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What the Bible Says About Hope

Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.”

Isaiah 40:31. “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Psalm 39:7. “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in thee.”

Romans 12:12. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

1Peter 1:3-4. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Prayer – Pray that those afflicted with the virus stay or become hopeful. Pray that you find hope.

One strategy is to find a good news story in among the bad. For example, the animals in the National Parks are thriving in areas where humans usually are. This can’t last, but it does show humans what kind of effect humans have on the parks.

Getting Along With Others

The Bible has a lot to say about how we are supposed to get along with others.

There is a long quote from Colossians in biblestudytool.com. Here is the first part. Colossians 3:13-14 “Get along with each other. If someone does wrong to you forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Do all these things, but most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.”

Forgiveness is talked about a lot. In order for God to forgive us, we must forgive others. When praying you can tell God you need help doing this. Jesus emphasized forgiving others. When asked how many times we should forgive someone he said, 70 times 7.

There is a good article on christiantoday.com, “10 Verses to Help Us Deal With Difficult People.” One insight the author gives us is that we shouldn’t be making a fuss over small things: “…the Bible teaches us that God is a God who values unity and peace, not quarreling and strife. It’s so sad to see so many believers nowadays making such a big fuss out of small things such as the differences that they have. God calls us to set these differences aside and to love and respect one another whether or not it seems convenient to not even bother.”

Romans 14:13, “Then let us no more pass judgement on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”

Proverbs 10:12. “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

Proverbs 15:1. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Some of the verses I found on kingjamesbible.org.

John 13:34. “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one; another even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

John 14:19-21 “We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

Prayer – Remember, we need to ask forgiveness of our sins and we need to forgive others. A prayer starting with sins followed by asking for God’s help in getting along.

Taking Care of Yourself

Many of you are taking care of others during this time. I am going to post a bit about taking care of yourself.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost in you….”

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink. or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Ideas for Taking Care of Yourself

  1. As in 1 Corinthians, try to keep to a fairly healthy diet. Maintain a normal eating schedule.
  2. Getting exercise can be hard depending on where you live. I am able to go for walks in my neighborhood, but need to stay away from other people. You should be able to find some types of exercise, like yoga, online.
  3. Read inspirational quotes online. I typed in, “inspirational quotes”. There are a number of sites. I found this quote at brainy quote.com. “Keep your face always towards the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
  4. Try guided imagery. Someone reads from a script using a soothing voice. They often have you imagine that there are things around you that would be relaxing. You will be guided on how to breath in a way that promotes relaxation. There are many sites on line for guided imagery also. I found a few short ones on You Tube. I typed in “short guided imagery”.
  5. Listen to music. Whatever music makes you feel good.
  6. If you have trouble getting to sleep try tightening one muscle at a time and then relaxing it.
  7. Look up Mindfulness Meditation. It may be different than what you consider meditation. Wikipedia – purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.
  8. Read an old favorite book or a new favorite.

Look online for more ideas.

Here is one last quote:

Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and I am unwilling to send them away hungry lest they faint on the way.”

Prayer – Asking for help with patience or with taking care of yourself.

Patience

We all have to be patient these days. Things are not the same for right now. It’s going to be a while until life starts shifting back towards normal. Patience can be hard to achieve at times. I found some Bible verses listed at dailyverses.net. I then found some strategies to practice.

The following Bible verse is very appropriate for many during this time. Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Proverbs 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Psalms 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord!”

Ephesians, 4:2 “With all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love….”

Romans, 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Romans, 12:12, “Rejoice in you hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

Ryan Hart on ryanhart.org has a good idea. He suggests trying to come up with three strategies a week to help with practicing patience. One is to count to three and then smile. I do know smiling helps us feel better.

Rhett Power on inc.com has an article entitled: 4 Tips to Help You Be a More Patient Person

  1. Make Yourself Wait. Rhett suggests starting with small things
  2. Stop Doing Things That Aren’t Important
  3. Be Mindful of the Things That Make You Impatient
  4. Relax and Take Deep Breaths

Here is one if you can and need to: Leave the situation to take a short break

Prayer – Any of the previous big ones would do, but how about focusing on yourself and include patience. Praying big is good, but it can be overwhelming at times.

Getting Along With People

I found an article that is getting along with others. It is called, “9 Tips on How to Get Along With People in Any Situation”. It is by a man named Goulding. The website is life hack.org. I am using his titles and some of his hints, but I’m applying it to a different area.

God is saying do not judge. I had a whole post on not judging others. There might be pressure put on people through their peer groups or religious groups to judge others. I am guessing there will be misinformation about all types of people. We need leaders who are actively working on “building bridges”. It is essential that we learn to “get along” with those who are different from us. That is a hard thing to do.

Here is an essential bit of advice taken from Mr. Goulding’s article: “…you have to make a deliberate choice to practice and incorporate these tips into your daily interactions.”

Now the tips

I am combining 1 and 7: Listen with the intent to understand and listen intently. This is called being an active listener. We can all listen and repeat back what the person said, but did we pay attention to their tone of voice, body language, or anything else that tells us more than just the facts. This is difficult and does take practice.

If you find that you are going to be going into a situation with someone from a different culture, it can be a good idea to ask if there is anything you should know. I have an in-law from a different culture. Her parents do not speak English. I have found that this in-law always lets me know up front any cultural variances. I know that I cannot sit next to her male relatives. It has always worked out.

Tip 2. “Walk in their shoes” This is always good to keep in mind. What is going on with the person you are talking to.

Tip 3. “Be polite”. This is so important. Watch rules of etiquette/getting along, but also be aware of your tone of voice.

Tip 4. “Always take the opportunity to say a kind and encouraging word to or about somebody.” This might depend on the situation. But a complement can be said in many circumstances. You might be able to complement someone’s family.

Tip 5 and 9. Show an interest in others and be sincere. Showing an interest goes along with be inquisitive. This would entail asking unobtrusive questions. Most of the time, if you act sincere and are not pushy someone will be open to you asking basic questions.

Tip 6. “Keep an open mind”. To do this, I think most people would have more luck if they remember: You can listen to someone who has a very different opinion from you and communicate openness without saying you have that option. “That is an interesting outlook.” “If I hear you right, you are saying that you believe X.” “Tell me more about X” Notice. I did not have to say I disagree.

Tip 7. “Be Positive”

I went to a site called Christian Daily Devotional. The daily devotional was a on being polite. The Bible verse is Timothy 2:24 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.”

Prayer – A prayer for those in the hospital no matter what their ethnicity, religion, or background. Maybe also a prayer of patience and courage for the caregivers who are interacting with so many types of people.

Quotes about Salvation

I looked up salvation and found a site called: openbible.info, “100 Bible Verses About Salvation”.

Psalm 3:8, “Deliverance belongs to the Lord; thy blessing be upon that people! Selah”

Psalm 37:39, “The Salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in times of trouble.”

Now, from the Gospels.

Matthew 7:21, Jesus is speaking: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

If I say “Letter” near a quote, that is because the person writing was an early follower of Christ, after Christ died and was resurrected. I wish that I had known how the Bible was organized years ago.

Acts of the Apostles, Acts 2:38, “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

Acts, 28:28, “Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

Psalms: 37:39, “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.”

Psalms 62:1, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”

A Letter, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”

Psalms 25:5 “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.”

A Letter, First John, or 1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

A Letter, Titus 2:11 “For the Grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.”

Acts 17: 30 “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

Prayer – If you wish. A prayer for those who are in the hospital today no matter what their religion, ethnic background, etc. We must appreciate our differences, note how much we are really alike once we get to know each other.

Faith is Supposed to Try Us

Faith is supposed to try us at times. Keeping faith in God can be difficult, sometimes when is most important to keep faith.

I got some help this past week finding out how best to pray. I thought I should get some help today.

I found a site called beliefnet.com There was an article called, “8 Things You Should Start Doing When Your Faith is Tested” Then in very small print it said, “Our Faith Can Move Mountains” I wrote down some of the headings from this article and then I am going to find quotes from the Bible about faith.

The first heading was, “Seek God’s Guidance” Under the heading it does say, “This can also be done by reading the scripture.”

The second heading was , “Be Strong and of Good Courage”. This section talks about Joshua 1:6-7, 9, 18

Another heading is “Start Praising and Worshipping God”. As I have said before, I wasn’t raised with this concept, but God is the Creator. He likes to hear praise. It can be motivational to praise him.

The last heading that I am going to use is “Trust God”. Boy that can be hard. Trusting anyone is hard, but we have to trust God. One short phrase that comes under this heading is, “Have faith”

BIBLE VERSES ON FAITH

2 Corinthians, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Psalms 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Matthew 15:28 “Then Jesus answered her, ‘Oh woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’” A women had faith that Jesus would take care of a demon in her daughter.

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Matthew 17:20 “For truly, I say to you, if you will say to this mountain, ‘Move hence to yonder place,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

Ephesians 6:16 “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” I was glad to find one which has Satan in it.

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” The books of the New Testament near Timothy are actually letters.

1 Corinthians 13:30 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”

Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

I do have faith that our prayers have made a difference. Even with things as bad as they seem to be. Everything is fine with me and my extended family, but the news is hard to read sometime. That being said, group prayer is worthwhile. Pick any group that was mentioned earlier, or focus on a faith prayer, or pray for the ministers, pastors, rabbi’s priests, and any persons who are ministering in one way or another.

The Discovery at Christ’s Tomb

One blog, by Kelly Minter on the gospel coalition.org writes an article called “Follow the Women at the Tomb”. It is well written and flows nicely. She really understands what happened at the tomb of Christ on the Sunday following the meal on Thursday night. Remember, at that place and at that a time in history, a partial day counted as a full day. Though there was not much time in the day on Friday, that counted as one day. Then we have Saturday. The third day, which is when Christ was supposed to rise, would therefore, be Sunday.

There are four gospels and each one is different. I’m pulling from all four, but deciding (with help) which sections to pull from which gospel.

Sunday is when the women showed up to anoint Christ’s body; this was the custom at the time. Matthew 28: 1 “Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulcher.” The women are told by an angel to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. Also, they are to go and see him in Galilee. I noticed that the women departed with fear and great joy.

In Mark 16:1, three women brought spices to anoint Jesus. They were concerned that they needed someone to roll away the stone that was in front of the tomb. The stone was already rolled back. Inside there was a young man in a white robe. (Mark 16:4-5) An angel would like me to say that the young man is an angel. That certainly would be appropriate. The angel in the Bible tells the women that Jesus of Nazareth has risen. They are to tell the disciples that Jesus is in Galilee. This time the women are “trembling and astonishment had come upon them…they were afraid”. The way this is worded tells me that the women believe what the angel told them. Otherwise, why would they be astonished?

In Luke the stone was also rolled back. There are different versions regarding who sees Jesus first. I am going to use John’s version. Mary is outside the tomb and she has been weeping. She turns and sees Jesus standing there, but she does not know it is him. (John 20:14); John 20:15 “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Mary thinks that Jesus is the gardener and may have carried the body of Jesus away. Christ says Mary’s name and Mary calls Jesus teacher in Hebrew: Rab-bo’ni! Mary must move forward to “hold” (hug) Jesus as Jesus asks her not to. John 20:17. “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples.

In John, Jesus sees the disciples that same night (Sunday night). He says peace be with you and then breathes on them. John 20:22 “Receive the Holy Spirit”. A disciple named Thomas was not with them. Jesus comes eight days later. Thomas had said that he would not believe until he sees Christ’s wounds. Jesus shows him but then says: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. (John 20:29) As John says there are “…also many other things which Jesus did…” John 21:25. Jesus shows himself to the disciples off and on for forty days.

Since the women are doing the anointing (or planning to), I think it is appropriate that I pick a prayer for caregivers – paid or not. Not having guests in to see your “charge” or not being allowed to take them out except for very necessary appointments must be a trial. So, if you want an idea for a prayer today – how about caregivers?

All Peoples Need to Love One Another

Maunday Thursday is the day that commemorates The Last Supper. Today, I learned from an online Maunday Thursday serviced that Maunday is a shortened form of a word that means command. I am glad that I listened because I then realized that I left something out when I covered Maunday Thursday. During the Feast of the Passover, Judas leaves. Shortly after, in John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I have to comment on that commandment before I move on to the discovery made at Christ’s tomb. Here again is Christ saying that certain people need to love each other. Where has that been before? I found it. This is where a scribe asks Jesus what would the first commandment be (not necessarily from the Ten Commandments). Mark 12:29-31 “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Saying there is not other commandment greater than these is very powerful considering what other commandments are out there.

Predictions About Christ’s Death and Resurrection

Throughout the Gospel, Christ is telling the Disciples about his death and resurrection. I found one site online that discusses one good prophecy that is made in the Old Testament on the topic. The site is ligonier.org.

If you have a chance, go to Isaiah 53 and read it, or go online and read it. I started reading Isaiah 53 and immediately realized that it is talking about Christ. There is “…he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrow.” Jesus carries our sins for us. (Isaiah:53 5) “ But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.”

The website ligonier.org covers verses pointing to the resurrection. “Isaiah 53 tells us that the Suffering Servant will ‘divide the spoil’, ‘see his offspring’ and ‘be satisfied when His sacrifice has brought righteousness to many.’” The prior verses from, what I can see and according to ligonier.org, comes after the death of Christ. To fulfill this prophecy, God’s Servant must rise to life to see and share the fruit of his label. After his resurrection, Christ spends forty days on earth. I found a site called jesusalive.cc by Steve Shirley. Steve’s article is about what Christ’ purpose on earth was during the forty days. Acts1:2-3 Christ gave commandments to the apostles (through the Holy Spirit), He needed to present himself as being alive, and Christ needed to speak of things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Jesus made many prophecies about his death and resurrection. It distresses the disciples, but at times they are fairly silent on the matter. What Jesus is predicting is unbelievable. The disciples needed to take it on faith. Jesus started to show his disciples “…that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed on the third day and be raised.” Matthew 16:21 Peter gets upset at this news. In Matthew 16:22-23 it says, “As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.’ And they were greatly distressed.”

Christ’s death is hard to read about. However, Christ got mad at Peter for getting upset. He wants the disciples to believe that he will “be raised”.

Prayer – Prayers of thanks to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit