Hope From God

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

When you feel discouraged and defeated…when situations and circumstances look bleak, remember the One who gave up His life for you.  He did it for love.  God is greater than any situation or circumstances in your life…God has promised to always be with you and God never breaks His promises.  Jesus Christ died to save all of us from sin and He has risen from the dead and it is because of Him that we have hope.  Amen.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

An Encounter

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Faith is about trust and belief because we have experienced the Presence of God in our lives.  Has it happened to you?  It can be hard to put into words…unexplainable…one experience in my life was when I was putting together and delivering the eulogy at my father’s funeral.  This is not something I ever could have done on my own…when I think about that time my words to describe it are few, yet some that come to mind are comfort, unusual peace, clear thinking.  The process of putting together the words came naturally by talking with people from all parts of Dad’s life and God had prepared me to speak in front of others in several experiences in my past both in work and at church.  It was an incredible experience.  An example of an encounter with God from the bible is found in the book of Exodus…Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days with God without food or water, yet it does not say he felt any hunger or thirst.  Moses had all that he needed because he was with God.  An encounter with the Presence of God is unlike anything else you will experience in life.  Faith is about a personal relationship with God.  Where has God shown up in your life?  Think about it…give thanks and know that He has been with you.  Amen.

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“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2014 on a walk near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Walking With God

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

A faith journey.  It begins with belief, confession and prayer.  It grows as we read the Scriptures, as we spend time in devotions, when we engage in our communities and serve others…it transforms us with a new attitude centered on God and His will for us.  Trust in God, spend time on your relationship with Jesus Christ and pray about everything, every day.  Amen.

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He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Believe And Overcome

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 10:9-10 NIV

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

1 John 5:1-4 NIV

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“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1 John 5:5 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 near Winterset, Iowa)

Peace That Surpasses Understanding

“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 NIV

There is one source for peace and we will not find it in anything the world gives.  Only in Jesus will we know peace.  Turn towards the Lord, bring your worries and concerns to Him.  Be still and wait for the Lord.  Amen.

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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness[d] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Faith – Character

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Romans 5:1-4 NIV

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

Who we are, our behaviors, our attitude…these are the things that define our character.  We have been taught by the bible how we should strive to live.  Reflect on your last few days, weeks and months…turn towards God and ask Him to help you with any of the fruits of the Spirit that have been lacking in your relationships with others.  God is with you and He is for you.  Amen.

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

(This phot was taken in August of 2016 at a lake in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Always With Us…Always

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

God the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth wants a relationship with you.  Not only that…He has promised to be with you and never leave you.  If God feels distant look around at what you are doing or decisions you have made…it is most likely you that moved away from Him.  God is with you and He is within you…believe and proceed to live life guided by Him.  May the peace of God be with you and flow through you.  Amen.

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No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 while traveling through South Dakota)

Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV

God has promised to be with you wherever you go…still when we look around at the world or our own worries, fears and frustrations…it’s easier to shrink back than to be bold and courageous, to go forward trusting in God.  That is how living by faith is different than living the way the world promotes life.  We are inundated with messages of self-center living and behaviors and it takes courage to strive to be different.  Put your hope and your trust in God and His promises…follow the example of Jesus Christ.  Be courageous.

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Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana-Wyoming border)

Greater Is The One Inside Of You

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4 NIV

Greater by MercyMe

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“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 NIV

(This photo was taken in Juny of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Faithfulness

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:23 NIV

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

God is with you…He cares for you…He is faithful in everything…nothing can separate you from His love.

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Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
    you established the earth, and it endures.”

Psalm 119:90 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)