Tag Archives: Hope

Overflow with Hope

Overflow with Hope
Overflow with Hope

Art Journal Note:

On this page I used two magazine images that I had cut out and mounted onto some plain white paper. I ripped around the edges for a softer effect, then glued them onto some lovely green background paper. The verse and prayer were just written out on some plain white paper using a brown Staedtler ball pen.

“May the God of hope

fill you with all joy and peace

as you trust in Him,

so that you may overflow with hope

by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15 v 13

This is one of those verses that is power-packed and full of truths and promises.

A verse to read a few times, slowly, and think about. Not just skip past thinking, ‘well that’s a lovely encouraging verse’ and move on without thinking about what it really means? What is God asking me to do here? And why?

To me, there seems to be a clear link here between trusting in God and then Him filling us with all joy and peace.

If we need joy? Trust in the God of hope. He will fill us with all joy.

If we need peace? Trust in the God of hope. He will fill us with all peace.

And then there’s the ‘so that’.

I’ve been working through an excellent Bible study by Wendy Blight, ‘Living So That’ (see previous blog post ‘Eating Your Words’ http://wp.me/p56iEe-3J ) and now I find myself constantly on the lookout for verses with the phrase ‘So That’ – to really look and see what the purpose of the verse is! It’s really helpful to unlock Scripture, and there are hundreds of them!

In this verse, the purpose of us trusting in our God of hope is not ‘so that’ He can fill us with all joy and peace – though that is what He does!

As we trust in the God of hope and He fills us with all joy and peace, this is so that we ‘may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’

The God of hope passes on His hope to us.

He passes on so much hope, we literally overflow with it.

And it’s the Holy Spirit powerfully working in our lives, who causes us to overflow with this hope that comes from God Himself. Just like the images of the waterwheel, as the Holy Spirit flows through us and over us, He turns us, moves us, enables us to generate hope for others.

We can truly be salt and light in this broken world by being people who are overflowing with hope.

If we are feeling a bit hopeless, or are finding it difficult to trust in God, we need to return to the Word of God. Romans 15 v 4 says:

“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.”

So the Word of God exists to encourage us and to give us hope. (Note the ‘so that’ in this verse too!) Lets read our Bibles regularly, prayerfully and expectantly!

Heavenly Father, you are the God of hope. I put my trust in You and ask that You would fill me with all joy and peace today. Holy Spirit, flow through me and over me by your power, cause me to overflow with hope, for your glory.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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Rejoice in the Lord!

Rejoice

Art Journal Note:

For this page I wanted to use an image I found from a magazine, a photo of a lady looking upwards. But I decided that rather than just glue the image in, just for a change I’d have a go at drawing it instead. To make it easier for me, I traced the outline of the image first, transferred the image onto the art journal page and then added the details and coloured and shaded with colouring pencils, and finally added the text.

Tip: tracing paper is simply fabulous and can help you to get started when transferring images, or arranging lettering etc. I use it the old fashioned way I learnt in primary school, by drawing over the back in a soft pencil and then transferring the image by going over the lines (right side up) once more. Some people put a sheet of newspaper underneath instead to transfer some of the ink, I’ve not tried that yet (maybe next time!).

REJOICE!

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!

Philippians 4 v 4

This verse is both an encouragement and a command to us. In the Bible, ‘Rejoicing in the Lord’ is mentioned on numerous occasions. When God speaks, we should listen. But when He says something more than once, I think we really need to pay attention!

God knows it does us good, more than we can know, when we rejoice in Him.

And here in this particular verse, Paul says it again to make sure the message gets through.

We can choose to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’, or we can choose not to. It requires a concious decision. No matter how we feel or what we are walking through.

It can be much easier for us to ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ when things are going well. It’s often easier to be thankful and to celebrate God’s goodness then.

Or is it? Isn’t there sometimes a danger of complacency? When I look back at some of the ‘green pastures’ times in my life there are some occasions when I have drifted, begun to grow luke-warm in my passion for God, and my faith has stagnated somewhat. There have been times when I may have perhaps rejoiced in my circumstances rather than in my God. I am only now just beginning to realise the depth of joy that can be found in thanking and praising God in all things, and in continuing to seek Him fully in all seasons.

Of course ‘Rejoicing in the Lord always’ can be a very real challenge for us when things are tough. When we walk through difficulties our natural response often finds it much easier to sink under the weight of our circumstances, but instead God calls us to choose to place our hope in Him. To trust Him. It’s when we do this that our faith grows, and we can find peace and joy.

Joy is essential to our lives, physically, mentally and spiritually. God knows this, as He designed us in His image.

“In your presence is fullness of joy.”

Psalm 16 v 11

Let’s remember that our joy can be fully found in His presence.

So maybe our state of joy is less about our situations and more about just being in His presence. Because no matter what we are going through He is there with us. Isn’t that something for us to rejoice about – that we are not alone?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our situations and circumstances may change but He stays the same and can be completely trusted in every season of life. His love endures forever.

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1 v 6

Therefore we can rejoice in the Lord – I’ll say it again – rejoice! No matter what. Always.

Heavenly Father, thank you that in You, I can rejoice! And I will say it again – I rejoice in You! No matter what I have gone through, no matter what I am walking through right now, and no matter what my future holds, I put my trust in You. For You are totally trustworthy and I know that as I dwell in the shelter of the shadow of your wing, I can find fullness of joy in Your presence. 

In Jesus name, Amen.

Therefore I Have Hope

IMG_0716 (1)

Art Journal Note:

To help illustrate this passage, I used this stunning magazine picture of a beach and shoreline. I wrote the text simply on some blue card, adding a little prayer too, sticking it at an angle to add interest.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

Great is your faithfulness.

I will say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;

Therefore I will wait for him.”

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,

To the one who seeks him;

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

Lamentations 3 v 21-26

I need to keep on reminding myself of the Lord’s great love, and his extravagant grace and mercy towards me. It is out of his great love that He gives, and He gives, and He gives. New compassions every single morning. Not what I deserve, but what I am given through Jesus my saviour.

When I call this to mind, it encourages me and reminds me that my hope is in Him. The more I think about His love and mercy, by reading His word and praying, the more my mind is being renewed and transformed. My negative thoughts, doubts and fears can be replaced with hope in Him,  thanks to His love, and His unfailing compassions.

I need to develop a habit of remembering God’s love and compassions for me, which give me hope every day. It’s a gradual process and I need to be patient and wait quietly for Him.

He is all I need, my portion. Enough for each new day, filled with promise and love and grace and compassion, enough to see me through. And new again the next day too. And the next. Great is His faithfulness!

Heavenly Father, thank you that your great love and compassions are new for me every morning, as new each day as a fresh beach washed clean by the tide. Help me to wait for you, to be patient, still and quiet before you as I seek you.

In Jesus Name, Amen.