Tag Archives: Titus 1

How to Hang on to Hope

I woke up this morning and from the toasty side of the covers, I lay running my finger down my smartphone, glancing at the recent Facebook posts; and as usual it was mixed with a diverse number of images and thoughts. Some sad, some silly and some downright stupid. Much like many of my days. It ain’t easy to hang on to hope when struggles come into our lives. Satan will loosen your grip with the slimiest of tactics. He’ll use discouraging people, financial hardship, personal failures and family heartache. Anything that will cause you to look at life and see the harsh times not the hope. So how do we hang on to hope at the bleakest points in life.

Titus 1:9 says

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Get a Grip

Titus said hold fast! When Satan starts his jargon of convincing you there is no hope or purpose in your life, hang on tight to what the Holy Spirit tells you is true. God will never discourage you. He may chastise you, or advise you in ways that make you uncomfortable, but He will never make you feel less or alone. Hold on!

Get a Gratitude

Remember all of the times that the faithful Word of God has come through for you. When I begin to remember all the times that God as brought me through and allowed me to see the miracles of Heaven, my grateful heart restores the hope that the hard time I’m facing will end with the Glory of God.

Get a Grin

Titus said to exhort! Encourage those around us. That’s hard to do when we’re going through a tough time ourselves. It’s important to know the word of God and use it to encourage others. There seems to be a connection been encouraging others and ourselves at the same time. Exhortation is deflected from those you encourage and returned to yourself in the process. You can’t give it without receiving it.

What a great thought that has the power to shut down the stupid things Satan says. It’s not my words, but God’s Word that has the power.

Are you struggling today… Write Titus 1:9 on an index card, post it note or whatever scrap of paper you can find and put it where you can see it throughout your day. Satan will flee at the word of God. And through your struggle you may not only encourage yourself but others along the journey, and God will be glorified and Satan will be angry. It’s a win/win kind of day!

The Promise of Hope

hope
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

There is hope! I wanted to put that across every social media site this morning in big bold letters. It’s won’t be found in a lottery ticket, in the government of the United States, it won’t be found in our family, friends or your critter. If there is a giant hole in your heart you cannot fill it with money, things or other people. If someone or someone is missing you have only one hope, and that’s Jesus.

I speak from experience, else I’d not write it.

When my family lost my brother Richard, I was but a child, and a lost child at that. I didn’t understand eternity. I was brought up in church, I’d heard about Heaven, but it was nothing more than a word. A misunderstood concept. But then… Jesus.

It’s what the world doesn’t want to hear. That Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and nobody gets to Heaven without Him. Not hearing it doesn’t change it, and not accepting it only hurts you further because He is what’s missing in your life that fills the hole you have inside. He does not replace the person that caused the hole, He simply fills the void where they are and gives a bridge to seeing them again. That was the sweetest gift in my own heart today when I thought of the people I can’t see. Even some who are here on earth…

When I ask my Mother once why she wasn’t angry with God for taking my brother at the age of 19, she simply responded “Because He is my only hope of seeing Richard again.” My Mom had found the bridge back to my brother. When my Dad passed away I missed almost everything about him, except one thing, the faith he shared with me. He had Jesus and that bridged the gap between us. I knew it was not goodbye, it was “save a place for me at dinner.”

So when I see a social media post of despair, I want to bridge that gap in their heart by telling them that I truly do care and that Jesus is their answer to the hopelessness they’re feeling inside. He doesn’t replace the person lost… He is what the song writer wrote with the words “He built a bridge with only three nails and two pieces of wood, with one rugged cross, Jesus built a bridge.”

Glory to God for the bridge that I found in 1996. Glory to God for the preacher who preached the gospel. Glory to God for the patience that God had in waiting for me to come to Him. Glory to God for there is hope on earth and peace… His name is Jesus. Amen!

Father vs. father… a point to ponder

chick ponder

During a recent study with the teens the subject matter came up how we often compare our relationship with God to that of our earthly parents. I hadn’t really thought about my parental viewpoint of God until that conversation. Yes, I viewed Him as my Father, but in so doing had I given to Him some of my earthly father’s attributes? I fear I had. My Dad, Gene Hardway, was an awesome godly man. But he had some quirks of human nature. He was a passive fella.

When I married my husband in 1980, yes I was baby of 18 years of age, I was not prepared for the culture of his family. They’re good people too, but they were different than the Hardway’s. They were more realistic to most families in the world. My parents never argued. For real! I never heard anyone raise their voice. So when I met people who could get loud, my Ozzie and Harriett world went upside down. I soon learned how to react in kind. I  don’t recommend it. But as for my Dad, he never changed. He did not yell. He did not argue. Which is awesome, till it’s not. I think possibly if my Dad had spoken more forceful on some things perhaps I would have listened, but maybe not.  The reality of it is, my Dad was who he was, and my husband David’s family are who they are. But now back to the Dad and God comparison… I had to ask myself if I viewed God as somewhat passive, even though I know that not to be the case according to scripture. And the answer was a resounding yes! So I asked my husband, if because his earthly dad had left him when he was one year old, if he thought that caused him to have a lack of trust in God. He said he hadn’t ever really thought about it… I’ve been married too him over half my life, I think he has.

God is truth

Titus 1:2  – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Parents lie. They tell us things about the Easter Bunny and Santa, (Which I believe is okay) but God would not tell you those things were true, because they are not. Parents tell you you’re the most beautiful child in the world… you are not, but you are in their world, so perhaps that is true. By the same token a really crappy parent who would discourage a child and criticize them is not who God is either, they lie; God does not.

God is love

1 John 4:8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

God’s love is unconditional. We did not do anything to make God love us therefore we cannot do anything to make Him stop. Good parents for the most part love their children unconditional, but not always. Children grow into adults, make bad decisions, hurt us, let us down, as do the parents. God will not ever let you down. I would imagine unconditional love would be hard to fathom for someone brought up in a “conditional love home.”

God is Right

Psalm 18:30 – As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Parents make mistakes, Lord have mercy I have made my fair share and somebody else’s; but God has not ever had an “oops” moment. If you read and study His word from beginning to end, regardless if it is a scientific, moral or prophetic statement, it’s truth. Tell me any man or woman who you can say that about, although my husband does profess to always be right. (Insert smiley face here) But there is none but God Who is ALWAYS right.

God is forgiving

Matthew 6:14For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Do we think of Him as forgiving or condemning? I think of Him in that manner, but my Dad was a VERY forgiving guy. I have a feeling if you were brought up in a home where forgiveness was not forthcoming, you might not feel as forgiven.

This idea gave me great reason to ponder my relationship with God. What do you think? I’d be interested in hearing if your view of God was parent defined…