WE CAN DARE TO HOPE BECAUSE OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL!
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust in the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
In my online Bible study we are studying the book of Jeremiah and his TIMELY message of HOPE in times of crisis. The format consists of daily reading assignments with questions to ponder and a Facebook live teaching time on Wednesdays. Our leader's 'object lesson' for this week were two actual plants - one withered and dry and the other a blooming dwarf lemon tree. Her message focused on HOPE and here is a summary from my notes.
God had created us to put our trust in Him. The word 'trust' - batach - in Hebrew, translates as 'safe place', so when we trust God we are dwelling in our 'safe place'.
When we choose to put our trust in human strength - to make it our batach, we become unproductive - mired and overwhelmed in our situation. When we become unproductive, we will grow hopeless. When we become hopeless, we will become more isolated. And when we are isolated, we tend to grow bitter.
God's desire for us is to trust Him! Read again the words of Jeremiah 17:7-8. God says to us that IF we make the choice daily - maybe even hourly or minute by minute - to reside in His safe place, we will be blessed! Just like a plant growing near the stream, we will be stable, because our roots will be near the living water of Jesus. We will bear fruit - the fruit of the Spirit - LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL! And, dear partners in ministry, when we are producing this fruit, we are then available to God - to be used by Him to bless those we serve!" Just one more note to ponder - notice the words from Galatians 5:22-23 - "The FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law."
The fruit that God gives to believers is ONE fruit, composed of ALL these characteristics! He does not give love to one and patience to another. He gives them all to all! The challenge for us is to implement these characteristics into our everyday interactions with those He places in our lives. My prayer for you is this: May God be your 'batach' - your safe place - and may you grow as your roots go deep and as you incorporate the Fruit of the Spirit into your life. Amen!