed in our hearts. His plan doesn’t include the encumbrances of safety nets and parachute. When He’s in control, they’re just extra baggage that can keep us from soaring high. So whatever dream God has planted, go for it. And leave the parachute at home.

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Edie’s book, While My Child is Away,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What fears are you carrying around that might keep you from flying?

We Can’t Live Without Hope

by Karen Porter

The human body can survive about 3 weeks without food but not more than a couple of days without water. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, we can’t live without hope. Hope that tomorrow the sun will shine and take away the dreary gray clouds. Hope that the doctor will discover the right medicine. Hope that a prodigal child will call. Hope that a strained relationship will be changed to forgiveness and love again.

An ancient Roman saying states, “Where there is life there is hope.” Sounds good, but shouldn’t the statement be as Warren Wiersbe said? “Where there is faith, there is hope.” As believers, our hope is not in sunny days tomorrow or medical technology or the sudden change of heart of a person. Our hope is in Jesus. Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (I Peter 1:3 ESV, emphasis mine).

A living hope is a great expectation. But Peter is quick to point out that the anticipation is based on the completed work of Jesus. Each of us is born with a sin nature that separates us from God. Jesus provided rescue and redemption from that separation by paying the price for our sins on the cross, and His resurrection offers new life to us. His resurrection means that we may live too. And not simply live, but live with hope.

Our culture does not understand hope in Jesus because we are conditioned that we must do something instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen. Work hard enough and your future is bright. But the Lord said through Isaiah, “Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT). That’s the difference being a believer makes, because faith fuels hope. Faith is believing even when the evidence says otherwise. Faith is trust in God, not in circumstances, because of who He is.

We will face disappointments and tragedies, but we must never give up on hope in Jesus. Faith is for today…trusting no matter what the doctor or the news said.

One friend’s future changed instantly when her child made a wrong and deadly decision, but faith has sustained her and given her hope for the difficult years that she has faced since then.

One friend’s reputation was destroyed by lies and half-truths. His dreams and opportunities seem ruined forever. But faith gets him through the day and hope assures him that God knows what is in store in the days and weeks to come.

One friend’s daughter was killed in a terrible accident. Yet my friend’s faith was so strong that she shook her fist at the devil and said, “If that’s all you got, you’ve failed. I’ll trust God.”

“Job said, God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him” (Job 13:15 NLT).

Hope is trusting in the character of God even if the worst has happened. God is here today, and He is in tomorrow too. Whatever you face tomorrow, will your response be hope?

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

karen-porter-About the Author: Karen Porter is an author, speaker, coach and successful businesswoman. She coaches aspiring writers and speakers and is co-owner of Bold Vision Books. In her spare time, she pursues her life-long goal of finding the perfect purse.

 

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Karen’s book,  Get Ready, Practical Ideas to Prepare You for Ministry,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

 

Join the conversation: How has holding on to hope helped you in the past?

When Things Seem Impossible

by Sheri Schofield

“Father, how am I supposed to handle this?” I asked God. Our family had just gone through a year of incredible trauma. It was so bad that nobody in our new town believed us. They did not think this type of event could happen in the United States. Now our enemy had taken one final swipe at us, and my husband, Tim, couldn’t handle it. He broke down completely and quit his job as a physician.

Day after day, Tim lay on the couch staring at the ceiling. When night came, he tossed and turned and cried out or screamed in his sleep. We had two children, both attending Christian schools, which we felt was necessary for their emotional states at the time. With no income, unable to leave Tim alone in order to work, how was I supposed to get our family through this disaster? How could I put food on the table and ward off debt? I was struggling with post-traumatic stress myself!

I did the only thing I knew would work: I cast myself upon God. I cried buckets of tears as I poured my heart out to my heavenly Father, pleading for help. As the months wore on, I came to desire God’s presence even more than my own requests. He met with me, filled me with joy, and kept me close to His side. The results of those prayers were amazing!

The Christian high school principal paid my son’s tuition so we did not have to put him in public school. Whenever we had a household bill to pay, a check from a Christian friend would arrive in the mail with a note that said, “God told me to send this to you.” Every physical need was met.

Then God asked me to pray for other people suffering from diseases. Many terminally ill people were completely healed. Others received three or four extra years of life.

Gradually, my husband began to recover. A man from church coaxed Tim into helping at his lube and oil shop. Between jobs, the man talked with Tim and drew him out. It didn’t bring in very much money, but working with a fellow Christian man helped Tim gain confidence. He had fallen ill in February. By October, he was able to begin a desk job evaluating disability claims for the government.

My lacerated heart began to heal. During that year, God helped me to stay calm in front of our children and to provide the security they needed. By watching my example, they learned that God answers prayer.

Those stormy months taught me to rest in Jesus like never before. I would not trade that year of prayer for anything! It worked a revolution in my heart and taught me the power of waiting on God for all things.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31, KJV

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil then continues her ministry with the children’s book The Prince And The Plan.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Sheri’s book, One Step Ahead of the Devil,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What needs has God met for you when you were in the middle of crisis?