Hopelessly Hopeful

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I am hopelessly hopeful. You will discern this statement between the lines to mean I am optimistic despite what is happening all around me. I steadfastly cling to verses in the bible that speak of hope and pray that these verses will carry me through this time of sorrow.

I desperately need the comfort of the Lord as I mourn the recent passing of so many family and friends, one after another, in such a short period. Who will be next, I ask? Who will be taken from this world and into the next? I rely on the hope that I will see those who have gone from this earth again in heaven. I assume that I will make it into heaven, myself.

I assume that believing in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and living a righteous life, loving others as Jesus loves me, will spare me a place in heaven where I will be reunited with my loved ones who have left this life before me and with those who follow me.

Dear friends, my heart is heavy right now. It is heavy thinking about the wives who are now widows, the husbands who are now widowers, the parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who are now mourning. Even as an emphatic person, I cannot claim to know the pain survivors experience. No, all I can say is that my pain is unbearable on my own right now.

Sometimes I forget, but thankfully the Holy Spirit reminds me to go to the bible and read scripture to get help in recovering and gaining strength. I need to remember that no one on earth can help me through anything as much as the Lord can help me achieve balance and the ability to be strong amid the weakness of pain.

I don’t know the plans the Lord has for me. I don’t know the plans the Lord has for others. But, I do believe the Lord has a plan for us all. This is my belief. You may have a different belief, and I will still love and accept you. But, this is my belief, and I hold steadfast to it. It is, as a matter of fact, how I get through life. When things happen unexpectedly, and when I cannot find the strength to carry on, I run to the bible to read and re-read God’s promises to me. I read what He said he would do for me if only I believed in Him. And, I believe in Him, so I rest on His promises.

I have stopped counting the number of family and friends who have left this earth transitioning to heaven. God’s plan for them is not transparent to me, but God knows what He is doing. I like to think God is organizing and preparing His Kingdom. Those who went before us will already be there to warmly welcome us into the Kingdom.

If you are like me, struggling to survive the loss of a loved one, I encourage you to read the verses I am reading right now. I pray that they will help you through this time of sorrow.

Read and re-read the following scriptures. Believe they are words from God. Believe that they are words meant to comfort you and carry you through your heartache.

All verses are extracted from the New International Version (NIV).

Psalm 71:14 (New International Version)

14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

Romans 15:13

13 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.

1 Peter 5:10

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 1:13

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:3-6

3 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, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

Romans 5:2-7

2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

God bless you today and always. Be strong in His word. Be hopeful!

Copyright 2022 Marlene C Bertrand

Our Defender

Strength comes from God, our Defender.

God is our strength… our Defender!

How I love you, Lord! You are my defender. The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 18: 1-3

Psalm 18 is about gratitude for deliverance and victory. When we are surrounded by evil, we should call upon the Lord. He will be with us, giving us strength to overcome the evil forces of our enemies.

Today’s song: Defender, Copyrights: 2015 Gateway Create Publishing, Kindred Joy Music, Bethel Music Publishing. Performed by Upper Room.

Defender performed by Upper Room

Come to Me All Who Are Weary

A sultry sunset. One of God’s many gifts.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

This world we live in can get us down, and it is easy to let weariness sink in to the point that it bogs us down with exhaustion, fear, anxiety, and loss of hope. But, the Lord asks us to take our burdens to Him and He will receive them from us, giving us the rest and peace we need to go on living in this life on earth and forever with Him in heaven.

I like today’s song because it is a good reminder that when I feel tired and can hardly find a way to come out of a slump, I simply need to bend my knee in prayer and lift up all of my troubles to the Lord, and when I do that, He will deliver comfort to me.

Song: Come to Me by Christopher Grundy

Refuge and Strength

When you are feeling down and out, scripture and music can help bring you back to life.

Sometimes, when I am in a place where I am feeling down and out – when I am feeling like there is no hope, I reach out to God. In reaching out to God, I turn to scriptures because I know that scriptures are the words that hold messages from God, and when I read these messages, suddenly I begin to feel better. Suddenly, I begin to feel covered and comforted by the loving hands of the Holy Spirit.

My favorite verse to read is…

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

Listening to worship music is another thing I do to comfort and quiet my soul. A song I enjoy listening to is a song by Lauren Daigle. It is called, “Rescue.”

I encourage you to listen to the lyrics of this song on those days when you feel like life is beating you down and on those days when you feel like you have nothing to gain.

As you listen to the lyrics of this song and as you are comforted by the instrumentation, melody, and soothing voice of Lauren Daigle, you will come to know that our Lord loves you more than you could ever imagine.

He suffered and died on a cross for all of us, so that our sins could be washed away… so that we could be forgiven… so that our souls could be cleansed, and so that we could be worthy of all the blessings He has to offer to us.

So, the next time you are feeling down and out, look to our Father to lift you up. He is your source of refuge and strength.

May the Lord bless you always.

Song: Rescue – by Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram, and Paul Mabury
(c) 2018 CentricSongs, See You At The Pub, Fellow Ships Music, Flychild Publishing, So Essential Tunes