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St. Patrick’s breastplate

“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit
down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the
mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”

When I Need Hope

“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.  The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:21-23

      Dear God, I need hope!  I long for authentic hope that is more than shallow optimism, wishful thinking, or anxious yearning.
     You are the God of hope.  It is awesome to be reminded that You have been thinking about me.  Even better, it is profoundly comforting to know what You think about me and my circumstances.  You want me to experience peace today and bright hope for tomorrow.  You stay my mind on You.  Your compassion for me stirs me; Your faithfulness never fails; Your timely interventions remind me that You keep Your gracious promises.
     The sure foundation of my hope is Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and the strength of my hope is in His presence and power.  Today I intentionally commit all my concerns to You.  This commitment is like a diminutive death to my tenacious tight grip of control.  My sure hope now is for a resurrection to new life in my soul and miraculous resolution of those heart-aching worries.  As you raised Jesus from the dead, You raise me out of the graves of discouragement.  You fill me with a living hope that no trouble can destroy, no fear can disturb.  I’m alive forever, and I’m going to live this day to the fullest.
     Now focus my attention on people in my life who need hope.  Make me a communicator of Your hope.  Hope through me, God of hope!
     Hope through me, God of Hope
     Or never can I know
     Deep wells of living streams of hope,
     And pools of overflow
     O blessed Hope of God
     Flow through me patiently,
     Until I hope for everyone
     As You have hoped for me.
          ~Amy Carmichael
Amen.
From Praying Through the Tough Times by Lloyd John Ogilvie.

Hope for the poor

The wretched and the poor look for water and find none,
their tongues are parched with thirst;
but l the Lord will give them an answer,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers among the sand-dunes and wells in the valleys;
I will turn the wilderness into pools
and dry land into springs of water;
l will plant cedars in the wastes,
and acacia and myrtle and wild olive
the pine shall grow on the barren heath.

(Isaiah 41:17-19 NEB)

There is a Hope

I was reminded of these words this morning. They are powerful in their comfort. Take time to allow them to change your thinking and touch your soul:

There is a hope that burns within my heart, that gives me strength for ev’ry passing day; a glimpse of glory now revealed in meager part, yet drives all doubt away: I stand in Christ, with sins forgiv’n; and Christ in me, the hope of heav’n! My highest calling and my deepest joy, to make His will my home.

There is a hope that lifts my weary head, a consolation strong against despair; that when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit, I find the Savior there! Through present sufferings, future’s fear, He whispers, “Courage!” in my ear; for I am safe in everlasting arms, and they will lead me home.

There is a hope that stands the test of time, that lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave, to see the matchless beauty of a day divine when I behold His face! When sufferings cease and sorrows die, and every longing satisfied, then joy unspeakable will flood my soul, for I am truly home.

(Townend and Edwards, 2007)

‘Let thanksgiving be the habit of your life’

‘Many women have told me that my husband’s advice, which I once quoted in a book, has been an eye-opener to them. He said that a wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much. She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy. It’s a down-to-earth illustration of a principle: Accept, positively and actively, what is given. Let thanksgiving be the habit of your life.

Such acceptance is not possible without a deep and abiding belief in the sovereign love of God. Either he is in charge, or he is not. Either he loves us, or he does not. If he is in charge and loves us, then whatever is given is subject to his control and is meant ultimately for our joy.’

Elisabeth Elliot