“Reasons to Hope”, from Ligonier Ministries written by David Murray

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Reasons to Hope, from David Murray of Ligonier Ministries (the Teaching Fellowship of R.C. Sproul)

1. Hope moves us forwards: Christian hope is a realistic expectation of and joyful longing for future good and glory based upon the reliable word of God. The more we long for the future, the less we will yearn for the past. Hope deletes regrets and underlines expectation. It diminishes drag and increases momentum.

2. Hope energizes the present: It is worth living today because the eternal tomorrow is so much brighter. What’s doomsday for most, is coronation day for us. What most dread, we desire.

3. Hope lightens our darkness: Hope does not deny nor remove the reality of dark and painful providences. However it does shine a bright light into these valleys and points to the sunrise at the end of them.

4. Hope increases faith: Faith fuels hope, but hope also fuels faith. As Hebrews 11 makes very clear, hope and faith are very closely tied together, the one enlivening the other. Without faith we cannot soar in hope, but without hope faith will limp home. The greatest believers are the greatest hopers…and vice versa.

5. Hope is infectious: Just as we can drag others down by our recriminations and moping, so we can inspire and motivate through our inspiring hoping. It not only encourages other sagging Christians but it also impacts depressed unbelievers who cannot but ask a reason for the hope they see in us (1 Pet. 3:15).

6. Hope is healing: When I counsel depressed people, one of the first things I do is try to give them hope. By definition, depression is a sense of hopelessness. Things cannot and will not get better. That’s why I want to give them the hope that in the vast majority of cases, they will get better, there is a way out, and there are things that they can do to help themselves in their felt helplessness. That hope itself is a huge step towards healing.

7. Hope is practical: Hope does not mean we just sit and wait for Utopia to appear. Not at all! Hope motivates action. When we hope for better days for the church, we serve the church. When we hope for the conversion of our children, we are motivated to share the Gospel with them. When we hope for God’s blessing on His Word, we listen to it much more avidly. Hope produces action.

8. Hope purifies: Whatever persecution we experience in this world, the day is coming when we will not be just called sons of God, we will be like the Son of God. This is what inspires and motivates the apostle to persevere to the end and to persevere in holiness. “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).

9. Hope stabilizes in the storm: There are sixty-six drawings of anchors in the catacombs, the caves and tunnels that persecuted Christians hid in during the Roman persecutions. Hope was their anchor during those dark and stormy days (Heb. 6:1910:34). Like the anchor, hope grabs what is out of sight. As one puritan put it: “The cable of faith casts out the anchor of hope and lays hold of the steadfast rock of God’s promises.”

10. Hope defends: Paul also depicts hope as a defensive helmet (Eph. 6:171 Thess. 5:8) that must not be taken off and laid aside until the battle is over. The helmet also points us to the area of greatest vulnerability and danger – our mind or thoughts. That’s where Satan usually works to present reasons to doubt and despair. And that’s why we need our minds daily renewed by the power of hope.

© David Murray Feb 04, 2013

10 Reasons to Hope (when all seems hopeless)

“When I Find Goodness”, a worship poem from L.Willows

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When I find goodness

it leaps near like joy.

Shared like a flower

with budding forth hope

between times that shadow

or cause doubt to fall.

There in the midst of

a length that becomes tall

here comes a blossom,

a joy from somewhere;

hidden from view mine,

hidden from time;

life not yet given,

hope not yet seen

but in the emergence

of sweet limping scent-

I feel holy prompt of

God’s glorious advent.

 

© 2019 Linda Willows

 

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

“A Silence that Pours Love”, a poem from L.Willows

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A Silence that Pours Love

Dwelling, love swelling from silence that pours
sweetened so mellow, in the cavern’s surround.
Here in the mound that so softly receives.
Here in the curve of my heart in God found.

Misted, lifted, oh blessed by the dear gift,
carried by kindness, unspoken prayers heard.
Here is the home that turns all towards you.
Here is the beat of my heart in God’s word.

Stayed, assured; with rest in the calm.
Lullabies sing to my soul with Your psalms.
Comfort is dwelling, love swelling – it pours,
sweetened by the caverns’ mound silent surround
here in the curve of my heart, God found.

© 2018 Linda Willows

But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.
Habakkuk 2:20

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.
Psalm 62:5

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
Psalm 23:1-3