Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hope Inexpressibly Bright

In my quest for unswerving hope, I get excited every time I read anything about hope. I just love the word. It does something for my soul. Maybe it's because there have been times in my life when I have lost hope and those were very dark times. Life without hope is not worth living. If you have ever lost hope, you know what I mean.

Today's devotional in My Utmost for His Highest gives us a remedy for lost hope. According to Oswald Chambers, the remedy is your imagination! What?! Imagination is for children, right? Imaginary friends, pretending to be a princess, playing house or school. But imagination for seasoned, battle fatigued Christian warriors?

"The starvation of the imagination is one of the most fruitful sources of exhaustion and sapping in a worker's life," says Chambers. Have you ever felt exhausted? Sapped? I sure have. Can something as simple as imagination really be the answer? "Imagination is the greatest gift God has given to us and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him." Chambers continues to talk about taking thoughts captive, making them obedient to Christ and picturing ourselves in God's presence. These exercises take our focus off our idols and our enemies and put it where it belongs--on God. That's using the imagination, but it's much more than pretending. It's actually spiritual warfare. And it's not really that simple, it takes an incredible amount of effort and focus. Everything will be desperately screaming for your attention. To mentally put up the "stop sign" (like we do with our kids when they interrupt our phone conversations) is very difficult. And to keep it up is hard work. But it is necessary and so worth it!

So, if you're struggling with lost hope, try this, "Remember Whose you are and Whom you serve. Provoke yourself by recollection, and your affection for God will increase tenfold; your imagination will not be starved any longer, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright." Couldn't we all use a little hope that's inexpressibly bright!

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!

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I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother raising her granddaughter. I am blessed with incredible family and friends. I love working for my church and serving on our Women's Ministry Team. I especially want to reach the women who wear their "Everything's fine" smiles on Sunday, but go home to deal with tough real-life issues throughout the week.