Hope

Election week continues here in the USA. 

Before it even began on Tuesday, November 3rd,  it had been an arduous journey. Taking into consideration the Primaries from the spring, then the series of unrelenting commercials, advertisements, and mud-slinging; it has been a campaign that has required a great deal of patience and perseverance.  

I pondered these things and more as I trudged through the chore of raking leaves.  As I raked the dried, crispy leaves, I began to consider the life-cycle of these once vibrantly, brightly colored leaves.  Looking at the many different shades of brown, the autumn leaves seemed to resemble my spirit: shriveled, dried up, and hardened. Realization dawned, though, as I reflected on how greatly things would change in just a mere few months.  With the springtime bring baby green shoots.  These shoots then burst forth from various tree limbs and soft, glossy leaves eventually grow. New plant-life bursts forth and the world is revitalized.  

Just like that, hope was rediscovered.

hope provides light to move forward

Do you feel as if your morale is losing hope?  Has the year 2020 sucked your spirit dry and hardened your soul? If so, I encourage each of us to not lose hope. For just as my hope was rediscovered through the reflection upon the rebirth of plants and trees in the spring, we can experience a deeper reclaiming of hope when we discipline ourselves to a  perspective shift of fixing our eyes on Jesus .  Through Him, our souls will be deeply satisfied through a regaining of hope and quenching of spirit.

Romans 5: 3-5 shares, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  This hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

When we shift our gaze from this world and its grim circumstances, embracing an eternal perspective,  we find that we have SO much to look forward to!  As a believer in Jesus Christ, we know that this earth is NOT our home. We have the joy of the glories of heaven and eternal life to look forward to.  When our gaze is fixed on Jesus, eternal life, and all of heaven’s glories, it becomes easier to persevere through the tragedies of this fallen world.

The life He invites us into is one that is abundant and full (John 10:10).  When we reach out to Jesus, believe Him, and receive the grace He extends to us,  His Spirit is there to be received into our hearts. Upon receiving His Spirit, a believer can experience peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and a quenching of the extreme thirst within our parched, dry soul and spirit (Matthew 11:28). The Spirit is there to be invited in on a daily basis, for continued sustaining and care, just as a friend is called on in times of need.

hope in Jesus brings freedom

Be renewed with hope that this earth is not our home. We were created for Heaven and living free from sin. Casting our eyes on Jesus and focusing on an eternal perspective helps us to endure the hardship, turmoil, fear, and grief found in this life. Friend, be renewed with hope that Jesus desires to walk in relationship with both you and I.  

Let us give thanks that we can lean deeply into Christ, calling on His Spirit, and discover a renewed joy to greet each day.  Through Him, we will then be fulfilled and able to leave a legacy of love here on earth. 

Published by Stacy Mcclelland

Stacy is a woman with Texas roots, who, as a lover of mountains, camping, and hiking, is ecstatic to call Loveland, CO her current home. Stacy holds a degree in Elementary Education, having spent many years in the classroom as a Special Education or Substitute Teacher. As wife to her pastor-husband for over twenty years, and mother to their three daughters, Stacy has been blessed with the opportunity to manage their home and focus on raising their girls. Partnering with her husband in ministry over the past two decades, she is armed with experiences of walking through the hardships of life with many. However, she has also had the opportunity to embrace beautiful moments of sustaining joy, grace, and overcoming with others, as well. Having traveled many parts of the world, she yearns to come alongside, support, and edify others in and through their circumstances. Coming alongside other women to read, study, learn and grow in their understanding of the Bible and how it applies to their everyday lives has been where Stacy has discovered her “sweet spot” for teaching. She hopes another avenue for finding connection will be found through her writing. For, an avenue for sustaining joy in her life is found through encouragement, uplifting others, and connecting with youth and women as we each navigate “this thing called life.”

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