Do You Want to Get Well?

Driving home this evening, the sun was on the horizon as dusk was fast approaching.

Another day would soon be past.

How many sunsets have I seen in my life?

God has blessed me with the beauty and grandeur of more than I remember.

Year after year, He has been faithful to me, whether I understood it at the time, or not.

Year after year, He has known the longings of my heart.

He has answered prayers, given me guidance, and restored me from illnesses both great and small.

God has also protected me from dangers that I recognized and from those that I was never even aware of.

He knows the deep desires of my heart for the salvation of those I love and the restoration of broken relationships.

While reading tonight about the healing of a man by Jesus, His question to the man went straight to my heart–“Do you want to get well?”

The man had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

Thirty-eight years…

Then, suddenly, he was healed.

Walking.

Completely whole.

Only the evening before, the sun had set as it had for thousands of times in his life, finding him to be unable to walk.

But not on this day–

This was the day of freedom.

The day of answered prayer for healing.

The day of salvation.

The day of restoration.

What have you been longing for?

Has it been thirty-eight years?

Twenty years?

Ten?

God is able to answer your deepest cries in prayer.

Do you want to get well?

Do you want others to get well?

Continue praying for them.

Tomorrow may yet be the day of healing…

 

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Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

—John 5:2-8

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Prepare a Place

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.

—John 14:3

 

The water at the end of my driveway reflected the sunset and its colors like a giant glass mirror.

So perfectly was the image of the pastel hues blending with clouds in the sky, you could almost imagine just stepping into the scene and finding yourself in another world.

That sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it?

Another realm of life, just a footstep away.

Although it is a fascinating subject for novels and movies, most people wouldn’t quite take it seriously.

Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, we do take that thought seriously.

Another realm of life, just a footstep–just a breath–just a heartbeat–away.

Jesus said that if He would go and prepare a place for us, then He would come back and take us to be where He was.

The spiritual realm is right with us, but we don’t see it with our earthly eyes.

Our faith is not in what we can touch, but what we are sure about in our hearts.

Heaven is real.

It’s not science fiction.

It’s our future home.

 

 

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Before They Call

Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

–Isaiah 65:24
This morning as I walked out to my car to drive to work, the sun had not yet come up. 

The day was bright with the sun’s approach, however. 

As I started to get into the car, I could see a giant cloud, blazing with glorious hues of orange, yellow and pink in the western sky. 

Putting my things in the car, I photographed the cloud with my phone. 

Even though I couldn’t see the sun directly, I could see it’s illuminating effect on the billowing mass of water vapor that rose so high in the distance. 

It was a testimony of what was soon to come into view. 

I have been praying about many concerns lately. 

God knows about them all. 

Even though I may not see how God is working in a particular moment, there are times when I can see His light shining on a situation. 

It is a testimony of His faithfulness and answered prayers to come. 

Hope in His Faithful Love

 

The LORD values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His faithful love.

—Psalm 147:11

The only hope that I have is in God.

He is the only hope that I need.

His love for me is continuously faithful.

All my concerns are before Him.

He knows each one.

 

 

 

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Plans

My husband has been building a table for our living room the past few days. 

After studying the plans and thinking of all that he would need, he went to the store and bought the lumber and other supplies required to make the table. 

There will be a day when it will sit under the mirror we have on the wall and it will be sanded and stained to a dark brown hue. 

Although it doesn’t look like that yet, I know that it will be. 

My husband could see from the plans what the table was going to look like. 

God had a plan for His people at a specific time in the Old Testament as these words spoke of:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

—Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for us, too. 

Right now. 

Today. 

He wants to give all who will turn to Him a future and a hope. 

He wants to offer us forgiveness. 

He wants to have us with Him for eternity. 

The plans He has for those who love Him are good. 

God can see that His plan is best. 

He knows what we are going to be when that plan is complete in us. 

My Hope is in You

Glancing out my window, I could see that the clouds had given way to a brilliant sunset.

Hurrying out the door with my camera, I walked quickly to the farmland near my house.

Cows no longer roamed and grazed as they used to there, but it was still a quiet and serene place–especially as the day drew to an end.

As the sun lowered deeper into the horizon, its muted tones of light created a fleeting nuance of beauty not possible in the earlier hours.

Wild berries had grown along the barbed wire fence closest to the road.

Thinking thoughts without words, I was still basking in the wonderful beauty of the day I had just experienced.

Traveling to see family in a different city, a trail ride on a bicycle, a visit to a park.

It had all been so very wonderful.

Arriving home, I just wanted to pray and thank God.

And then, to have had this peaceful and resplendent sunset–

Every day, my hope begins and ends in God.

 

 

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.

–Psalm 39:7

 

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Hold Fast

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
—Hebrews 10:23

Looking out the bedroom window, I see the plants and bushes as they flourish another year. 

Season after season, God is faithful to renew the plants that grow from the soil. 

God is also faithful to us in every way. 

I Want To Make Music

I truly do want to praise the LORD throughout my life.

Because He has given me the ability to do so, I want to make music to praise Him.

My hope every day is in God.

He has always been faithful to me.

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Hallelujah! Praise the LORD, my soul!

I want to praise the LORD throughout my life. I want to make music to praise my God as long as I live.

Do not trust influential people, mortals who cannot help you.

When they breathe their last breath, they return to the ground. On that day their plans come to an end.

Blessed are those who receive help from the God of Jacob. Their hope rests on the LORD their God,

who made heaven, earth, the sea, and everything in them. The LORD remains faithful forever.

Psalm 146:1-6

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Confident Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
—Romans 12:12

The dogwood trees were blooming everywhere, it seemed. 

For most of the year, perhaps, the delicate dogwoods probably tend to go unnoticed, scattered among other trees. 

Not now. 

With elegant white blossoms, their beauty beckons attention. 

In the springtime, the hope that the dogwood branches would once again be adorned with white is fulfilled. 

In our own lives, we should never give up hoping. 

We should never give up praying. 

In both, we should rejoice. 
  

Let Your Hope Keep You

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How should I love?

What should I hate?

What should I hold on to?

How should I love someone?

How should I show respect?

How should I work?

How should I serve the Lord?

What can keep me joyful?

How should I respond during times of trouble?

When should I pray?

Should I share my belongings?

Should I open my home to people I don’t know?

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Love must be completely sincere.

Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.

Love one another warmly as Christians,

and be eager to show respect for one another.

Work hard and do not be lazy.

Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. 

Let your hope keep you joyful,

be patient in your troubles,

and pray at all times.

Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians,

and open your homes to strangers.

–Romans 12:9-13

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Transient

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Faith.

Believing.

Knowing in our hearts.

Touching what is not seen with outstretched hands of hope.

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So we do not lose heart.

Though our outer self is wasting away,

our inner self is being renewed day by day.

For this light momentary affliction

is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.

For the things that are seen are transient,

but the things that are unseen are eternal.

—2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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Trust in Him

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Where can we find rest?

Where can we find real hope?

Where can we find salvation?

Where can we find protection?

Who can we really trust?

Who can we pour out our hearts to?

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Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
 Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

—Psalm 62:5-8

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I Watch

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It’s one of my favorite places.

The little town borders a quiet lake that often reflects the sunset in vibrant splendor.

When I am near the water, I am compelled to look out over its surface, whether it is across the vast expanse of the ocean or the relatively short distance across a lake.

I am looking—but for what?

I am always expectant, I believe, for something beautiful.

Beautiful and meaningful.

My eyes are fixed with bridled excitement at the possibilities of what my gaze should fall upon.

Glorious hues of golden sun rays on cotton ball clouds.

Sea birds gliding effortlessly on a gentle wind.

Sailboats traveling with calm serenity across the horizon.

Something good is always there.

The prophet Micah wrote these words:

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.

—Micah 7:7

Do our hearts watch, day and night, in hope for the Lord?

Watching and hoping, but for what?

Are we expectant for something beautiful?

Beautiful and meaningful?

Are our minds fixed with excitement at the possibilities of what we might see?

No matter what is going on in our lives, we can watch in hope for the Lord.

He is our God.

He is our Savior.

He will hear us.

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But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.

—Micah 7:7

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I watch

Love is Kind

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Am I patient?

Am I kind?

Or am I envious, boastful and proud?

Do I honor others?

Or am I self-seeking and easily angered?

Do I keep a record of wrongs?

Do I delight in evil or do I rejoice in the truth?

Do I always protect?

Do I always trust?

Do I always hope?

Do I always persevere?

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

—1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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Entered Into the Heart of Man

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Are you discouraged?

Feeling hopeless?

Let these words be an encouragement to you:

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

—1 Corinthians 2:9

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But I Will Hope

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Walking along the lake, I saw some plants growing in the water.

The leaves were positioned on the top of the water, not submerged.

Their beautiful hues of lavender and green adorned the murky lake.

Though surrounded by water, the leaves were above it.

We often find ourselves in less than perfect situations.

Circumstances can be hard.

During those times, we can continue to reach out for God’s strength, even when ours is fading.

When we are surrounded by problems, we can still stay above them with His help.

Although things might look really murky, the colors of God’s love are evidence within us of His faithfulness in our lives.

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But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.

–Psalm 71:14

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Wait in Silence

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For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
 He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Psalm 62:5-7

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