December 24 – Blessing and so Much More Belong to God

There is a promise for those in Heaven that brings such hope: God will wipe away all tears. All who love God will experience full and abiding comfort. One day, multitudes from every nation, tribe, people and language will worship Him. The angels will join in with the praises. Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.” And the praise goes on! When we notice people who are different from us, try to see them as God sees them. See them as people Jesus died for – those who, if they bow their knee to the King of kings, will join the multitudes to receive His peace. May we be active in extending God’s hope, one person at a time. Honest transparency helps us as we seek to share God’s Story with others. Even though I know the joy of what the future holds, some days on this earth I still slip into melancholy.

The dark, cold afternoons of London winter contributed to my sense of discouragement so I prayerfully considered my options and then I joined a gym. Each day before going I would ask God to give me a friend to share His goodness with and He faithfully provided many opportunities for meaningful conversations. After one workout, I met Fariba, a beautiful Iranian who was also new to the gym. Fariba and I had fun exploring London together, learning from each other and discovering what we each valued. About a month before Easter, Fariba asked me what I was giving up for Lent. I told her depression. My depression is not the kind that requires medical care. When I choose to focus on Jesus as my Hope, my dark mood lifts. In a gym we train our bodies; in God’s Word we train our minds. When a pity party breaks out, stop, and invite in thankfulness. Hopefulness and gratitude are good workout partners for the mind and at times we need to do more repetitions of both. When it is our turn for Heaven, let’s be in good shape to join the faithful around God’s throne. May we be strong in lifting up His praise because all glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor belong to Him. He is the One who gives us strength and power to live now in hope and to actively share it.

Revelation 7:12 NLT