Sunday, October 19, 2014

Autumn Grace #19: Hope and Glory

Bird of Paradise

“Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love." Romans 3:2-5 The Voice

My pastor called this passage "the golden chain" in his message on resilience yesterday because of how one thing leads to another and then another to get to hope. My oldest son told me these are his favorite verses in the Bible. I can see why. I have always loved them, too, especially as the mother of a very large family. 

My oldest daughter (now a mother of three boys) joked when she was over for dinner that I must have wondered how I would make it through with her when she was growing up. Sure, she gave me some tough days, but now all I see is the beautiful, resilient, compassionate woman she has become. I marvel at how she can do what she does with such grace and endurance. It gives me such hope for the ones who are still at home when we're in the thick of it. The real wonder for me is how this sweet daughter survived being my firstborn, a guinea pig for all sorts of parenting techniques. Ahem.

When we go through the overwhelming times, it's so tempting to give up. I've done this at times - just let it all slip and slide instead of taking the initiative to make it better! I know I need to sit and ponder the ways I still do this.

I need to...

~ Turn again to God's goodness, grace, and glory. Ask him to renew my hope and to give me fresh vision and guidance for the future.

~ Set realistic expectations for life with a view to the much bigger picture beyond myself.

~ Work along with others as much as I can, and learn to deal with it gracefully when I can't.

~ Persevere with patience, even when it looks like God's promises are taking too long to come true.

What are some ways that you have learned to do these things?

If you are experiencing difficulty in life right now, you might like to read articles linked on my Rocky Places page.

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

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