"We Are People of Hope!"
By Anne Ballard
In this season, God is changing our plans to meet our hearts' desires. In laying down our own agendas and choosing to partner with Him, we can grab hold of the good that He has in store
for us. God is using people around us to speak truth into our lives, remind us of dreams in our hearts, and infuse us with hope. He is also inviting us to hear directly from Him. There is a fresh word for each person, in each season, and in each situation.
Watch for God to stir up your trust and give you specific things He wants you to do as an act of faith. Expect Him to speak to you in a way that you can understand and take note of truths made known to you.
"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
Several days before Christmas, my Mom was exposed
to Covid. She lives in an assisted living home, so this meant that she would need to quarantine until we knew her test results. The implication of this was that neither I nor my family would be able to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with her. I know
many others have been in similar situations throughout 2020, and I am sure you can agree, it was challenging to make tough calls around this touchy subject.
The day after Christmas, she was running a low-grade
temp, so I went to get her tested. Her test came back negative, but a number of factors led me to choose to keep her at my house for two and a half weeks rather suddenly and unexpectedly. Although I had to shuffle around scheduled things, and I couldn't leave
my house for those two and a half weeks, it was worth every minute of it. I know it was good for her to be with her daughter, and I (a retired nurse) was able to get a very clear picture of how she was doing emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Our time together blessed me more than I could've imagined, and it came on the heels of being told I would not be able to spend Christmas with her! God turned around a potentially frightening circumstance and allowed
us to be together. In doing so, He gave me precisely what my heart desired and even needed.
Sometimes God moves suddenly and changes our plans. Initially, it may feel unsettling, and extremely costly,
but God honors your sacrifice. In laying down our agendas and choosing to partner with Him, we can grab hold of the good that He has in store for us – things we didn't even dream were possible. It's in these sweet moments that He meets the desires of
our hearts, but we must be willing to give up our own plans in order to receive them.
When we're willing to lay down our own agendas, God changes our plans to meet our hearts' desires. He's gives us what
we need, even though we may not realize we need it at the time. As God moves in this way, people will say things like, "I didn't even know that I needed that. That was the best thing for me!" This word is for people who feel interrupted, inconvenienced and
confused about what God is doing. If this word is for you, be obedient when you feel a prompting. Lay down your agenda and plans in order to meet God and find out how He wants to bless you.
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18)
When we lose sight of hope, it's easy to become discouraged. Even if hope is one of our core values, when we become more focused on what isn't happening, it can be easy to feel hopeless about our dreams. Sometimes we're not even aware that we've
done this. Losing our hope can be compounded if we are not surrounded by people who share our values.
When we take our eyes off what is unseen, and instead focus on our circumstances and the way things
look in the natural world, we trade in our hope for only the tangible. Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the certainty of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). It is the active belief that God is always good and choosing to trust Him in ALL things.
God is using people around us to speak truth into our lives, remind us of dreams in our hearts, and infuse us with hope. He's stirring up hope through other people. He's inviting us to remember that He's good and embrace
the hope that He has for us.
Are you feeling weary and discouraged? You may have even realized that you haven't dreamed with God in a very long time or maybe even ever. If that resonates in your spirit,
then this word is for you! Focus on God's goodness and testimonies of how He's worked in the past. Purpose in your heart to meditate on hope. Ask God what you need faith for (if you don't already know). Ask God to show you what is unseen in your situation.
"Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today
you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.' Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on.'" (Exodus 14:13-15)
Greek, the word "Rhema" means "utterance" or "thing said." I have come to think of it as a "now" word, just for me. Psalm 103:7 tells us, "He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel." There are times when we can gain strategy and wisdom
from how God interacted with people in the Bible that is directly applicable to our situation, but there are also times when we need to hear directly from the Lord.
Just as Jehoshaphat defeated the Moabites
and Ammonites simply by worshiping, it is clear that waiting on the Lord is the most important part of developing a strategy for your own situation. I'm sure that Jehoshaphat hadn't heard of any other battle that had been won through worship at that time,
nor had Noah ever heard of another ark being built; much less when it wasn't even raining. Abraham was willing to be obedient to what God had asked him to do in sacrificing his one and only son Isaac until the angel of the Lord told him to stop.
Moses thought he knew what his people needed to do (stand, be still), but God stepped in and said the exact opposite (move on). All of these people from the Bible received a Rhema word from the Lord about their specific
situation at that specific time. We must not become complacent or comfortable in relying on a word where God has moved in someone else's life (even someone from the Bible), but instead draw from our own personal well of relationship and history with the Lord.
God is inviting us to hear afresh from Him for our situation. We must not rely on an old word from the Lord, but rather a new word for this season. There is a fresh word for each person, in each season, and in each
Have you been pressing in for an answer in a specific situation? Are you waiting on the Lord for an answer? This word may be for you. Spend time with Him without seeking your agenda. This can
be challenging as you are needing an answer. He knows your needs as well as the desires of your heart. Expect Him to speak to you in a way that you can hear and understand. You are His child. Take note of things as they are made known to you. Be expectant.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)
It is so easy to get caught up in the emotional roller coaster of life and to follow our feelings, rather than being grounded in faith, Scripture, or a word from the Lord. Life can be so busy and so loud that we can get distracted and off course.
It is with intention that we must focus on the path that God leads us on, unwavering in our consistency and resolute purpose.
He is always leading and always speaking, but without keeping our eyes on Him
we can lose sight of what we are believing for. We can lose heart when we begin to focus on our circumstances instead of what the Lord has spoken to us; what He's placed in our heart and the favor in our situation. It's so easy to avoid taking a stand of faith
in a situation for fear of being disappointed if it doesn't work out, but the truth is that God can meet us in our disappointment and bring healing to our hearts.
It seems safer to have a plan B, but when
we have a plan B we aren't taking a stand of faith. It is impossible to please God without faith, but it is so easy to become comfortable and complacent in what we believe. Faith often requires taking a stand, and not the easy or most sensible road. It is
often contrary to earthly wisdom and could even look quite radical. Watch for God to stir up your faith and give you specific things He wants you to do as an act of faith.
This word is for people that
are feeling hopeless, double-minded, or full of fear. Stand firm in what God has spoken to you, who God is, and what He's done. Recount testimonies of God's goodness (especially those specific to your situation – like buying a house, having a baby, or
getting married). Take a step of faith even if it may seem small or insignificant. If you don't know, ask God what steps you can take.
God is turning my interruption into a blessing.
• I am keeping my eyes on what is unseen.
• God is giving me a fresh word.
• My faith pleases God.
I am building history with the Lord.
By Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321