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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Finding My Hope In Him

I was watching the movie "The Visitor" this evening. It is about a young man from Syria who gets caught in the immigration system of the United States and the futile efforts of his friend and mother trying to do everything in their power to get him released. The longer he was incarcerated the more hopeless he became in his situation. He put all of his hope into his mother and friend and relied on their strength to see him through. It was a very good movie but it left me empty inside because the ending was far more real than I had thought it was going to be. When we watch movies we are generally looking for the ending to be fulfilling and this ending was far from fulfilling. As with real life, sometimes the ending doesn't leave us smiling as we walk out of the theater.

After I finished watching the movie I opened up God's Word to do some study, but I couldn't shake the reality of the movie and the truth it spoke about people in our country who are living daily in fear of losing everything they have come to know here. Whether it be through deportation, loss of a job or loved one, or through a tragic accident, we have difficulties around us on a daily basis that leave us hopeless. It really solidified my understanding of where my hope comes from. Not in the things of this world, but in Christ himself. It also started me thinking about those around the world who are being persecuted every day for their faith. And those who are living in turmoil just because they were unlucky enough to be born amongst the perils of their society. Not to mention those who go hungry and their daily struggle to get a speck food for the table. Sometimes things in life just aren't fair!

We are a blessed people living in this country and many a day goes by that I grumble over the little things in life. How selfish of me. I am in a land of plenty while my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are starving and going without. I was rolling through a community around Seattle this morning on my train and I couldn't help but notice there was a fast food chain on each corner of a particular intersection of a busy highway. And each drive through was full of cars. I chuckled to myself at the time and thought how crazy it is that half way around the world there are families sharing a two cent bowl of rice for a week and we are able to drive up to a building and receive as much food as we can cram into our faces for about 5 bucks.

I asked the Lord "why is this the way it is?" Well, as of this moment I don't think He has answered me yet. But as I read in His Word this evening I came across this passage from Isaiah.

Isa 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
Isa 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
Isa 41:19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together,
Isa 41:20 that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.(esv)

It is comforting to know that even when there is nothing to eat or drink, God will not forsake us. Jesus tells Satan in Matthew chapter 4 ... "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" God, in the midst of our famine, nakedness, and troubles, will always be there to strengthen our faith in Him and give us our portion as He sees fit.

As I reflect on my life and the choices that have placed me where I am at today, I thank God that even though I haven't always relied on Him, He has always been there to strengthen me. My hope lies in Him and Him alone. The economy will fail us. Our government will fail us. Our friends and families will fail us. God will never fail us and when we put our hope in Him we will be renewed every day.

I encourage you today to place your hope in Jesus. Lay down at His feet the burdens of the day and He will give you strength.

Psa 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (esv)

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