Monday, August 5, 2013

In What Do You Rejoice?

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
"Strange" is not quite the word to describe how I have felt these past few days.
"Horrible" is more like it. I wish I were exaggerating. But I speak honestly when I tell you that the adjustment period at the beginning of a major diet change is no walk in the park. "You'll feel worse before you feel better," is what the doctor relayed to me. He was not kidding.

Think a constant, pervasive fuzziness in the head, an unceasing weirdness in the stomach and some unwelcome emotions coming to life from within me--and there you have my week.

I do not share this to boast, or to over-exaggerate, or to scare you. The only reason I share this story with you is to shed light on a prevailing promise from our Lord and Savior, one that He has been unveiling to me this week (thanks to a dear sister in Christ for guiding me to today's promise truth):

Our HOPE of Eternity.

The realization that change happens in an instant seems to me a mighty good reason to cling to the Solid Rock, the One who never changes, the only eternal One. Despite the shifting circumstances of our lives, our God is steadfast. Always. And not only that, but He uses especially difficult seasons to complete in us a heavenly work, the transformation to Christ-likeness that Paul talks about in Romans 5:3-5:

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Hope. What a miracle of God's grace. Just when it seemed that no person could be reconciled to the Father, Christ died, was buried, and was resurrected. A way to the Father was forged, a forever future in glory with Him. A person can choose to trust Christ by confessing with their mouth and believing in their heart. The free gift? Christ's perfect sinlessness and the promise of heaven. Now that's hope!

When we endure seasons of change, seasons of difficulty, there is opportunity to exercise faith in our eternal hope. How? By realizing that hope simply cannot be placed in worldly things! How obvious it is that all we have is Christ when the future is full of unknowns and "what if's":

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2).

Ladies, we should rejoice over the "hope that does not put us to shame" (v.5), for it is assured, true and eternal. Nothing, no victory or healing or dream accomplished can match the hope we have in Christ!

That is a promise. 

Faithful Father God, You are steadfast and true. Your promises never fail. We praise You for the eternal hope we have in Jesus, and rejoice in it! Turn us away from false hope and worldly promises, that we may dwell on the hope that does not put us to shame. Thank You, Lord!

Amen. 

Think of some things you may be placing your hope in right now. What are they? Submit them to the Lord, asking Him to redirect your hope to eternity in glory, the salvation of your soul. Then praise Him for His hopeful promise of eternity!

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