The biggest thing I have been asking God for recently is hunger and understanding. God is a God of answered prayers, He is revealing so much to me about myself, others, the world, His Word, and Himself. One thing I love is when he brings encouragement, reminders, and love when least expected and sometimes in weird ways. Tj and I accepted a job in Birmingham this past February and it has come with relief in some areas and struggle in others. At first, my favorite thing about moving was that we were going to have our own house with a DRIVEWAY and not a parking spot. I know, kinda weird but that was something I desired so much to have our own space. Now, my favorite part about moving, Church of the Highlands. I have learned so much about God and His word than ever before which has sparked so much hunger for not only that but all areas of life. How many of you can agree the importance of being well rounded in all areas of life? How many would agree that the Faith category has to be the foundation to even be eligible to balance in the rest?
Its funny, usually the most critical priority is usually the one put on the back burner while we say once we get our finances, marriage, job, etc in order then we will go back to church, tithe, and/or serve again. I am guilty of thinking that I was keeping God first and gave Him the correct amount of attention and time. Recently I have realized that God was my first priority in my mind and words but in reality, He wasn’t first in my heart and actions. Thankfully, He has redirected my focus and He is number 1, I don’t go to Him every single time I need to, but I go to Him more than ever before and He is moving mountains in our intimacy with one another. I say all this leading up to my real point, but also to say that our relationship with God needs to always be first.
The other day, TJ saw a video from Britain’s Got Talent about these 2 boys that wrote their own lyrics to the song Hopeful by Twista and Faith Evans which made TJ want to listen to the actual song and shared it with me. The song is extremely powerful and I highly recommend listening to this song and pay attention the lyrics. Hopeful- Twista & Faith Evans
The song really spoke to me and the Holy Spirit brought to mind the lack of HOPE in our world. I have really been listening to the song quite a few times over the past few days and God just brought more understanding and depth to it through the sermon today. The series our pastor has been doing is titled “Closer”. Today was based on Matthew 6:25-34 and how Jesus was trying to tell us to stop worrying and redirect that energy to God to keep our eyes on Him and give our worries to Him. The opposite of HOPE is worry. Worry is doubt, doubt is fear, fear is untrust, untrust binds and prevents God from moving freely in our lives. HOPE is trust, trust is belief, belief is faith, and faith is power. We have to be HOPEFUL in all circumstances because we are children of the Most High and just as we want to give our kids all we can and keep them safe, how much more do you think God wants to do the same?
Life Leadership gave us our hope back and through the information, it has given me a closeness with God I have never felt before and I am still not as close as I want to be or need to be. As we meet more and more people and we share with them the opportunity of freedom Life offers to those who want it, the many reasons we get of why they can’t, what they are really saying is “I don’t want to get my hopes up.” As Orrin Woodward says, ” You better get your hopes up!” Otherwise what are we living for? Do you really want to live the rest of your life just trying to make it and always in doubt and worry? Or would you rather be given HOPE for a better tomorrow? I will choose HOPE 365 days a year the rest of my life. HOPE is something God can bless. Why? Because when we believe for a brighter tomorrow, the closer we are to have it because we expected light rather than darkness.
With HOPE, comes opportunity. With HOPE, comes joy. With HOPE, comes freedom. With HOPE, comes peace. With HOPE, God will draw closer. With HOPE, comes order. With HOPE, comes hunger. With HOPE, life gets easier.
Will it always be easy to be HOPEFUL? No. But with God, it is possible! Put God FIRST and be HOPEFUL….then prepare yourself for God to move in great ways and remember humility and thankfulness in times of plenty, times of little, times of victory, times of struggle, on the mountain tops, and in the valleys. Always remember that in the valleys, God blesses in huge ways even if it is disguised in the midst of struggle. We are stronger because of the struggle and HOPEFUL because of the victories. Decide once to live with a HOPEFUL attitude and spirit and in the times where doubt and worry creep in, lift your hands and worship God and He will bring freedom. My reminder and example of joy, HOPE, peace, worship, faithfulness, and love is PAUL! He lived a life to the fullest for the name of Christ, in the struggle and victory, he never lost HOPE and knew that no matter what he went through here on earth, his reward in the end was so much greater and he kept his eyes on the supplier of that blessing.
God is ready to move….are you ready to be HOPEFUL and open the floodgates?
I HOPE you say yes every single day…lets do it together shall we? 🙂
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:33-34