November 19, 2012

Just in time for the holidays!

Last night we watched "Brave".  Great movie.  

I just wonder though.... 

am I Brave?

(minor plot revelation!) When I'm actually in the place where I've cast a spell, transformed my momma into a bear, and I'm about to lose everything, would I be Brave?

What does this look like in our non-animated lives?  Let's think.  

You're going about your day, and get a phone call.  Your mom is sick.  Or, your husband tells you about an impending layoff.  You're at the end of the day, and your kids have driven you batty, and you don't have any idea how you're going to get through tomorrow.  

Ouch.  Brave the Movie sounds way more fun than any of this.  At least more interesting!  And certainly more short-lived.  Two hours, and bam, problems solved, to a level of awesome not anticipated by anyone but the writers!  

But hey, what else are movies for, except to tell us a great story, and inspire us a little?  Or a lot?  That's why I love movies.  Tell me a story, let me leave the theater or living room feeling more hopeful or at least driven to action, as in the case of movies that just hurt to watch.  

But in this case, my reality doesn't have her hair, or her ability to wrap up my problems with this level of immediacy.  But I was still so inspired.  

Inspired to THRIVE.  Not to stop hoping!  

So, what is this ofttimes illusive "hope"?

Glad you asked.  

"In Scripture, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word “hope” and according to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic today in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation."

Hope - so precious, soul-guarding, life-giving hope.  And so easily cast aside, given up on, surrendered too easily, and so worth fighting for.

Does hope permeate your soul?  I would venture to say that most of us don't have that sense, that strong and confident expectation that God is going to work some wonderful things into their lives, or that we can have a "good" life in the midst of the most challenging circumstances.  

How do we even get there?  To be those that live in a mindset that doesn't feel permeated by anxiety, worries, fear of the future or of what's happening in the moment, constantly looking inward, to those who life confidently, to live others-focused, and aren't dragged around by emotions?  Stable, secure, even relaxed, when the toughest circumstances cast heavy, huge shadows around us, and threaten to take everything?  

It takes some serious determination and focus to get rid of the funk that we may be used to dwelling in.  Focus that casts aside immediately every single thing or thought that sucks the life out of us, or worries.  

It takes a desire that is stronger than you may even have in you right now to get serious with this issue.  But folks, this is your whole life.  Your whole life, everything you have worked so hard for - how hard did you work to get where you are today?  If, as is not hard to imagine, you endured school, relationship issues, family issues, financial challenges, etc, and you can look around you with even a modicum of satisfaction, are you not willing to get your mind and heart in a good place to enjoy all the things you were blessed with?  How about those kids?  Do you have any freedom of heart and mind whatsoever to enjoy them?  

Please, let's just decide together, by the grace and power of God almighty, to hope in Him.  To believe Him, and let the confidence grow in you, to get absolutely fed up with the lies you have been told and believed, that things won't get better, in fact, they'll probably get worse, that your life is hopeless or your situations have no hope of getting better, that God doesn't see you or love you, or doesn't hear you.  

HE DOES.  He loves, he gives, he always and forever, sees you, hears you, adores you, and won't give up on you.  

DON'T wait till things get better before you decide to live.  Living in the most holy sense, of trusting him to take care of you.

Stay tuned as we talk about how to walk it out, the practical steps of how you do this life with joy.  Just in time for Christmas.  Nothing in your life has to change except the way you hope, the way you think, and it will powerfully change the way you feel.  Not because we're so great, or able to do this in our own brilliance or power, but just living the life the way God told us to.  That's it.  

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