Friday, April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015 … Hope Abounds

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 114

Devotional Song: … Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the lyrics written and sung by Laura Story, in her very personal song… Blessings, declaring a very real hope for God’s blessing in the face of life’s trials.

Highlight Passage 1st Peter 3: 6-7 [NKJV] … 
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, ... 
… There will be trials, yes, and heartache; but in all there is hope in Christ …
Highlight Context - 1st Peter 1: 3-9 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Peter on the hope which comes from faith …

Reference Passage #1 - John 16: 33 [NKJV] ... 
33 “… These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 
 … Jesus’ promise what He has overcome the world which will cause Christians to face trials.

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 5: 1-5 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Paul on when hope abides in the face of trials/tribulations.

Reference Passage #3 - Romans 8: 24-25 [NKJV] ... 
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 
… It is the hope of unseen that abides in the faith of a Christian.

Reference Passage #4 - Romans 12: 9-13 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Christians can let God’s love abide in spite of tribulation, being patient in the faith …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, wrote of a very human tendency to lose hope in the face of human tragedy. He write, “When unspeakable tragedy shatters people’s lives, they search for answers. Recently, a mother who had lost a teenager said to me, “I can’t figure it out. I don’t know if I can believe anymore. I try, but God doesn’t make sense to me. What does it all mean?” There are no easy answers to such big concerns. But for those who have trusted Christ, there is hope—whether we are basking in blessings or grinding through grief.” 

And the tragedy of unspeakable trials and the grief of human loss is why the Apostle Peter wrote to the Christians in Asia-Minor in his first letter. These new Christians, many of whom had fled from Jerusalem, were being persecuted horribly by the Romans as well as by non-Christians in that area of the world. Peter’s letter and encouragement to these persecuted Christians is also echoed by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman Christians facing similar abject trials/tribulations in those times [see passages from the book of Romans above], many of them being tortured and killed for their faith.

 Both Apostles were recognizing that we will have trials in this world, but as Peter had heard Jesus say, the night before He went to the cross, we, … as Christians “WILL HAVE tribulation.” [see John 16:33] … Yes, that’s a given; but Jesus, in the same upper room discourse, promised that He - King Jesus - had overcome the world; and that our faith in Him would produce victory over the trials/tribulations - yes, even the persecutions - of the world He had created.

 And so, though we may not be able to make sense of God’s plan when we face, even horrible, tragedy or trials, God, in His Son Jesus, gives us the hope we have in Christ’s victory over death, sin, and evil on the cross. So, if you are in Christ, take heed of the promises which Peter and Paul write of … and the hope we have in our relationship and faith in Christ.

My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, YOU are our hope in the face of horrible trials. Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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