By Janet Chester Bly

A wounded friend of mine wept. “I prayed very hard my husband wouldn’t leave. Every day and night I prayed. But he left anyway.”

What kills hope?

Fear or rage will. Guilt and doubt try to. Sin does. Prayer answers of “No” and death of a dream can.

Hopelessness has the ability to make us mentally intoxicated—without reason, moderation, or judgment. Our wits become all spur and no rein. We lose confidence that good things will ever happen again when we hit rock-hard bottom.

The traumas of this world soil innocence and blind our view of a loving God. We become like injured, brute beasts who strike out at or flee from the one who comes to rescue. But God told us He wants to save us. He has our best interests at heart.

“But what if mine’s broken?” my friend asked.

We can’t thrive without hope.

George Bernard Shaw told us, “The life of the human race is a brief discreditable episode in the history of the meanest of planets.”

But Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Jean-Paul Sartre stated, “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.”

But Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Sir James Jeans declared, “Life may be a disease which attacks planets in their decay.”

But Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst … [It] will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Which voice do you choose to believe?

My friend chose to trust in Jesus…despite evil lurking around her and terror that struck at night. Temporary menacing shadows conspire to hide God’s gracious design for her life. But she holds onto blessed hope in Him.

Can’t wait for the unfolding of the rest of her story.

ALT="Janet Chester Bly"Janet Chester Bly authored and co-authored 40 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids with her late husband, Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. www.BlyBooks.com.  “Voices in the Night” is excerpt from Hope Lives Here: https://www.blybooks.com/books/true-life-stories/. She’s working on another devotional, Grace Spilling Over/True Stories of God’s Tender Mercies, and a novel, Beneath a Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series. Both books available summer 2018.

 

 

 

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BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

Abba,
I am a weak writer:
insecure,
inadequate,
in over my head.
But you chose Ehud because of his weakness.
You used him,
not to mention Moses, David, Jeremiah, Paul, and others
(though I did just mention them; see what I mean?).
So grant me the faith
to believe that you can choose me and use me too.
Read More →

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Dianne Barker here, spreading encouragement.

I must ask—do you ever feel like giving up? Are you tired of the hassle…tired of spinning your wheels…tired of feeling stuck? Facing a bleak future and overcome by hopelessness, have you muttered to yourself, Why bother? Read More →

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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller, writing from the beautiful desert near Palm Springs, California.

It’s the New Year and I’m going to have to remember to write down 2017. And along with a new year often come the traditional resolutions. I’d like to encourage you to think a little differently about those. For instance, have you ever said things like:

  • I’ll never get angry again. 
  • I’ll always show love toward that person who is unlovable. 
  • I’ll never be discontent again. 
  • I’ll always be joyful in every circumstance. 
  • I’ll have my devotions every day?

It’s easy to think that such determination will bring us success. We may think that God demands such commitments. But have you noticed that when we can’t follow through, we get discouraged and give up? Even thinking God has given up on us also?

Read More →

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Quilting Encouragement with Mary Tatem

jamestown

When I visit the Jamestown ship, the Susan Constant, which sailed from England to land in the wilderness of Virginia, I never fail to marvel at the courage of those who left the security of a known life style for the uncertainty of how they would secure the basic necessities. The 116 foot ship bobbed over the ocean for four months with seventy-one passengers crammed into the cramped spaces. I would hesitate to travel to the Bahamas on that  little ship, let alone across the Atlantic. In May of 1607 when they disembarked on mosquito infested land, the hardships of starvation, and death challenged them. They continued to worship God in the midst of their difficulties and even built a church where they sought God’s direction in the midst of their trials. Ultimately the settlement prevailed.

 

Today people involved in some industries can feel as tossed as those explorers on the tiny Susan Constant. Writers and retailers of physical books produced on paper are among those industries where technological advances have produced the equivalent of stormy seas and unknown terrain. Other industries as well require nimble adjustments to survive change. When we visit  historical sites, we often discover the common thread of praising God in the midst of challenging situations. Those of us in industries that roll and pitch in our times, can copy our ancestors and keep a thankful spirit toward God. He is able to help us negotiate the uncharted seas. His love is greater than turbulence that tosses us around. Cling to His love and watch for his guidance and peace. Psalm 31:3, ‘For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me.’ Thank you, God, that you care about the details of our lives.

 

Mary TatemMary Tatem is an author of story based devotional books which boost your spirits. Each devotion uses the craft of quilting or scrapbooking to touch the reader’s heart and show the love of God. Her every day examples of God’s involvement in our lives provide encouragement to rely on God.  She enjoys speaking to women and inspires them to trust God and His warm love. Currently, she is using her love of story to write historical novels.

As the mother of four and grandmother of fifteen, she finds life full of inspiring stories. Join her to read about God’s work in His people.

 

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