hope begins. again.

Every now and then I begin to write a blog only to find that before it moves from conception to completion, someone else has written it for me. God has spoken the same truth to someone else's heart and sent it to me. Via email. How convenient. Perhaps because He knows I'm pressed for time or wrought with doubt and fear. Perhaps before I sat to write it, I would've began to doubt that He spoke it and before that transpires, an email forwarded to me from a friend becomes a confirmation to me from the Lord.

That very thing happened this morning and though these words are not my own, they are deep within my heart, the words I would've sat to write myself about this new year - and this new hope...

"Then Job replied to the LORD: 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.' ...My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you." Job 42:12, 5 (NIV 1984)

Sometimes I don't fully trust God has prepared good things. For me, for family, for friends, for others.This past year was riddled with home foreclosures, loss of businesses, empty cupboards and gas tanks for those I love. They've faced suicide attempts, drug overdoses, passing of loved ones. Family and friends alike have endured marital affairs, children sentenced to jail, a second year of unemployment, cars breaking down, churches falling apart and the list goes on. I'm not sure He can redeem the pain, recover what's lost, heal all that's broken. Can He truly fit the pieces of this past year into a hopeful future? Right now, circumstances suggest otherwise. And if I rely on what circumstances currently imply, I'm apt to believe the answer is no, the Lord is not able.

But circumstances tell tales that are prone to change in a moment. And the truth of the matter is: God never changes. His power to give a future and hope never change. His Word never changes. So when life weaves stories of doubt and hopelessness in God's authority over circumstances, I reread accounts of His faithfulness and redemption. I refer back to the Truth...

All the while Job's family, home, crops and health demolished... God was preparing to give him double of what was killed, stolen, lost and damaged.

The time Joseph was a slave and prisoner... God was planning for him to be second in command over Egypt.

When Ruth was a homeless, barren widow... God was creating a home in Boaz's heart for her to be a wife, and mother, and great, great, great-grandmother to His Son.

As Lazarus was bound in grave clothes... God was forming the breath that'd give him new life.

The moment David laid down in adultery... God was laying the groundwork for him to rise up in repentance.

Every time Saul crucified Christians... God saw Paul preaching the crucified Christ.

With each strike that Sarai beat Hagar with... God saw Sarah beating her jealousy, pride and doubt with the birth of Isaac.

When Esther was an orphaned girl shaking in fear for her life... God made a way for His daughter to shake a kingdom and save His people.

As Rahab welcomed men into the shelter of her bed... God saw her sheltering the spies on her roof.

When Peter lost faith and denied Christ... God saw him bringing many to faith as he proclaimed Christ.

As Moses killed an Egyptian with his hands... God saw him chiseling the Ten Commandments with those same hands.

At the time Mary saw Jesus die... God saw Jesus resurrected and seated on His heavenly throne!

No matter what the dire, dreary circumstances, God turned each into a hopeful future.

Our key verse assures us, none of His plans can be thwarted. Despite what is happening in life, these stories of redemption and hope speak the truth. God can and will reverse, restore, revive and renew. He sees beyond the present troubles and is sparking a fire to light up the future with hope.

As we begin this New Year, let's be on the lookout for His plans to come to pass. And trust Him that He can take any circumstance and use it for our good and His glory.

Dear Lord, I'm so grateful You not only see my future, but You've planned it. Thank You for Your faithfulness last year. And for recording these stories of lives You turned dreary pasts into hopeful futures. I ask that You do the same for my circumstances this New Year please. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

~ Samantha Reed (http://samanthareed.org/)


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