You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Travel PagesSalisbury Plain
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ. But whether we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or whether we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which worketh in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: and our hope for you is stedfast; knowing that, as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so also are ye of the comfort. For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life: yea, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead: who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver: on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us; ye also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed upon us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf." 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, ASV
When Phil the groundhog or any of the other animals around the nation and world proclaim that spring is right around the corner or that winter will last much longer at the beginning of February, we all know that winter will last until March 20th no matter the weather outside. We do, however, expect the weather to be in keeping with normal by the time we reach March 2nd. We should be seeing spring-like temperatures here in Texas. The wildflowers should be making their first appearances. I should be able to open the windows of my house for at least a few hours every day. We, like so much of the rest of the U.S., are experiencing below normal temperatures and dreary days here in Texas, and the weathermen are promising at least one more cold front this week. It seems like winter will never end.
That's even truer for those who are farther north where they are not only getting cold weather and drizzle, but so much snow that they've been trapped for days. Mothers are going crazy with children home for yet another snow day. Economic numbers will be very low as retailers report lagging sales in those places where people can't use the roads due to ice. The problems will not end with the warming temperatures as melting snow will cause flooding on roads. In places where the piles of snow have been mixed with road grime and dirt, the spring thaw will leave behind piles of waste that will have to be removed. The school children who have enjoyed the free days home from school will grumble well into the summer when they have to make up those classes they've missed. Winter will end, but even when it does it will seem to go on and on and on in other ways.
Have you ever felt like God has answered your prayer and yet the prayer has not yet been answered? That might seem like an odd question, but I think there are times when we know God is working through our needs, but it seems to be taking a long time for winter to become spring. We want the miracle like we see in the Bible. We want to be immediately healed. We want to get that new job today. We want our broken relationships to be repaired with ease, but things like this aren't that easy.
Sometimes the healing happens too slowly for us and we get impatient for wholeness. How many times have you had a cold seemed to last forever? You feel better after just a few days and thank God for healing but the cough is never ending. What about the hiring process at that new job? I have a friend who saw answered prayer when was hired for a job; he even began the early stages of working for the company. However, a week or so later, the project he was hired to lead has been put off for weeks, perhaps months. He thought his job situation was fixed, but now he has to wait. He is filling his days with substitute teaching and he's prayerfully considering a new job search. We might think that God has mended our broken heart, but some hurts go very deep and relationships aren't fixed that easily. In these, and other situations, we wonder, "Will this ever end?"
Paul understands that God has heard his prayers and that He is working through the problems, but he also knows that God's timing and solutions are always right. He knows His suffering has a purpose and that even if the affliction continues it will help him to help others deal with their afflictions. His story encourages us to be patient as we wait for our answered prayers to be fully answered. He gives us something to think about as we do so. Why do we have to wait? What is God doing with my life in the here and now, in this continued affliction, that will help someone else tomorrow? What lessons might I learn from the wait?
It is about trusting God. He knows what we need and when we need it. He knows the best way to answer our prayers. Sometimes the answer will take a very, very long time. Dis-ease is rarely healed overnight. The job hiring process can take months, even years. Relationships need time. When we are patient (I know how hard that is!) we find that in the end everything is better than we can ever imagine, not necessarily because God will perform a miracle, but because we will be transformed by the process. Winter will end, spring will come, and though it might still be rough for a time, the world will have been cleansed and made new in a way we might never expect.
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"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone; or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:7-12, ASV
As I was reading through one of my daily Lenten devotions, I came across a different understanding of today's text. This text has always been, to me, a comfort in knowing that God listens and answers prayer. It is an encouragement to the Christian to seek God's grace, to look to Him for everything we need. We know this in our hearts and we trust in it with our whole beings. Yet, I imagine that I'm not the only one who daily thinks, "My problems are not that big compared to my neighbor. I won't bother to ask God to deal with this today because I can deal with it myself."
This attitude has manifested itself in the way I ask for help, or don't ask, from my neighbors. I want to be independent. I want to do it myself. I want to prove that I can do it. Sometimes, I suppose, I don't ask because I don't want to be in debt to anyone.
I remember a time when we lived in England. My mom wanted me to visit and she was willing to buy the plane ticket to get me there. I wanted to go home because both Mom and Dad were dealing with physical issues. I didn't know it at the time, but it would be the last time I saw her; she died just months later. I wanted to go, but I didn't know how I could do it. My husband was in the military, and it was difficult for him to guarantee that he'd be able to deal with the children. We had good friend who had children the same age as ours, but I hated to ask for help. I didn't want to inconvenience our friends just so I could go on vacation. I hesitated, but in the end everyone convinced me that I needed to go. "Go. We don't need you."
That's hard to hear, and it sounds so harsh, but it wasn't meant to be. It was said so that I would realize that I did not have to be superwoman. I didn't have to sacrifice myself and my needs for the sake of others. "We are here to help." I learned that I didn't have to do it alone. I didn't have to prove that I was the perfect mom, willing to give up everything for the sake of my kids. I didn't have to be independent because I had people around me who were more than willing to help. In the end, they survived just fine without me. Oh, they missed me, but I wasn't needed. Hard lesson? Of course, but it was also one of the most freeing lesson I've ever learned.
Ask and it shall be given to you. If our neighbors are more than willing to help, why wouldn't God? And why do we ever think that our problems don't matter to God? We think they are too small for God; after all He's got big things to deal with around the world. However God is big enough to handle even our little problems. And in this text He commands us to ask.
Yes, He commands us to ask. This is not just an encouragement or suggestion, it is a command. That's what I learned in the Lenten devotion. God says, "Ask, knock, seek. Do this." These commands come with an incredible promise: "Do this and I will answer. I will provide. I will open the door. I will be there for you." I think we want to wait to ask, knock and seek until there's something worth seeking help, but God commands us to ask, knock and seek Him for everything. "Don't wait because I am ready NOW to bless you." He knows what we need, and while we can deal with the little things ourselves, He knows that if we turn to Him for the little things we will find that He has already prepared us by His grace to deal with the harder things.
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain. Some scripture on this site taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
As you may be aware, I also write a weekly devotional on Wednesday called "MIDWEEK OASIS." For those of you who are familiar with lectionary scripture sources, MIDWEEK OASIS is based on the texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text. We are now using the lectionary for our A WORD FOR TODAY texts. This devotional is posted on Wednesday, at both A WORD FOR TODAY and at MIDWEEK OASIS.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes