the STANDard :: April

have you ever had your hopes up only to have them dashed in disappointment? maybe as a kid at Christmas... desperately wanting that one thing that you HAD to have. you went to great lengths to make absolutely certain that your parents knew EXACTLY what it was and where it could be purchased. or perhaps you were sure that Santa Claus would bring it to you. either way, lets say you didn't find it waiting for you under the tree. what was your response in the face of disappointment? and lets just say similar situations continued through adolescence and on into adulthood. relationships you invested in fell apart. friendships you thought would last forever ended in betrayal. a job you were banking on fell through. an open door of opportunity slammed shut. what is your response? i know for me, i've experienced this many times and i've often come to the conclusion that it's not worth the borderline depression that can accompany the feeling of defeat. i've gotten my hopes up so high, that the inevitable fall feels too far. so far down that i question the effort it would take to climb back up. so maybe i just won't get my hopes up at all. which leads to an utter lack of joy. a total lack of try. a deflated sense of hope.

enter Jesus: our eternal hope. the real thing. disappointment's true enemy and our hero! because of His death and resurrection my hope is restored! my joy renewed! my disappointment disintegrated!

sometimes our trials and sufferings can feel so heavy that the weight of them keeps us from looking up. this happens to me too often than i'd care to admit. even though i know there is far greater suffering happening in this world than my (or your) daily disappointments. i've got friends staring into the face of death, dealing with the reality of cancer and Alzheimer's, divorce, drugs, even prison. i'm not trying to in any way make light of depression or the decisions we all face in everyday life. but what i am seeing, right now, in the lives of those around me... this reality helps shift my perspective.

in light of this, the passage of scripture i've chosen to meditate on (and attempt to memorize) this month is Romans 5:3-5. the amplified version really brings it home for me:

Moreover [let us also be full of JOY now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident HOPE of eternal salvation. Such HOPE never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 AMP)

it's completely safe to put our hope in Christ!!! to get our hopes up where Jesus is concerned! in HIM we will never be disappointed...

it's not too late to join in and begin to choose a verse or verses to memorize and/or meditate on each month. the Word of God is the STANDard under which we live. choose a verse and post it in the comment section!