Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2019 Psalm 39:7.

Psalm 39:7.   ​And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
 
Well it’s a wet and bright morning in my neighbourhood – bright possibly because I got up later than usual, – also went to bed later than usual. (smile) But anyway, I’d like to welcome us all back to the daily grind and common task, the banal, often boring existence we call everyday life! (smile) Yeh friends, no more celebrations until Valentine’s Day down in February. It’s mostly home and work and pay the bills until then. 

But some of us manage that quite well, possibly because we have the Hope of Jesus in our lives. And in the words of the renowned French writer of works like the Count of Monte Cristo, Twenty Years After, Ten Years Later and The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) – real name Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; ‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.’  

And that is the gospel truth my believing brethren! What else is there in this life eh, but to hope for what we want and then to wait patiently for it? Without either hope or patience we’re like a duck out of water. (smile) As Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church so long ago: ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

And that’s simple logic; why hope for something when you already have or see it eh? But friends, nobody personifies those qualities of hoping and patiently waiting more than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He promises the best and greatest gifts of all time; salvation and eternal life, which He sacrificially and selflessly died to provide for us! And freely too, because it’s through the grace of God, we’re saved. 

As Bruh Paul points out to the Ephesians: ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are (have been) saved…For by grace are ye (you have been) saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph.2:4-5, 8-9). 

Ah mih people, Bruh Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation and eternal life are not ours to attain on our own strength, but through hope and faith and patience and perseverance and obedience in Christ and His will and His wonderful promises. As He says, all we have to do is believe in Him! But some of us find that too simple and easy, and anything that comes to us too easily is no good; if we don’t struggle for something, then it’s not worthwhile. 

But with Jesus, my friends, it’s different. The first part, believing is the easy part, for after we believe then comes the oftimes hard part of being obedient. (smile) Anyway, all I really wanted to do this morning was to talk some about hope, and help us build it in Jesus this new year of 2019. But somewhere along the line I got lost and confused, (smile) so let’s get to some scriptures that encourage us and build our hope in Christ. 

And where better to start than with these most reassuring words of Bruh David: ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Oh my people, when our hope is sincerely placed in the great living God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re not afraid of life, or whatever it brings against us, and we can rejoice and be safe and secure in His LOVING care! And Bruh David states it plain and simple and assured in this verse, our Bit for today: ‘And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.’  That’s exactly how we ought to also put it my people! 

And Cousin Sol has an interesting verse in Proverbs: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12) And the scholars explain that thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ Yeh mih breddren, when we hope for stuff, we often feel depressed having to wait for it, but when we get what we’ve hoped for…Brother! Are we ever filled with joy! 

Now hear the lamenting prophet, Jeremiah: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ (Jer.17:7) And if Jerry could make such a statement, after all the hardship he went though on the Lord’s behalf, then there must be a whole lot of truth in it. Oh friends, there are so many wonderful scriptures on hope in the Good Book that I’m having a hard time to determine what to use. 

Anyhow, hear these last two: the first from Jeremiah in his famous Lamentations, one we all know and LOVE to quote, but don’t action so well. ‘It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:26) And this verse from Peter is a most wonderful one to end with: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Pet.1:3) 

Yes friends, because Jesus rose from the dead, we too have the hope that those who believe in Him will also rise at the sound of the trump on the last day! Glory be! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday mantra, loud, bold and sincere, letting the world know who and whose we are! 

In unison now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And if we truly believe, then we’ll go out and graciously action those words. Much LOVE!

…HOPE renews me…and lets me face each day…with the best possible attitude… (From One More Day -Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele) 

P.S. It’s long and late, and I hope it all makes sense, but if it doesn’t, I know you all are wise enough to pick sense from nonsense! (smile) What a nice smiley day! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Ah friends, after much unseasonable temperatures and many bright, sun shiny days, we might finally be getting our first taste of Mother Winter this weekend. The temperature is supposed to dip to just above zero on Sunday, and possibly provide flurries on that day and Monday. I sure am not looking forward to it. Wish I could be in sweet Tobago, going up Calder Hall to get some of Brother Kirby’s fine tasting and nutritious soup this Saturday morning. (smile) 

But you know the human animal is a strange being; we know that the winter weather will soon be here, and we’re supposed to be preparing for it, but when it does come, it seems to take us by surprise and throw us off guard, especially after such beautiful fall weather. Anyway there’s not much we can do, but just grin and bear it as best we can. 

But with that in mind let’s turn to our friend Anselm’s quotes, aimed at inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And today we have three, because they are all short. The first says: ‘A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.’ And that’s glorious advice!  

It reminds us of a quote from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the U.S, which declares: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

Yes friends, persistence is the number one attribute that will help us when all else fails. Then Anselm tells us: ‘Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.’ More wonderful advice! Because we need to be active, to hold something dear and have something to look forward to that will make it all worthwhile. Those are the things that make us come alive and cause us to keep on keeping on. 

My favourite quote today though, is this last one: ‘Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For with hope one can imagine anything and do anything. With it, we can be giants in a fallen world, but without it, we become wimps and wallow in self-pity. 

Consequently, our Bit for today deals with hope; Cousin Sol’s wise words on the subject. ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ 

Ah mih people, hope is the emotion that galvanizes us into action! All the other emotions are wonderful, but if they are not accompanied by hope, then they will most likely not be acted upon. For without hope, we become listless and without a sense of purpose, just sort of drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweed, wherever the wind might blow it. 

However my brethren, it’s also very important where and in what direction we focus our hope. And we have a good example of what Cousin Sol is talking about in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. The sons of Korah write: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) 

Yes friends, when there is no hope in our souls, our fire goes out, and the best place to channel our hope is in Almighty God! There is no doubt about that! 

Listen to Jeremiah. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8) 

Aye mih breddren, yuh see what happens when we channel our hope in the Lord God Jehovah? No fear, no anxiety, just prosperity regardless of the circumstances! Now why would I want to place my hope in anything or anyone else eh? No way, Jose! 

And I just LOVE this verse of scripture from Zechariah. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12) That phrase ‘prisoners of hope,’ just raises my spiritual temperature! (smile) Oh friends, how I wish that we could all be ‘prisoners of hope,’ so that we could be more active and successful in Christ’s work. 

This verse from Psalm 119 is also a moving scripture. The psalmist petitions the Lord: ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.’ (Ps.119:116) Oh precious people, our wonderful God will NEVER let us be ashamed of the hope we place in Him! Please, let’s write that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls. 

And we’ll end with these brave and wise words of Bruh David from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.  He solemnly and confidently declares: ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:23-24) 

So my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, I implore us to take that wonderful advice of Bruh David to heart today and put it into immediate action, so that our faith in the Lord God Jehovah will flourish and blossom like the bees make honey with the flowers. (smile) 

And let’s remember to keep our friend Scotty in our prayers, be prisoners of hope, that the Lord will restore him to full health, that he can continue doing good work in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…hope is the catalyst that drives all other emotions…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.   But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Well Friends, it’s a wonderful Wednesday! We’re alive, the sun’s shining brightly, it’s fairly warm, God is still on His throne, and the universe is unfolding as it ought! Glory Hallelujah!

It also means that we’re now halfway through our work week, so please don’t give in or give up, don’t look back, just keep pressing patiently and excellently forward in Jesus’ name!

And all God’s people gave a mighty shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’

And I couldn’t resist sharing this poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, it seemed so appropriate. It’s titled, I TRUST YOU.’

And it says: ‘Lord, it was on an April morning So many years ago That You said to me so clearly “Trust Me and you won’t be disappointed.” Having heard You on that special morning I simple cannot “unhear” you now.

I can’t forget that morning Nor do I think You want me to. Because You live in an eternal Now Your words are just as relevant today As they were that long-ago morning. I trust You. You will not disappoint me!’

And that’s the God-awesome truth my people! Once we have paid attention to, accepted God’s call on our lives, He will NEVER, NEVER disappoint us! You can bet the bank on that!

Why? Because our God is omnipotent and ever-faithful, and as the Bible Promise used for that poem says: ‘Jesus Christ (is) the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.’ (Heb.13:8) More God-awesome truth Friends!

And that unchangeable position provides us with a strong, uncompromising sense of safety and security. So we’re not surprised or confounded when Bruh David solemnly declares in our Bit: ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Ah mih people, the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He breathed His wonderful breath of live into our little bodies. And that word ‘HOPE’ is such a marvellous and magnificent word that with our finite minds, we can never really begin to comprehend its awesome meaning. But I’ve tried to break it down to it’s elementary potential.

‘H’ stands for Humour. Humour dissipates tension, cools situations like nothing else. And laughter is the best free remedy and medicine in the world! ‘O’ stands for Opportunity. We need to be always on the lookout for opportunities to serve God, for they crop up when we least expect them to.

‘P’ stands for Patience and Perseverance. We need to bide our time quietly, but still keep keeping on with the perseverance Christ expects of us. And ‘E’ stands for Enthusiasm, Endurance, Encouragement, Exhortation and all the other good stuff that lifts our spirits!

And that’s my take on the word ‘HOPE.’ Hope it makes sense. (smile)

Now let’s look at some scriptures that deal with ‘HOPE’ in all its different circumstances. And we’re going to begin with a statement from Job, who after enduring the cruel remarks and judgements of his supposed friends, says of God: ‘He hath destroyed me (breaks me down) on every side, and I am gone: and mine HOPE hath he removed (uprooted) like a tree.’ (Job 19:10)

Oh Friends, it’s such a sad and desolate time when our HOPE dies! We need to avoid that happening like the plague. For if there’s no HOPE in our souls, then there’s no reason really for living. For as Cousin Sol so wisely tells us in Proverbs. ‘HOPE deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov.13:12)

What a powerful statement my people! And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. HOPE deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’

What a powerful truth, for when we lose HOPE our lives just seem to fall apart. But when we recapture that strong emotion, oh mih breddren, our lives are just flooded with purpose and promise, and we move on from strength to strength in Jesus.

Now listen to the Sons of Korah on the subject from Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. ‘Why art thou cast down , O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? HOPE thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (help, salvation), and my God.’ (Ps.42:11)

Yes Friends, that is wisdom personified! Being merely frail and fickle humans, our HOPES and fears and dreams are always in a state of confusion, a state of turmoil, that’s why it’s ever so necessary and important to hold on to the HOPE we find in Almighty God.

As we saw yesterday, the Good Book tells that ‘HOPE is the anchor of our soul.’ (Heb.9:19) What a promise, what an anchor my brethren! We couldn’t want for a better anchor than that which is secured in heaven!

And we shall end with a most encouraging and appropriate verse on the subject from Psalm 31. Bruh David wisely advises us: ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that HOPE in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24)

That my Friends is heavenly wisdom at its peak! So please let’s go out and put it into action in our lives today, so that we can be worthwhile ambassadors for Jesus. That’s all He really desires of us. Much LOVE!

…without HOPE…a man’s life is technically over…