Faith and Hope

He] was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.1 Peter 1:20b-21

When counselors encourage their clients to “have faith and hope,” a reasonable response might be, “Faith in what? Hope in what?” For sure, encouraging a discouraged person to have a positive attitude and a bright outlook can be helpful. But in truth, faith and hope are only as good as their object. Which would be wiser when faced with walking across a frozen pond: great faith in a very thin sheet of ice or weak faith in a very thick sheet of ice? If the object of faith is most important, weak faith in a thick sheet of ice would be better and safer.

Peter says that God demonstrated, through Christ’s resurrection and glorification, that our faith and hope should be in God. The Resurrection is history’s greatest demonstration that life eternal awaits all who put their faith and hope in God. And if we have that certainty for the end of life on earth, we can depend on it to keep faith and hope alive until we get there.

Develop your faith and hope in God by renewing your mind with His “exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4).

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.  George Muller

Wisdom Brings Joy

James 1:5-8

One of the most important tools in overcoming trials is wisdom. Ironically, this quality, which seems so rare in our world today, is actually readily and easily available to believers. Scripture says we simply have to ask, and God will give it generously.

Though wisdom certainly has rewards, it does come with a price. If we ask God to make us wise, He will allow tests in our life. Their purpose is not to point out what’s wrong with our faith but, rather, to help us discover whether or not we’re wise.

Temptations and difficulty also allow us to discern our level of devotion to the Lord. When we go through a time of testing, we learn whether we’re willing to say, “I don’t like this, God, and I don’t understand it, but I’m going to obey You no matter what.” There’s no way to know whether we would respond that way unless we go through trials that examine our faith.

We grow in our devotion to the heavenly Father by making wise decisions despite opposition and by obeying when it is inconvenient to do so or when temptations are the hardest to resist. Such challenges are similar to a refiner’s fire: They sanctify and purify us, raising to the surface attitudes that we may not realize are in our life. These situations not only reveal what God is doing in us but also can turn up the heat if we try to muffle the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

When we, through wisdom, allow God to do His work in our life, we will begin to experience blessings, see His power, and feel His love in new ways. And this new growth brings great joy!

Eliezer’s Faithful Service

“And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had . . . go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.” (Genesis 24:2, 4)

Abraham required a most sacred vow from Eliezer (Genesis 15:2) to secure a bride for Isaac from the line of Shem rather than from the Canaanites (Genesis 24:3-4, 9). Eliezer had Abraham’s complete trust, with access and permission to all of his wealth (Genesis 24:10).

The Bible notes how Eliezer prepared for the success of the mission with adequate resources (employees, wealth, etc.), and went straight to his destination with no wasted time en route. Along the way he must have anticipated how to discern a proper wife and asked God for verification that He approved of the selection.

Eliezer’s request indicated he had in mind a lady who must be strong, healthy, and industrious, with no delusions of a life of ease. She must also be gracious, sensitive, and compassionate. Eliezer’s prayer did not presume. He knew the assignment and was asking for guidance on how to “see” the character of the potential wife (Genesis 24:12-14).

Eliezer was further aware of his being “in the way” (Genesis 24:27). That is, he was clearly aware that he was acting under godly authority and was seeking the leading of the Lord Himself. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD” (Psalm 37:23), and our paths are directed when we “acknowledge him” (Proverbs 3:6).

After Eliezer completed defining his task, he insisted that an immediate decision be made so that he could finish his assignment. Once the family and Rebecca agreed, Eliezer made sure that the mission was completed by bringing the new bride home to Isaac (Genesis 24:32-67). Would to God that all of us were as faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). HMM III

“The Lord reigns.”

Genesis 11:1-9

Genesis 11:4

They would found a universal monarchy of which this tower should be the centre. They planned the tower that they might not be scattered, and they thus forgot the command to replenish the earth. Ambition was at the bottom of the plan; by centralising all mankind they hoped to build up an empire, which, like their tower, should defy heaven itself.

Genesis 11:5

To him their huge tower was a mere nothing; he is said, after the manner of men, to come down from heaven in order to see such a trifle.

Genesis 11:8

How easily can God thwart our plans, and bring to pass his own purposes, despite all opposition. The scene has been very graphically sketched by Bishop Hall. “One calls for brick, the other looks him in the face, and wonders what he commands, and how and why he speaks such words as were never heard, and instead thereof brings him mortar, returning him an answer as little understood; each chides with other, expressing his choler, so as he only can understand himself. From heat they fall to quiet entreaties, but still with the same success. At first every man thinks his fellow mocks him; but now perceiving this serious confusion, their only answer was silence, and ceasing: they could not come together, for no man could call them to be understood; and if they had assembled, nothing could be determined, because one could never attain to the other’s purpose.”

Psalm 33:10-22

As a fit comment on the transaction at Babel we will read apart of

Psalm 33:22

We have done with self-confidence which is but a vain tower of Babel, and we fly unto the Lord our God who is a tower of defence to save us.


In his providential reign,

Oh, what various wisdom shines!

He confounds the pride of man,

Blasts the people’s vain designs;


Brings their counsels all to nought;

Only his abideth sure;

What the gracious Lord has thought

Shall from age to age endure.


What Should You Do When Your Plans Seem Hindered?

1 Thessalonians 2:18

Have you ever pursued something that you believed was God’s will, yet obstacles seemed to keep you from doing what you thought you were supposed to do? If you have, don’t feel alone, because many people have been in that same position! Even the apostle Paul felt this way from time to time! But what should you do in times like these?

Today I want you to particularly notice the word “hindered” in the verse above. It comes from the Greek word egkopto, an old word that was originally used to describe a road so deteriorated and broken up that it was impassable.

Have you ever driven down a road on your way to your destination, only to discover that the road you’re driving on is too full of ruts and holes to continue your journey? As a result, you have to turn around, go back, and find another route to get where you are going. Well, that is exactly the image the word egkopto portrays to us!

Paul uses this word to describe hindering forces that kept him from going to see the Thessalonians. There is no doubt that this means Paul was on his way to see them—not once, he says, but twice. But the journey became so filled with danger and unexpected bumps that Paul had to turn around, go back, and rethink his strategy on how he was going to get to the church at Thessalonica. Can you think of a time when you encountered something like this in your own journey?

But the word egkopto means even more than this! It was also used in Greek times in an athletic sense. It was used to portray the moment when a runner comes alongside another runner and literally elbows him out of the race. Although the second runner was running a good race, he is shoved out of the way by the aggression of his fellow runner. As a result of this action, the runner who was elbowed loses the leading edge he previously held.

This categorically means that Paul understood Satan’s tactics. The enemy had tried to make use of dangerous and unexpected bumps along the way to throw Paul off track and to elbow him out of his spiritual race. In fact, Paul was convinced that Satan had specifically engineered these unforeseen and unanticipated hassles to keep him from getting to the Thessalonian church.

When these two ideas are combined together, the primary idea of the word “hindered” becomes that of an impasse so severe that it prohibits you from going where you need to go or an aggressor who unkindly elbows you off course in your spiritual race.


Paul is actually saying:

“… Satan created an impasse that kept me from coming to see you.”

“… Satan put obstructions in my path to prevent me from getting to you.”

“… Satan cut in on me and prohibited me from visiting you as I wanted to do.”

“… Satan tried to elbow his way in on me to keep me from coming to see you.”

When something happens that seems to prohibit you from doing the will of God, remember that you are not the first to encounter such difficulties. Others have been in the same quandary. In time, however, the devil’s attack ceased, and the way for them to move ahead became clear. In the same way, you can be sure that God is going to empower you and give you the wisdom you need to get where you need to go!

Don’t despair—the story isn’t over yet! Don’t throw in the towel and give in just because you’ve hit some kind of impasse. The devil has never had the last word on anything, and he isn’t going to have the last word on this situation either. Regardless of what the devil has tried to do, it’s time for you to remember that what God promised SHALL come to pass as you hold fast to your faith in Him!


Lord, I’ve run into an impasse, and I don’t know how to get past it by myself. I have done everything I know to do, but the problem continues to persist in my life. Today I am asking You for the strength I need to keep pushing forward and to overcome the obstacles that Satan has set in my path. I know that greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world, so today I fervently ask that the power of God residing within me be released to overcome each attack the devil has tried to bring against me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I know I am not the first to encounter difficulties. Therefore, I confess that with God’s help, the devil’s attack will cease and the way for me to move ahead will become clear. God is going to give me the exact wisdom I need to get where I need to go! I am not going to give in just because I’ve hit some kind of impasse. The devil has never had the last word on anything, and he isn’t going to have the last word on this situation either!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Can you think of times in your life when you’ve experienced impasses that eventually moved out of the way?
  2. What actions did you take that caused those devilish assaults and roadblocks to dissipate?
  3. Have you asked the Holy Spirit to show you the real root cause of any current impasse you’re facing, as well as the steps you can take to close the door to the devil and reverse your situation?


Here Are Four Ways We Can Rob Ourselves Of God’s Blessings

1. Judge ourselves:

I do not even examine myself (literally: Judge, try, condemn)The one who examines me is the Lordwho will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of mens hearts… ” ( 1 Corinthians 4:3-5)

Paul did, however, “examine” his heart, but the element of self-condemnation was absent:

Test (Literally: assay, scrutinize) yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

2. Condemn ourselves:

There isno condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

God is infinitely greater than our hearts ( in not condemning us). When we realize this, our hearts no longer accuse us(and) we may have the utmost confidence in Gods presence.” (1 John 3:20-22 – Phillips)

3. Not accept His unconditional love:

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness .God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 5:8)

4. Not accept His invitation to minister to us:

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to youHe will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.” (Isaiah 30:18, 19).

God knows and loves you, warts and all. By judging or condemning yourself, you denigrate the great grace of God. So relax in Him and drink in His unfathomable love.