Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hope Renewed

Over and over this week, I have thought about the gift of hope.  We continue to be hopeful about changes that are occurring since the stem cell procedure.  Each week my strength seems to be increasing.  I am able to add a little more weight to the machines at the gym or increase the repetitions of the exercises.  For years now, when the temperature is cold or I hold cold objects in the winter, my fingers lose circulation and are very white on the ends.  I usually have to run warm water over them for several minutes before the color and blood supply return.  There have been three instances the past two weeks where I know that would have happened, but it did not.  I am even full of hope that chores and other "Not Necessarily on my Top 10 List of Things I Want to Do" will soon be added to my day.  It's amazing what joy that brings when it is something I have not been able to do for a while.  This week, I was able to keep my balance and hang pants on hangers and not have to wait for Larry to do that.  Once again, little things bring about much hope.

With the coming of Christmas this week, I am reminded of God's incredible gift of hope to our world, Jesus.  Oh, that I would learn to live expecting every day to be a celebration of Christmas and Easter.  One of the scriptures I read this morning, out of The Message translation, is what Jesus told Paul to do to share His gift of hope with the world.  I know He's offering the invitation to all of us as well.

Acts 26:17-18
 "'I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.'

 I have also been reminded of additional scriptures that God has used to bless me and teach me about hope.

Psalm 33:18
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
   on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

Psalm 42:5b
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

Psalm 62:5
 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
   my hope comes from him.

Psalm 146:5
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD delights in those who fear him,
   who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Titus 2:13
while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

May your Christmas and New Year be overflowing with God's gift of hope, Jesus.

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