Hope and Hope Some More

Hang in there with hope!
Only my orange, apple, peach (though not as prolific) and pear trees produced fruit this year. My two nectarine, apricot, and plum trees, however, gave me absolutely nothing but blossoms and green leaves.
All that work during the preceding months of watering, pruning, weeding and organically fertilizing them for zero fruit was more than disappointing. It was downright frustrating.
Why put all that work in for zero fruit? Should I pull out those unproductive trees and lessen my water bill and sweat equity? No. Why? Hope. I remember eating great tasting nectarines, plums and apricots the year before.
Yes, I was disappointed in their lack of production, but I just spent a couple of hours in dripping sweat heat pruning these trees. I did it because of hope. They produced before and they will again.
Life change takes time. I wish the reality were different, but it is not. Yes, we all want and pray for the miraculous change…yesterday. Yes, we’re tired of being hurt and hurting others. Yes, we’re tired of blowing it, even if those obedience lapses are getting further apart in certain areas.
Yet, when the Spirit doesn’t give us complete and total victory now, do we quit using our biblical FREEdom tools that produce life changing sweet Christlike character?
No. Why? Hope. Jesus changed our lives before and He will change them again. When it’s tough, hope and hope some more. Hang in there. Jesus promises to change your life now and for eternity.

Be Thankful God Never Changes

Throw out the Old Testament and keep Act I in play.
The Bible is one book with one message written by One Author. Therefore, here is another statement that should never come off a Jesus believer’s lips – the Old Testament.
There is no such thing as an Old Testament. No, the Bible is a two act play with the same message: God loves each person and wants a personal relationship with them. This message is seen in both Act I and Act II.
For example, Act I Scene Psalm 71:19-24 states that God uses life’s challenges to make us more like Him, which results in joy and praising Him for doing it. Our God takes broken people and heals/saves/makes them whole. Act II Scene Hebrews 12:7-11 says the exact same thing. God uses challenges to make broken people whole, which results in praise.
We have a God who is the same yesterday, as He is today and will be for an eternity full of tomorrows.
This is why the Israelite nation could sing, “Give thanks to the LORD for His love endures forever” as they were marching into battle. They were told the battle belonged to God, who would bring about the victory. All they had to do was count on God to be God in the midst of that battle.
Give thanks for today’s challenges. Your God is in the change life business. He’s done it before and you can count on Him to do it again…in your life.

Agreement of Love

Wrong answer!
The following phrase should be stricken from the mouth of a Jesus follower, “I don’t do that because I’m a Christian.” This statement is so far off the mark, it’s pathetic. Why? It’s simply not true!
God Himself calls our relationship with Him a covenant or an agreement of love, not a list of dos and don’ts. He shows us how to chart a course through life that will keep us from crashing onto the rocks of disappointment, despair and disillusionment.
He created the world; and thus, knows how it works. Thus, His life course will be the only way to experience true and lasting love, significant and security. He also knew that once Adam and Eve made their disastrous choice to navigate life apart from Him, the rest of us would follow their ill-fated course.
Therefore, He wrote down that agreement in black and white. He states that if we choose to stay true to His course, we will be protected and provided for in ways we could never anticipate until we get to the other side of the choice we must make. That’s His agreement or covenant with us.
And this agreement is made in love, which means His ways always have our best interest in mind – even if steering His way doesn’t feel right or seem logical to us at the moment. They will work.
So what should a believer in Jesus say? “I love Jesus so much and trust His judgment better than my own that I choose to listen to and follow Him in this situation. And you know what? His way works every time.” Now that is a reason Jesus could agree with.

Time to Dream

I heard the story of a dad chasing his dream because of his family. He and his wife adopted children who were without hope. It was a chore for these kids just to survive, let alone dream. This dad wanted to set an example. If he could chase his dreams so could they.
Our Father set the example for us. Before the foundation of the earth, before there was one mistake ever made, He chose to send Jesus to give us lasting hope, true freedom and endless love.
He knew life on this planet would be tough to get through, let alone for us to hope and dream. But when we placed our faith in what Jesus did for us, our Father made us into masterpieces with a purpose…the good work that He has for us.
Notice it is good! What He has waiting for you to discover is good for you. So it’s time to dream. What does the Father have in store for you? You won’t find out unless you walk with Him and let Him show you the wonders He has in store for you.
My friends, it is indeed a time to dream with your Dad.