Friday, June 27, 2014

June Hope Chest- Where There Is No Joy, Hope Is Lacking by Kelli Karlich

My husband, Jeff, and I have been married 18 years and have two children, Evan, age 10, and Sarah, age 6.  The three of them are an absolute blessing to me.  We love the Lord and each other very much.  Jeff was saved by Christ as a child but has grown tremendously in his walk with God over the past five years and now is a man of faith and inspiration to our family.  

He is also essential to my message of hope.  Several months ago he went through a period of depression.  During that time, I told him he seemed to have lost his joy.  This was a difficult thing to say to him.  Although frustrated, he knew this to be true and turned to scripture for help.  

God’s word showed him where there is no joy, hope is lacking.  
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  
As a follower of Christ, he knows he eternally has the hope of Christ.  
Ephesians 2:12-13 Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ…without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Since it is impossible for him to ever lose his hope, it became clear he had chosen to stop holding onto and living through the very hope he cannot lose.  He learned he had simply lost his perspective…focusing on himself rather than God.    

Struggling to write this message, I find myself in this same state of hopelessness…overwhelmed with the busyness of life.  While this struggle is one many of us face, I know I can rely on God’s word to get me through this low period just as my husband did previously.  Thankfully, God is shifting my perspective to Him rather than me.  He is giving me a desire to study His word, and have a daily personal time with Him.  I know being more diligent reading God’s word will help me more effectively deal with all other areas of my life.  

When reading in the bible about hope, I’ve noticed it is often accompanied with suffering.  If we choose not to diligently seek the Lord, we can easily become focused on our circumstances (both good and bad!) rather than God. This perspective takes us away from God and not surprisingly takes our hope and joy as well.  I am thankful Jeff and I are learning a closer walk with God gives us hope and joy that this world cannot take away.  
1 Peter 3:15 Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.  

Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope

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