Is there hope?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. (1 Pet 1:3-4a)


Is there a solid anchor, something immovable and unchanging, something that is purely good that you can put your hope in today?

There is a certain hope! A hope that is beyond your wildest dreams. A hope that abides in a place external to this world. A place where rust and moth cannot destroy it, and where the thief cannot steal it away.

There is a living hope that co-exists with everything you experience in your life including the joys, the beauty and all that is good. A hope that shines brightly amongst all the evil, sickness, despair, shame, sin and death that surrounds you.

This hope is firmly anchored in the reality of the Kingdom of God.

This living hope rests solely on the goodness of God, the creator of the universe, the one who created you. A good, holy, righteous, loving, unchanging God. You can depend on this living hope with absolute confidence for God is faithful and keeps his promises. God is a God of hope. God will not deceive you or trick you.

Jesus invites you based on his finished work on the cross to faithfully hold tightly to the living hope he offers. When you take your eyes of Christ and see the sin, depravity, and darkness around you, Jesus invites you to hold without wavering to a living hope. When you are blessed beyond measure, and are enjoying life to the fullest, even as God meant life to be experienced, Jesus invites you to not let go of your living hope. And if you do let go of hope for a moment, if there are seasons when God seems far away and silent know that Hope continues unchanging.

Hope whispers quietly that God has your circumstances under control.

With hope faithfully move forward in confidence and joy. You don’t have to fret or worry just set your attention and affections on the things above, upon which your hope rests.

Next time when you find yourself saying “I hope that …” remember that God is a God of hope.

What difference does it make in your day that that God has blessed you with a certain living hope that transcends all that you hope for in this world?

    “Hope” is the thing with feathers –
    That perches in the soul –
    And sings the tune without the words –
    And never stops – at all – 

    And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
    And sore must be the storm –
    That could abash the little Bird
    That kept so many warm – 

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
    And on the strangest Sea –
    Yet – never – in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb – of me. 

        -Emily Dickinson

A New Era Has Dawned

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings (Heb 10:22a)


A new era has dawned! You no longer need to run like a gerbil endlessly on a tread-wheel, seeking to be known, accepted or loved. You don’t need to chase after the things of this world any more. You, just as you are, have received an invitation to draw near to God. You don’t have to be afraid that you will be rejected. You will be accepted simply on the basis of your faith. You won’t be condemned, you won’t be teased, and you won’t be shamed when you come to Christ. You will be welcomed. You will hear God call by your name. You will find grace.

All this is possible because the unique and unparalleled work of Christ is finished! Jesus died on the cross, rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven! Jesus extends to you an open invitation to boldly and confidently enter into God’s presence – the Most Holy Place. This invitation is extended to all whose guilty consciences have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. Come to Christ and your dignity will be restored. Boldly enter into the most holy place without fear or trembling for your shame has been replaced with glory. Your sins are forgiven!

Come into God’s presence with a sincere heart. There is no need for false pretenses – for Christ alone is the author and finisher of your salvation. Come believing that Christ is sufficient. Come and share in Christ’s perfection. Come without fear. Your sins, failures and mistakes are no longer remembered. Come with your prayers, your tears and your heartaches. Come with joy, thanksgiving and a heart overflowing with praise. Come believing that Christ will supply all your needs out of his riches in glory. Come and experience intimacy with your Heavenly Father. Come and let the Holy Spirit fill you with his power. Come and experience life to the fullest in the Kingdom of God!

Read Hebrews 10:14-23 on BibleGateway

Easter

Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)


This Easter we bow in awe and adoration before our God who in his infinite wisdom, amazing grace, and boundless love created a way for us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, and for God to enter into our life and have fellowship with us. On that first Good Friday, Jesus paid the ultimate ransom price so that our consciences could be cleansed from all our less than perfect behavior, thoughts and attitudes.

This Easter we pause to appreciate what the resurrected Jesus is doing for us today. For Easter is much more than just a historic event. Easter is a present reality. Because Jesus died the very inner core of our being has been transformed from darkness into light. Because Jesus lives God dwells in our heart, calls us his children, and welcomes us into his Holy presence. We are free from the bondage of our sins. Jesus has taken away our shame, and restored our dignity. Jesus has taken away our fears and replaced them with love. We celebrate Easter because we have been released from the things of this world to serve the living God the way we were created to.

This Easter we appreciate that only by faith in Christ are our sins forgiven. Only through the blood of Christ are we cleansed from all our mistakes, and failures and sins. There is nothing you or I need to do (or can do), there is nothing we can create, and nothing that is created which can cleanse us from our sins. Easter reminds us that Jesus doesn’t have to die again. Easter reminds us that there is nothing that anybody can do to take away our redemption.

This Easter we anticipate with hope Jesus return. The King came, lived among his people, paid the price of redemption for his people, and now has temporarily left to return to His Kingdom. But having left, he has also promised to return. And when he returns we will get to enjoy perpetually and completely all the blessings he obtained by his sacrifice.

This Easter as you enjoy time with your family, as you enjoy a shortened work week, as you enjoy camping or gardening or whatever you are doing – celebrate that the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse you from all your shame and guilt, all your mistakes, anger, frustration, bitterness and jealousy. Celebrate that because of the blood of Jesus you can enjoy fellowship with God. Rejoice that there is nothing else you have to do be viewed as holy in God’s presence – celebrate that “It is Finished”. No matter how discouraging this world may be, no matter how silent the heavens may seem celebrate that your redemption has been accomplished.

Christ is Risen!

 

Read Hebrews 9:11-28 on BibleGateway

Rejoice

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24 NASB)


Today our hearts can be filled with shouts of Hosanna, shouts of praise, for Christ is risen and he hears and answers our prayers. We know that Christ has the ultimate authority over nature, demons, sickness, sin, religious rituals, and the systems and leaders of this world. We have experienced forgiveness, peace, love and joy. We rest in an eternal hope. We have a merciful and faithful high priest who is seated at God’s right hand, interceding for us.

Today we give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for his lovingkindness is everlasting.

Some days are messy days when our nerves are frayed, when nothing seems to be going right, or with deadlines looming, or when we can’t please anybody, or when our world has been turned upside down. These messy days still deserves a chance to be a good day because the Lord has made each day. Messy days do not change the goodness of the Lord or his enduring love for us. God is more than able to meet our needs today. So we continue to give thanks to the Lord.

Every day Jesus Himself is waiting to share in our struggles and sorrows, to renew our courage, and to enter into an intimate conversation with us.

Because Jesus lives we can call upon the Lord, and he answers. We do not need to be afraid and we are never alone, for the Lord is with us, and calls us his sons and daughters. God has promised to guard and cherish us forever. No matter what life brings, our refuge is in the Lord.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Read Psalm 118 on BibleGateway

Faith @ Work – Bridging Two Worlds

Seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33-34)


At your workplace your life is intertwined with the real stories, hurts, experiences, fears, success and failures of your co-workers. At the same time, your life is immersed in the scriptures, living and inhaling the love, hope, and grace of Christ. How do you connect these two kingdoms? Or are they two separate worlds?

Bridging these worlds occurs as you interact with people. It is in your relationships with people that you exhale the love, hope and grace of God.

I would suggest that you can connect these two worlds by seeking God and his righteousness in the midst of the all the stories that your life is intertwined with. Doing your work with excellence, constantly learning and improving your skills, will earn you the right to be heard and respected for constantly seeking God and his righteousness.

Seeking God requires an absolute trust in the solid rock of your loving Heavenly Father. There is no place for worry in your heart when you are wholeheartedly seeking God. A life of trust, a life without worry is contagious. God knows your needs. God alone is capable of providing for your needs! God knows the hearts of the people you are dealing with. Only God can transform their hearts.

Seeking God’s righteousness requires a constant careful examination of your own life so that you guard against sin. This includes the sins of judging others, and focusing on the faults of others, rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to transform your life into Christ’s image. An attitude of seeking God’s righteousness, involves an attitude of forgiveness towards others even as you have been forgiven. Christ is willing to forgive you and forgive your co-workers. God is able to provide you with wisdom so that your righteousness shines brightly in your conversations and conduct so that Christ in you, the hope of glory is revealed.

In quiet confidence, with your head held high, with a holy faith, knowing that you are secure in your Father’s hand – passionately ask, seek, and knock at the throne room of heaven on behalf of the real stories of your colleagues. Ask, seek and knock until they receive with gratitude God’s precious gifts, until they are transformed by Christ, until they open the door and enter by faith into God’s Kingdom.

 

Read Matthew 6:25-34 on BibleGateway

Faith @ Work – God upholds the righteous

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isa 43:1b)


How will you respond to what the people around you are doing? The Bible assures us that God knows what is going on and controls each person’s destiny. God guarantees the blameless that their righteousness will shine like the dawn and that they will spend eternity under the Lord’s care with an inheritance that will endure forever. So why expend energy fretting about other people when you can trust God’s promises to sustain the righteous?

Yes you may stumble, or fret, we all do – but God promises to uphold you with his mighty hand so that your feet never slip. God is your stronghold in times of trouble. Take refuge in God for he will never forsake you. As God’s righteous child, God will enable you to do good, to be just and faithful right where you are working and living today. Seek the Lord and God will grant you words of wisdom and a tongue that speaks what is just in every situation.

God cares for you, his child! You don’t need to get all worked up. Be still and wait patiently for God and in his time, his peace will flood your soul. God is trustworthy so focus your energies on doing good, and dwelling where God has placed you. God has showered you with an abundance of blessings, so invest your time in getting to know him more. Roll the burdens that people around you are placing on your back to the foot of the cross so that you are free to serve God better – for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

In the morning select one of God’s many precious promises and remind yourself of that promise before each activity throughout your workday.

Hope in the Lord and keep his way!!

Read Psalm 37 on BibleGateway

Faith @ Work – Stressful Work Days

A bruised reed he will not break,and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isa 42:3)


Stressful days. Days when the boss drops three piles of work on your desk just as you are ready to go home and demands that it be ready for the next morning. Times when your computer dies when you have 15 minutes left to finish your presentation. Days when the best you can do is shake your head at the way your managers, customers, or co-workers are behaving. Days when it feels like you got out of the wrong side of bed, or everybody in your company got out of the wrong side of bed.

It’s hard to believe that Jesus meets us in our stress. There are times when I wish I hadn’t allowed the stress in my life to consume me. I wish I always could believe that Jesus who was wounded for my healing, loves to heal me in my stress so that I can bring healing to others. I know in my heart that this is a present reality, but in my mind I sometimes wonder if it is just a psychological possibility. Thanks be to God that Jesus rewards me for my faithfulness and not my feelings

Today Jesus in his righteousness is with you. Jesus is taken the broken places where your work, and the broken pieces of your life and raising them to new life and giving them new meaning. Because of Jesus’ infinite grace and the redemptive power of forgiveness, you are growing into a mature, compassionate and wise leader. Praise the Lord!

Jesus delights in your continued faithfulness in your workplace. Jesus mourns with your struggle to cope with yet another tough, stressful workday. Jesus continues to strengthen you so that you don’t grow weary you as you faithfully, prayerfully, possibly tearfully prepare to go back again tomorrow. Jesus knows your faithfulness. Jesus knows your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. Jesus knows that you continue to demonstrate Christ’s love in your workplace. Jesus knows that you have remained true to his Holy name, and not walked away from your faith. The one who is holy and true, knows your deeds, knows that though you are weak you continue to faithfully depend on his strength.

Continue to buy from God gold refined in the fire so that you build up treasures in heaven. Allow Christ to keep on cleansing you from all unrighteousness so that you may wear clothes washed whiter than snow. Allow Jesus to touch your eyes, so that you might see Christ. Continue to be faithful and one day Christ will crown you with the victor’s crown and grant you the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God. The day is coming when you will reign with him in glory forever.

Read Isa 43:1-4 on BibleGateway

Faith @ Work – Singing Joyfully to the Lord

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
(Ps 33:3-4)


Do you find yourself having trouble today in your world? Are things going differently then what you planned? Are people behaving in ways you didn’t expect them to behave? Look to Jesus – he knows that you would have trouble in this world. Jesus died for you, Jesus overcame the world, so that you might have peace today!

There is nothing that man has invented or that God has created that can save your soul. The Lord who watches over you is the only one who can save you and keep you during this time in the desert – if you will obey and trust him.

Because you are righteous in the eyes of the Lord, you can sing a new song with shouts of joy to your Creator. Your song of praise is not based on your circumstances but on the fact the word of the Lord is true. God’s word which spoke the world into existence is powerful enough to deliver you, to heal you, and to restore you. God’s plans for you and for his creation stand firm forever and cannot be shaken. No matter what is going on in your life, you can trust everything God is doing.

Since God has chosen you to be his child, you are blessed and can be filled with joy today. Don’t worry – God is looking down from heaven and sees everything that is going on in your life. God knows your heart, God knows your thoughts. God knows what the people around you are doing, God knows their heart, God knows their thoughts. God understands exactly how you feel. God is the only help and shield you need today.

In the mystery of what is happening in your life, put your hope in the Lord. Rest today, with your hope in God’s unfailing love which surrounds you. Rejoice!

Read Psalm 33 on BibleGateway

How Does God View Work?

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:17)


Throughout our career our work experiences range from jobs we thoroughly enjoy to work we would rather not do. God sees our work differently. God sees all our work as opportunities to cooperate with his eternal purposes. When we are working God sees us as being obedient to his command. In fact work is one of the very first commands in the Bible.

Adam and Eve had the immense privilege of being the first workers. When God created the world, God allowed Adam and Eve to work to subdue and rule over the earth. We follow in their steps through our work as we continue to subdue and rule over the earth. Even before God warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil, God instructed Adam and Eve to work the garden and take care of it.

In other words, every job, even the simplest, most mundane or routine tasks that you do (unless it is some sort of criminal activity) has dignity and value, simply because working is being obedient to God’s command. Not only has God commanded us to work, God invites us through our work to discover every aspect of the marvelous complexity of his wonderful creation. The first task God gave Adam and Eve was naming each animal and bird that God brought before them. This creative activity of naming things still goes on today as we name new planets, name the location of new mineral deposits, or name new findings in medicine.

Being created in God’s image, when you are doing your work, whatever that might be, you are reflecting God’s love into the world and reflecting creation’s worship back to God. You can be filled with joy at work for you have the privilege of partnering with God. In fact you might be surprised, that when you start seeing your current role from God’s perspective that you will find peace and contentment. Remember that you are not working for man but for the Lord. Every responsibility of your job is the Lord’s work.

Blessings

James Bruyn


Read on Bible Gateway
Genesis 1:28

Genesis 2:15
Genesis 2:19
Colossians 3:17-24

 


Faith at Work – There is a Larger Reality

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, 
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? 
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? (Isa 40:12)

God is intimately present in all of his creation; at all times including your workplace with his inexhaustible power and love, yet God is not limited by time and space. His wisdom is there for your asking. He knows every truth about His creation, even the ones that haven’t been discovered yet. God’s authority is ruling over everything that happens at your organization. God is ruling in accordance with his loving, unchanging, unsearchable wisdom which is deeper and richer than we will ever grasp. While there is constant change happening around you, there is no change in God’s being, his moral principles, his attributes, his purposes, his motives or his promises or his love for you.

Your work and all the associated deadlines, pressures, powers, stressors and systems exist do not change the fact that God created the heavens and the earth. This world is established, firm and secure because the Lord robed in majesty and armed with strength is in complete control and is exalted above all his creation. Every task you do at work takes place amongst the dust of the earth that the Creator has weighed in a basket. Your workplace exists between the boundaries of the waters that God held in the hollow of his hand, and the mountains and hills that God weighed on the scales. (Isa 40:12). The tools you use for your work were shaped from raw materials that God created. The principles that govern your work are principles that were established by God when he created the universe.

People’s expectations of you, their love and acceptance, their manipulations, their complements and complaints, their truths, half-truths and outright lies do not change the fact that God gave each of them breath and the skills and talents they have. God in his unsearchable wisdom knows what he is doing when he places people in authority and establishes their boundaries. God created the thrones, powers, and systems of this world, and holds the wealth of this world in his hands.The Lord robed in majesty and armed with strength is in control of every aspect of your workplace.  The power of God’s love will always triumph over the love of power.

God isn’t a department, machine or computer, but a reigning, reciprocating, righteous, living, loving Lord and Father who you can have a relationship with in your workplace.