Tag Archives: hope

When Hope is Gone

WHEN HOPE IS GONE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.

Acts 27:20 NKJV

Do you feel like giving up? Can you identify with the men sailing with the Apostle Paul? Paul’s trip to Rome as a prisoner seemed hopeless at times. Hopeless situations are God’s specialty.

First, they set sail during the most dangerous time for a sea voyage. Gentle breezes whipped into Euroclydon, a storm similar to a hurricane. Sometimes life feels calm right before the strongest storms, catching us off guard; however, Fierce winds and crashing waves don’t surprise God.

the Battering winds and waves drove the massive ship into the Syrtis Sands. This area earned the name, the Graveyard of Ships because of its numerous shipwrecks. First, they chose the wrong time to set sail, and now, they had been shoved into the wrong place. A place they never wanted to be. Can you relate? The diagnosis or the catastrophe we desperately wanted to avoid.

The weary travelers tossed everything except essentials overboard in a desperate attempt to lighten the ship. In hopeless times, we become desperate.

Days without sun and nights without stars passed. Unable to see ahead, they feared crashing into the rocky shore. When hope falls short, we see nothing before us but disaster. We must trust God to steer our ships, especially when we lose sight of the horizon.

God sent an angel to encourage Paul, telling him they would all survive. In the midst of our storms, we have God’s promises. His gentle reminders to calm our fears.

Two weeks of stormy seas passed before they saw land. While trying to land the ship, it became lodged in a sandbar, where two seas met. The crashing waves tore it to shreds. Do you ever feel like those sailors, the despair of never catching a break? One storm after another without ample time to surface for air.

The men reached Rome with nothing but their lives. They had survived a hurricane and a shipwreck.

Maybe you have survived a different tragedy. Perhaps your storm still rages on. When we face the impossible, we turn to the God of possibilities. God has not changed. We can rest in His promises. We can trust His guiding hand. The flame of hope continually burns for the child of God. We may emerge from the storm with only our lives, but God will bring us safely through, just like He did for Paul.

Heavenly Father, thank You for including testimonies of Your power in Scripture. They remind us of Your might and strength. They remind us we have hope. You are our hope. No matter how hopeless it seems, no matter what we lose, we are Your beloved children. Work in our lives today. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Acts 27:9-44.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What can your reminder of hope be? A figurine, a verse or a reminder on your phone. Something that encourages you because Hope never dies.

 

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Throwback Thursday: 4 Essentials for the Christian Life

4 ESSENTIALS FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. –Jude 20-21

 

Jude gave these commands to help his readers as they contend for the faith. They make great building blocks for any Christian. They will not make the sorrow or pain of persecution and tribulation any less, but they will give you a firm foundation.

First, build up your faith. Good, deep, daily Bible study is essential. Sound preaching and teaching are not enough by themselves. You must spend time digging into the Bible and applying it to your life.

What does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit? It is the same thing as praying in the name of Jesus. That does not mean tagging His name at the end of your prayers. Pray according to God’s will. We know that it is God’s will for people to live holy, but there are many times when we don’t know the will of God. That is when we pray as Jesus did by submitting to the Father’s will, not our own. In this process, don’t forget to believe for miracles. We are commanded to do both.

God will never cease to love us, but we show our love for Him by obedience. In John 15:10, Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,” Obedience keeps you right in the middle of God’s blessings. Disobedience puts you in the place of His chastisement.

The final building block in Christian living is hope. Christians should live in the hope of the second coming. This is a purifying hope and it should cause Christians to witness to the unsaved. The greatest mercy we will receive is eternal life.

Build a good foundation that will withstand the storms of life. Deep Bible study, praying according to the will of God, obedience and hope are good Christian principles.

 

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.