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. 
  

Pasture on Every Barren Hill

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Up the hill behind my house stands a tree.

Right now, it looks barren and forlorn.

I’m not concerned for it, though, even in its current state.

Why?

I know about its future.

Spring is coming, and I have faith that what looks barren and dry now will soon be filling out with green leaves on every branch.

I can’t see springtime before it comes.

I can’t hear springtime before it comes.

I just know that it will come.

It’s like a promise from God.

He has set the seasons in motion and they happen every year.

Our future is also set.

When God tells us something is going to happen, it is going to happen.

The prophet Isaiah speaks about restoration:

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.
 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
    nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
    and lead them beside springs of water.
 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
    and my highways will be raised up.
 See, they will come from afar—
    some from the north, some from the west,
    some from the region of Aswan.”

 Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

—Isaiah 49:8-13

There are times in our lives when things may look barren.

With God, even a barren hill can one day become a green pasture.

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