Tag Archives: test

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.

Advertisements

WILL GOD PROVIDE

WILL GOD PROVIDE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Genesis 22:14 NKJV

Where will the money come from to pay the bills? What will we do? Have you ever asked yourself or your spouse these questions? The answer is simple. Go to the Father. God is Jehovah Jireh, “The-Lord-Will-Provide”.

God tested Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son (Gen. 22:1-2). Like most trials, this one did not make sense. God had never required a human sacrifice. It was in direct contrast to His nature. Why would God take Abraham’s son of old age, especially when He had promised to make Abraham the father of many nations?

Sometimes, God tests us so we can learn to trust Him. Abraham passed the test. Not once during the three-day journey did he question God. Abraham knew God as Jehovah Jireh. Abraham believed God would resurrect Isaac, even though he had never seen a resurrection (Heb. 11:17-19). Abraham even told his servants they would both return from the mountain. When Isaac asked his dad where the lamb was for the sacrifice, Abraham responded by assuring Isaac, and himself, God would provide

At the last moment, as Abraham raised the knife to slay his son, God stopped him. God did exactly what Abraham had told Isaac. He provided a ram for the sacrifice.

Abraham passed the test. He was obedient, at all cost, even to the point of sacrificing his son. God blessed Abraham’s obedience by promising him descendants more numerous than the stars (Gen. 22:18). Obedience always precedes blessing.

Christians go through many tests. Like Abraham, we must be obedient at all cost. God is still Jehovah Jireh. He will provide! When the checking account falls short, He will provide. When you are forced to choose between paying bills and purchasing food, He will provide. When you face insurmountable medical costs, He will provide. He may not move the mountain, but God will provide, just as He provided for Abraham.

We have no need to worry. We have God’s promise:

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Our Father, we all worry. Help us to have faith like Abraham – a faith that trusts You completely. Thank You, Jehovah Jireh, for always providing exactly what we need. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read the entire passage in Genesis 22: 1-19.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Do you struggle trusting God to provide? What areas trouble you most? Pray for God to give you peace about this.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.