Trust In The Lord

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

A vital element to any relationship is trust.  If there is a lack of trust everything else that comes after that will be filled with negativity and the relationship will erode and break apart.  Trust takes effort, commitment and humility.  Trust works like a bank account…you build it over time making deposits and it can disappear quickly with big withdrawals.  The most important relationship for each of us is our relationship with Jesus Christ.  We can trust in Him because of who He is and what He has done for us…to learn more read about Him, His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection and know that He did it for you…because He loves you.  Amen.

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“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

(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Contentment

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:33-34 NIV

What are we seeking in our daily lives?  We all have needs and wants…at what point are we content with what we have?  Are we ready to share any abundance we have received?  This goes well beyond the financial status of our lives…though many of us get stuck on that one…the truth is if we are looking for contentment in the things of this world we will be disappointed.  True contentment will not be found in money, a job or career, any human relationship or any amount of power or position…it can only be found in a relationship with God.  Spend time in your relationship with Jesus Christ, read God’s word and you will give yourself the opportunity to know contentment that only comes from God.  Amen.

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But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 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.”

1 Timothy 6:6-9

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii)

Our Source Of Hope

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

“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

Where does hope come from?  It comes from the Creator of everything and everyone…only God who can take on all our sins and overcome this world.  Only God can defeat death and evil that is so prevalent in this world.  Put your hope in God for He is the only true source of Hope each day.

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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. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

One Hope

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV

Even when you feel surrounded by darkness and evil…we can find hope when we turn towards God and His Son and His Word.  We can find hope when we remember that after the brutal and tragic death of Jesus…God raised Him to life.  We can have hope because of what God has done and is doing in our lives.  It is up to us to seek Him.

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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 March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

God Is Greater Than…

“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

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

No matter what you are facing, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter how bad the tragedy or trauma that has occurred…God is bigger than that…God is greater than anything you will encounter in this life.  Believe it and put your faith, your hope and your trust in Jesus Christ.

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“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.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.”

Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Merry Christmas!

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Joy to the World…the Lord has come!  The promise has been fulfilled and we are saved because Christ has come.  Give thanks for Him…because Jesus has come we can have Hope, Joy, Peace and Love.  Thanks be to God for this amazing gift.  Merry Christmas!

Joy To The World by Chris Tomlin

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“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Luke 2:11 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

The Love Of Christ

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

Jesus Christ loves you…He cares about you…He knows what is happening in your life…and He is with you.  Put your Hope in Him, find your Peace with Him, live in Joy because of Him and know His Love for you.  I hope you have enjoyed the last four weeks of Advent devotions and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Silent Night by Chris Tomlin ft. Kristyn Getty

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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…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,[k] 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 8:35,37-39 NIV

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Hope In God’s Word

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

Psalm 119:105 NIV

No matter what you are facing or up against…no matter what your circumstances in life, you can always find Hope in God’s Word.  The Bible is God speaking to us directly in the case of Jesus and through others as well.  Believe in Jesus and spend some time reading God’s Word every day.  You will not find hope in the things of this world…yet the Creator has provided His Word to lead us, guide us and to give us Hope. Amen.

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You are my refuge and my shield;
    I have put my hope in your word.”

Psalm 119:114 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Big Sky Resort in Montana)

The Hope Of The World

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Luke 2:8-11 NIV

Jesus Christ came down from heaven to live as one of us to save us from our sin.  He is the Hope of the World!

One King by Point of Grace

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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. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Mitchell, South Dakota)

Living Hope Perspective

“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.

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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 September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)