Friday, January 5, 2018

The Gladiolus

Returning from our days at the beach to celebrate my 60th birthday, I was surprised by a beautiful arrangement of gladiolus.  I didn't have to look at the card to know whom they were from.  I knew they were from my oldest brother, and I was right.  I was right because I knew something about my brother. . .gladiolus are his favorite flowers.

When we know a person, their nature and character, we can expect things from them based on that knowledge.  We can also expect to NOT see other things based on the same knowledge.

I once worked with a nurse named Darlene.  She was a wonderful nurse and was quite particular in everything she did as a nurse.  One thing I knew, if she said she did something for a patient at, say, 1:23 pm, she meant it was 1:23, not 1:22 or 1:24.  She was precise and careful in everything she did.

If we know the Lord, we can also expect things from Him based on His character and nature, which will never and can never change. And there are things we would never expect from Him.

One thing we can be certain of, discouragement is never from Him.  He wants us to have a life of hope, a life of watching Him do things in our lives we would never expect.

Discouragement is a temptation yelled at us by our enemy who only wants us to fail.  Our flesh is only too quick to grab onto that temptation and use it as an excuse to stay conquered.

But the Lord tells us, "Be not afraid."  He whispers to us, "Be of good courage," and "Fear not."

We can have and know hope because our hope is not of us, but of Him.  As David said, "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him." (Psalm 62:5.)  The Scriptures also tell us He is working " you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.."

In His working in us, we can both rest and let our hearts be at peace.  Our Lord finishes everything He begins, indeed, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end.  We have abundant reasons to "be of good cheer."

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures 
might have hope." 
Romans 15:4

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