“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
1 Peter 1:3 NIV
Hope in this world mostly gets aligned with wishful thinking in general conversations. This hope is not sure, not firm and is not based on belief. The hope talked about in the Bible is hope that believes and knows God’s promises for good things. This hope is supported by actions and behaviors. The hope we receive from Christ is a hope that knows and believes that Christ lives and that God is for us and working for our good, even when, especially when the visible evidence is against it. The hope from God’s Word tells us to not give up or surrender to sin and doubt, rather know that God is with you and you can trust in Him…not for the things you believe you should have but for the things God knows that you need. May the God of all hope be present in your daily life. Amen.
“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 September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
James 1:17 NIV
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”
Malachi 3:6 NIV
God is faithful and trustworthy. He keeps His promises…He is consistent in character for all generations. All good things come from the Lord.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 NIV
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:8-9 NIV
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
Forgiveness is not saying the pain or the wrong done to us is ok…it is acknowledging that we have been hurt and that we are not going to allow bitterness and anger continue to impact us in the future. To learn about forgiveness seek wisdom in God’s Word…read or listen to the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis, chapters 37-50. See how even when people intend to harm you, God can use it for good.
“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2016 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“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
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
Proverbs 16:3 NIV
If we try to do things our own way for our own purposes all the time we will find discouragement and frustration. Our purpose comes from the Lord, our Creator. His purpose is based on love and if we are willing to follow Him we will find His way is better for us, His plan is for our good, we can put our hope in the Lord and trust His plan and purpose for our life. Amen.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 NIV
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV
Contentment is found in a relationship with God. We can search for it in the many things the world offers yet those seeking it in worldly values have and will find it unattaianble in worldly pursuits. Put your hope in God and spend time with Him every day…this is the path to finding contentment.
“Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
Psalm 37:3-9 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14 NIV
Where and when do you encounter God? How do you respond when God calls to you? God promises His presence…He is with you and He is for you. What happens next is up to you…
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.“
Revelation 3:20 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 NIV
Why do we doubt so much? Why is it so hard for us to believe what may be possible with God? When we are willing to surrender to His plan and His way in His time, there’s no telling what can happen. Look at the stories in the bible…Abraham and Sarah had a child they had so longed for when Sarah was 90…the 5000 were fed when all that was available to eat was a few fish and some bread…Lazarus is raised from the dead after being gone for four days…and there are so many more examples. When God is involved in a situation anything is possible. We must turn to Him first with whatever we are facing and remember He is not a genie in a bottle who sometimes grants wishes…He is our creator, our savior and our guide who always has good things in store for us. Trust in the Lord and watch to see what He has in store for you. May the joy of the Lord be with you. Amen
“For nothing is impossible with God.”
Luke 1:37 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but 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.”
When we are in step with God and His plan we will not feel weary, we will not feel weak. Weariness is a warning sign that something we are doing or are spending time on is not part of God’s will for us. When we are walking with Him there is no weariness or exhausted feelings as He provides energy and strength that we never knew existed. Take time to assess where and how you are spending your time and pray to God to guide you to His will. Amen.
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.“
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)
“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 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 31:7-8 NIV
God is with you, God is for you…He will never leave you or abandon you. Believe and be courageous.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 NIV
Perseverance…determination…patience…endurance…dedication…commitment. Stay the course…don’t give up. This is what it takes to find what you are looking for…no matter what it is. Reflect on what you have been “thinking about doing,” what have you been “wishing were different” in your life…is it related to your finances? Is it related to your weight? Is it related to a relationship? Your faith? Something else? Begin again and this time bring it to the Lord first, seek His wisdom and be persistent. Amen.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:7-10 NIV
Thank you for reading! If you are interested in supporting this ministry with a contribution please click here
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)