Power in Hope

It has been a struggle to decide about what to write about today. In my personal time I have been reading through Psalms in the Message Translation. I wrote about the inward reflection that David took earlier this week (Psalms 42). Last night in youth, one of my leaders led a discussion on Psalms. I had to admit to them, that David is probably someone I would struggle to look up to in leadership, or even to be around. I enjoy him when He is leading them into battle, when he is leading them into worship and when he is talking about all the great things of God. Then he gets to this lamenting, not just complaining and whining, but deep down in the dumps kind of talk.

Psalms 13:1-2 (MSG) Long enough, God— you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me.

Then I remember, God said that this was a man after His own heart. In this I am reminded that I have to have some of these kinds of people in my life. There are going to be leaders in my life that I have to honor even if I do not like their personality. Then it made me think, how do I come off on others? Most of the time I am quiet because I feel like I can come off harsh. I was told in one work place (a Christian nonprofit) that I did not speak in love and that they did not receive me as a person that lived 1 Corinthians 13. This hurt me deeply because I try to live Philippians 4:8 (AMP), “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” I try to live this towards God’s creation. I sometimes have to realign my thinking to this, but that is truly my goal. I asked them about this verse and they quickly informed me that they could not apply that to me. Ouch! So I rub people the wrong way sometimes too. Paul did, Peter did, even Hannah did with Eli the prophet. My heart is for other’s to feel that love of Christ to come through me, this truly is what I want to be rooted in.

There are going to be leaders in my life that I have to honor even if I do not like their personality.

I do understand that this is probably not who David was to everyone. Only those closest to him saw this side of him. What we are reading are his words pouring out to God. Why does God want us to see this? It’s okay that we are not okay sometimes. We need to cry out in our deep grief and anger. He knows our heart anyways!

I told the group last night that David reminded me of He-Man from the cartoon series in the 1980s. In his writings, David, does seem like he has two very distinct personalities. Prince Adam had all the feelings, he cooked, he goofed off and seemed not all that together. He wore a pink vest and purple leggings! Then when he got the “power” he transformed into this warrior.

The power I think is when David remembers his position, that God is for him and not against him. The “power” for David is always underlying there because even in the lament of Psalms 13 we see verse 15-16 (MSG), “I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.” David was never without hope. There is power in hope. It was the root of who David really was. May we never let go of hope.

Hope is one of the ingredients Paul talks about at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, verse 13 (TPT), “Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.” I did not forget about love. It is the most important, I know. I am running for that beautiful prize (I may not be athletic, but I am competitive).

If you need prayer please message me at amanda@desiringformore.org.

Goal of Progress

It is New Year’s Eve, tomorrow starts a new decade. I just learned this year from my thirteen year old that decades do not start with the zero at the end of the year, it starts with the one. Fun fact, look it up, it is true. We will enter a new decade tomorrow. Many people will make new year’s resolutions and feel shame when they do not follow through.

Today I was scheduled to be at the Cincinnati Zoo, although it was forecast to rain. This was my Christmas present from my husband. I follow the animals at the zoo on Instagram, especially Fiona the baby hippopotamus. The zoo allowed us to change our zoo reservation, but I did not get to see Fiona. It was okay because I did not feel like being very joyous that day. My grandfather passed away suddenly that morning and I felt guilty for not leaving right then to drive the seven hours back home. I had to remind myself that guilt and shame were not places that I am suppose to reside. I have made lots of progress these past few years out of those areas and had to remind myself not to stay there.

Last week I was in Isaiah because it was Christmas week and I ran across these verses. First what stood out to me was a warning, Isaiah 6:9-10 (MSG) He said, “Go and tell this people: Listen hard, but you aren’t going to get it; look hard, but you won’t catch on. Make these people blockheads, with fingers in their ears and blindfolds on their eyes, so they won’t see a thing, won’t hear a word, so they won’t have a clue about what’s going on and, yes, so they won’t turn around and be made whole.

Then there was the promise, Isaiah 9: 2-7 (MSG) The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light! sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, They’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants – all their whips and cudgels and curses – is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. The boots of those invading troops, along with their skirts soaked with innocent blood, will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days! For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

I never want to get to a place in my walk with God that I am satisfied and can live in such a way that I do not desire growth for myself. Jesus came so that I can be made whole, not to just survive. Survival is good for a moment. There are things that have happened that I am amazed that I am still standing. However, I do not want to get stagnant.

Jesus came so that I can be made whole, not to just survive.

John Bevere, in his new book X:Multiply Your God-Given Potential writes, “Unless we push ourselves beyond our level of comfort and skill, we’ll never grow. If we aren’t “purposeful,” the danger is that once we reach a level of “good enough,” we can easily become complacent. Then it’s only a matter of time before we become sloppy in our practice, which will ultimately have a negative effect on our performance and hinder further multiplication.”

I am not a fiction reader. I read nonfiction books (books that are inspired by the Word of God), devotionals, and my Bible. I have nearly completed reading through my Message Translation Bible this year. Next I plan on reading through the Chronological Bible. The first book I have picked out for the new year is Bob Goff’s Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want it, and What You’re Going to Do About It. My goal is not to make a resolution that I will quit within the first few months, but to continue in my growth towards wholeness. I want to surrender more of myself this year, and to worry less. Lord, I want to be made whole. I know it will be a process. I have already allowed Him to do so much in me these past few years that people would not even recognize me.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP) And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image (one degree of) glory to (even more) glory, which comes form the Lord, (who is) the Spirit.

Let 2021 be a year of progress!