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HOPE

HOPE THOU IN GOD, FOR I SHALL YET PRAISE HIM...

Psalm 42:5

Would you please write something regarding Sept. 11, that would give us HOPE and Encouragement, someone asked of me. I thought, What could I say that hasn't already been said. What could I offer that hasn't already been offered. What Challenge could I GIVE that hasn't already, been so graciously given. Nevertheless, here is something for you to meditate on that might encourage your heart and give hope for the days ahead.

I am prone to go back to human beings like you and me, that God has dealt with directly. A couple that come to mind are Job and Nehemiah. Each had severe trials and testings. Try comparing their situations with some of our trials today. JOB suffered material loss. EVERYTHING that belonged to him was taken away in quick succession: family: (all his children) , his possessions: (he was rich), physical suffering,: (his body covered with boils, nothing more painful), loss of friends : they accused him of being the cause of his misfortune. Then the discouragement of his life long companion. His wife said..."Curse God and die." I can't think of one thing more that could have been taken away! Can you? You and I might say, "There's nothing left to live for." (Some folk today are saying the same) In each case, Job never blamed God. His response was, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust HIM!!! Job 13:15. In the end, God blessed Job with double of all that he had before. 42:10

Then there was Nehemiah, that stalwart man who put God first in his plans. He was challenged to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the broken-down walls...from the rubble. That was a tremendous task. We know about that ourselves since Sept.11. He had enemies too. They laughed at him with scorn implying that he had an impossible job. (almost) They said, "What are these people doing? Will they sacrifice? Will they revive the stones out of the burned heaps of rubbish?

BUT all this did not discourage Nehemiah to the point of quitting. It drove him to the Lord for wisdom and guidance in a serious situation. End of last chapter regarding the walls: they were completed in 52 days, an unheard of accomplishment!! The enemies were angry. God's people, under His direction won the war, not in their own strength but in believing, to the point of action. If you want the full story, read the first 6 chapters of Nehemiah. His is an exciting life story that you'll treasure. It will put stamina into your life as well. Hope is like an anchor that helps us keep our eyes on the goal.

Each of the above situations were abit different from our Sept. 11th night-marish ordeal, but none-the-less filled with similar wretchedness and grief. If we, as a country, which includes you and me, will follow with the same hope and dependence on God, that Job and Nehemiah did, we also can be victorious over our enemies and experience peace of mind and soul. Joshua, a triumphant soldier of God said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Let us pray that we here in the U. S. will say with Joshua, "As for me and my house, we too, will serve the Lord." and follow His commands. Truly, Our only hope IS IN HIM.


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