Tag Archives: Romans 15:13

Hope for today and hope for tomorrow


Our son Michael sent us a video from Sunrise Peak in Itchulbong, South Korea, Monday morning. Being 17 hours ahead of us in the Central time zone, the picture arrived to us simultaneously but in the late afternoon on SUNDAY, the day before. I love my sister’s reply when I forward it to her: “I have seen tomorrow and it is beautiful!”

A.B.Simpson wrote, “There is a spiritual law of choosing, believing, abiding and remaining steadfast in our walk with God. This law is essential to the working of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification and in our healing.” (from Days of Heaven Upon Earth)

Did you get that? A spiritual law that allows us to choose, believe, abide in, and stay steadfast regardless of our circumstances. We get to choose! Did somebody slight you or hurt you? You get to choose how you respond. Feeling lonely? You get to choose whether you stay that way. Feeling sorrowful? Again you get to choose whether and how long you stay in that place. Do you feel “stuck” where you are? It’s your choice of how that affects your day.

Every day we get to choose what kind of day it will be. We get to choose what tomorrow will be like too. It reminds me of the story of the old man who was about to be moved to a nursing home. “Would you like to see your room before you move,” asked the director? “No,” replied the man. “I have already decided that I like it just the way it is.”

In a commentary of the Civil War our 16th president was quoted as saying, “The struggle of today is not only for today. It is for a vast future also.” A. Lincoln 1862.

We have a great source of hope. Sure, we live in today’s reality and are directly affected by it, There is real sorrow and real pain to be dealt with. But the real battle of freedom is still my choice and I have real hope because of whom I trust. I hope your choices of trust bring you great joy, peace, and hope…for today, for a beautiful tomorrow, and for the vast future also.

“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.” Romans 15:13




Beyond optimism

One day the sun was shinning brightly and the optimist said, “Great day, eh?”
The pessimist said, “The stupid sun will burn the crops.”
The next day it rained. Again the optimist tried to engage his friend, but the pessimist’s only response was: “Stinking rain will wash out all the seed!”
So the optimist took his friend duck hunting, which he loved.
After the first duck was shot the optimist dispatched his dog to fetch the duck.
The dog ran on top of the water, picked up the duck and ran back.
The optimist exclaimed “Did you see that?”
The pessimist replied, “Dog can’t swim, eh?”

The difference between the optimist and the pessimist is plain to see. But what would you say if someone asked you the difference between someone who is merely optimistic and someone with real hope? Psychology tells us the optimist expects the best even though they may have no actual idea of how they will obtain better results. It seems a bit like throwing coins down an old wishing well, “cross your fingers”, and that sort of thing. The one with hope, on the other hand, pursues a path designed to reach a better end. That path may or may not be trustworthy but that doesn’t keep someone from placing their hope and trust in it.

Because hope is not unique to those of spiritual belief, that path might be faith or it might be the efforts of self or others or it might be traditions passed down to them. What all of these “paths” have in common is trust that they will succeed in leading us to our desired end.

What you hope for and what you trust are directly related to each other. The Hindu puts their hope and trust in the karmic perfection of self. A Buddhist hopes they have done enough good and trusts this hope will reward them. Some people who call themselves Christians believe this too whereas the biblical view clearly states that those who put their complete trust in God’s son Jesus will not be disappointed. Some people hope and trust that nature will sort everything out.

In what do you put your ultimate hope and trust? Your ability to earn money? Your talents and physical strength? Your health? Your friends? All of these could be literally gone tomorrow. But there is one hope that does not fail. Examine your heart today. Test your anxious thoughts and see if your hope and trust is firmly and rightly placed.

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. Romans 15:13

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

Obey your real thirst – trust God

When is it easiest for you to trust God? When life is hardest or when things go well?

On the one hand, when things go well, we should continue to trust God, but it is also so easy to become distracted by the steady routine of life without suffering. On the other hand, suffering and troubles sometimes bring us to a point of total surrender, when we realize we NEED to put our trust in a sovereign and loving God.

Did you know we always obey what we trust? Even if it seems we violate our basic trust, that which we know to be true, our choice to go another way simply points out how easily pleased we are with suspending our beliefs and trusting in something else. In this way, we become ‘slaves’ to the things we put our trust in.

Like the old advertisement said, we obey our thirst. The question is, what are you really thirsty for? And what are you willing to do to quench it completely? We either thirst for the things of this world (the lust of the eyes, the desires of the flesh, and the pride of life), or we thirst for God:

“As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?”
Psalm 42:1-2

Trust your deepest thirst. Trust God for living water that satisfies fully. Whatever level of trust you have in God right now, it is that level of trust that will teach you to trust more.

“TRUST HIM when dark doubts assail thee
TRUST HIM when trust is small
TRUST HIM when simply to
TRUST HIM is the hardest thing of all.”
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him” Romans 15:13

U of I Update: Feb 9

image Several folks have asked about the results from our consultation with the University of Iowa. They took 11 vials of blood (!) and pretty much confirmed what we knew and filled in more details about this journey with cancer.

My particular Leukemia is a very resilient one. But we’re told that I am a good candidate for bone marrow (stem cell) transplant which is my only realistic medical option. They suggest a transplant offers me a good chance of living another two years, if I don’t have a relapse or get a severe infection or other potential complications. Patients who make it to year two can still have relapses, but also could live for many more years, with or without complications.

As we quoted Dr. Steve in an earlier post, statistics are pretty much insignificant compared to the plan of God. We believe, and are responding accordingly, that God intends to bring us through this valley together; that the plans he has established for us are not yet complete.

Meanwhile, I will get more chemo, monthly for 3-4 months to keep me in remission. I will continue to get blood and platelet transfusions because my body is not keeping up with production demand. There will be both harder and productive, rewarding days ahead.

We think we are doing a better job of being attentive to the numbers but also not being controlled by them. We are challenged by this daily but God continues to graciously bring our attention back to Him.

This is of course one of the life lessons from this ordeal: regardless of the trial you face (cancer, chronic pain, relationship problems, financial, work, over eating, etc), the solution always is to take our focus off the problem and turn to the One who can lead us through it. It is not enough to know the truth; we have to practice it many times daily.

Thank you for prayers. As God is using this time to draw us even closer to Him, we encourage you also to draw close to Him. He always is ready to listen to us and to speak to us through His Word, through circumstances, through His people, and through His Holy Spirit. Seek Him for the very best adventure of your life.

“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.”
Romans 15:13