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I couldn't help noticing these colorful paint bottles when my daughter and her friend got them out to work on a project yesterday. Are they not just oozing with potential? I had already known this verse was to be the focus of our Moms in Touch time today, and the brightness of this scene reminded me of it. What's on the inside of us is exactly what flows out.
Today we praised God for being the God of hope.
Adoration: We spent some time in 1Peter 1:3-9 as a springboard for our praise this morning.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
We praised him because
- he has victory over death
- as our Father he has secured an imperishable and eternal inheritance for us
- he has character and faith-building purposes for all kinds of trials that we endure
- he fills us with joy even in difficulty
- our hope is not only for the future, but also for the here and now
Confession: Before our prayer time we brainstormed antonyms for hope--despair, cynicism, fatalism, sense of lostness. We asked God to show us where we are overflowing with any of these instead of hope, peace and joy. We asked him to show us if we are looking to the world to offer us and our families hope that it can never (without God's intervention) successfully deliver--to government, to our schools, to corporations, material pursuits, other relationships. We quietly confessed these things to him and asked him to help us allow him to fill us to overflowing with his hope.
Thanksgiving: We thanked God for providing us with true hope, and for the power of his Spirit within us, filling us from the inside with hope. We thanked him for answers to prayer and other ways he has cared for our families since we last met.
Supplication (requests): We prayed Romans 12:12 for our kids, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." We prayed that they would have these types of attitudes, and especially that they would learn that they can have hope and joy in the very midst of affliction. We prayed that they would see difficulties as an opportunity to go to God for the help they need, and that they would gain the maturity to recognize the value in character-building moments. We prayed that their teachers, who are preparing for conferences, would overflow with hope for each child, and convey this to parents. We prayed that God would draw teachers who encounter difficult situations with students who aren't succeeding to turn to him for help and wisdom and perspective in order to teach them effectively.
So what are you overflowing with? May the God of hope fill YOU with all joy and peace this week as you trust in him, so that YOU may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.