Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

July 20th, 2015

There is Hope!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

At the end of chapter 8 of the book of Isaiah, things look pretty grim for the people of Judah. Isaiah proclaims that “they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into darkness” (Isaiah 8:22 ESV). As terrible as that may seem, though, the Lord offers a glimmer of hope for their future, proclaiming that while judgment is coming presently, in a latter time a Messiah will be born to bring about a new Kingdom and everlasting peace.

The message of the Messiah centrally is that in the midst of darkness, disease, and despair, just when all hope seems lost, God will redeem His people through the anointed work of Christ! Sin and its affects will not have victory over those who see the work of this “Prince of Peace” and turn to Him alone for salvation; rather, they shall be victorious and reign with Him in an eternal Kingdom defined by justice and holiness.

When you feel discouraged or without hope, remember the promise of Isaiah 9: Joy has come in Jesus. Our obligation now is to spread that joy to those who are still without hope.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Mobilization & Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, July 20th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Hope, Isaiah, Messiah.
Interact No Comments
June 26th, 2015

The Enduring Hope of Christ

“Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.” Ecclesiastes 4:1 ESV

In the middle of The Preacher of Ecclesiastes’ musings about the emptiness of this world, he directs his attention briefly to the reality of those who are oppressed and without any comfort.  He wonders why the Lord allowed them to ever be born at all, suggesting that non-existence would have been better than this existence.  Certainly, many of us in our time on this earth have seen oppression like that described here and likely thought the same thing.  All the hunger, disease, abuse, and abandonment in the world can be overwhelming and lead to questions like: Why would God allow such a thing as this?  Has He forgotten these people?

You and I know, however, that God has not forgotten these people.  In fact, setting free those who are oppressed is one of the expressed reasons the Son of God stepped out of heaven and into our seemingly hopeless world:

  • “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)

Because of the work of Christ, we no longer have to look upon the sad reality of this world as hopeless.  Because of the gospel, the good news of Jesus, these people who are oppressed, poor, captive, and sick (both spiritually and physically) have a future of hope! Our responsibility is to tell them about the work of Christ, so that they can be saved spiritually and, then, continue the work of Christ by taking care of them in their hour of need.  Who do you know that needs to hear this message of hope today?

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Pastor of Mobilization & Young Adults (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, June 26th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Evil, Hope.
Interact No Comments
May 1st, 2015

Exceeding Joy

“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.” Psalm 43:3-4 (ESV)

Have you ever used a GPS? The Global Positioning System specifically identifies your location and assists you to your desired destination. It is like having your own car concierge. If you make an improper turn, the GPS recalibrates to get you back onto the proper path.

The light of God’s Word will lead you onto the path God has for you. To know God’s will, you must know God’s Word. God has revealed His plan in His Word. As you read and feed on God’s Word, you will be led into God’s presence and you will know His exceeding joy as you praise Him.

  • “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 43:5 (ESV)

As you travel down the lanes of living in a fallen world, you can easily get distracted and lose your focus. Your soul will go through seasons of being downcast and you will experience seasons of inner turmoil. Let God speak to you. Open your heart to His directive and obey His promptings. God will always point you back to His will and to His way.

Hope in God. Place your total confidence in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. Anchor your faith to the Rock of your salvation and praise God for His faithfulness. Express the exceeding joy of the Lord which is your strength!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Hope, Psalms, Truth.
Interact No Comments
December 1st, 2014

Ready to Live

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12 (ESV)

Where do you go to find life? Are you waiting for life to come sometime in the future? Are you putting life off until you have paid off your car, paid off your home, or entered into retirement? What are you waiting for?

Life is not around the corner. Life is found in one person. Life is a gift given by God. The life that is eternal is in God’s Son. If you have the Son you have life. If you do not have the Son you do not have life. Until you receive God’s gift of eternal life found in His Son, you will not know life.

Until you are ready to die, you are not ready to live. Finding life involves preparing for death. When you accept the reality of your mortality and choose to accept God’s gift of eternal life, then you find life. Life is in God’s Son. Jesus is the answer. Jesus affirmed that He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). Do you know Him?

Now that you know Jesus, you have the privilege and responsibility to make Jesus known. Just as you have found life, you can help others find life by sharing Jesus with them. If they have the Son they have life. If they do not have the Son they do not have life. Give them the opportunity to have life!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Eternal life, Hope, Jesus.
Interact No Comments
September 15th, 2014

Honor God

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17 (ESV)

Would you consider yourself rich? That question is rather ambiguous unless you have a clear point of reference. If I asked you if you were rich compared to Bill Gates, you may instantly respond with “absolutely not!” So let’s expand our point of reference to the 6.78 billion people presently on the earth. I want to share a quote with you from a book I have read that God has used in my life. The book is entitled, Radical, by David Platt.

  • “We are an affluent people living in an impoverished world. If we make only ten thousand dollars a year, we are wealthier than 84 percent of the world, and if we make fifty thousand dollars a year, we are wealthier than 99 percent of the world.”

Now let me ask you the question, “Are you rich?” You are rich! You are blessed! In his letter to Timothy, Paul reminds us to not be arrogant and to not put our hope in wealth. Our faith is not to be in our possessions, our position, or our portfolio. Instead, we are to put our hope in God. If you are going to anchor your faith to anything, it will be futile unless you anchor your faith in the Most High God!

God provides us with everything we need to live in the center of His will and to fulfill His purposes in our generation. Align your time, energy, and resources to honor God. Is God first in your life? Is your love relationship with Him your top priority?

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Provision, Hope, Stewardship.
Interact No Comments
March 26th, 2014

Claiming God’s Promise

“‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

God has plans for your life. Where are you currently in relation to God’s plans? Have you had some bumps along the way? Have you experienced any delays or detours? God factored in your response to His plans before you were ever born. God knew how you would navigate the path He has for you. Remember, nothing catches God by surprise. God sees the totality of your life from beginning to end. He knew when you would be born and where you would live and even the personality you would express. God’s plans always prevail.

  • “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” Ps. 33:11 (ESV)
  • “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Prov. 19:21 (ESV)

You can anchor your life in God’s plans. His plans are to prosper you, to give you hope and a future. Your future goes beyond this present life. Your future includes eternity. God’s plans stand firm forever. Where Satan puts a period, God puts a comma. God’s purpose prevails.

You may not know what tomorrow holds, but you know who holds tomorrow! Turn this verse into a prayer. “Lord, I know that You know the plans you have for me. Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. Thank You precious Lord that Your plans are to give me hope and a future. I entrust my present and my future to Your care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category God's Plan, Hope, Prayer.
Interact No Comments
March 19th, 2013

Eyes of Faith

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Are you convinced that you are saved and that you will go to heaven? Are you convinced that God is who He says He is? That’s faith! Being confident of your current reality in Christ is the evidence of faith. If you have placed your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross, then you are certain of what you do not see.

The Christian life often involves seeing the invisible. You are trusting that what Jesus did two thousand years ago on Calvary makes a difference in your life today and for eternity. You hope for eternal life and heaven and you are certain of that reality because of faith being operative in your life.

God gives you the ability to see the unseen through the eyes of faith. When you view life through your eyes of flesh you will often miss the activity of God and the reality of His abiding presence. Viewing life through the eyes of faith is to view life from God’s perspective. Through the eyes of faith, you begin to see the unseen and God enables you to discern His activity. Your faith is anchored in God’s Word and your confidence is placed in the character of God.

What are you unsure of right now? In what areas has your confidence been wavering? Your faith will be tested and your dependence upon God will not go unchallenged. Draw near to God and trust His heart during times of uncertainty. God is trustworthy. He knows where you are and He knows what is best for you, even in the midst of your immediate concerns. God will see you through.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Faith, Hope, Trust.
Interact No Comments
February 20th, 2013

God’s Plan for You

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jer 29:11 (NIV)

God has plans for your life. Where are you currently in relation to God’s plans? Have you had some bumps along the way? Have you experienced any delays or detours? God factored in your response to His plans before you were ever born. God knew how you would navigate the path He has for you. Remember, nothing catches God by surprise. God sees the totality of your life from beginning to end. He knew when you would be born and where you would live and even the personality you would express. God’s plans always prevail.

  • “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” Psalms 33:11 (NIV)
  • “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Prov 19:21 (NIV)

You can anchor your life in God’s plans. His plans are to prosper you, to give you hope and a future. Your future goes beyond this present life. Your future includes eternity. God’s plans stand firm forever. Where Satan puts a period, God puts a comma. God’s purpose prevails.

You may not know what tomorrow holds, but you know who holds tomorrow! Turn this verse into a prayer. “Lord, I know that You know the plans you have for me. Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me. Thank You precious Lord that Your plans are to give me hope and a future. I entrust my present and my future to Your care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category God's Plan, Hope, Promise.
Interact No Comments
July 20th, 2012

There is Hope!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)

At the end of chapter 8 of the book of Isaiah, things look pretty grim for the people of Judah. Isaiah proclaims that “they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into darkness” (Isaiah 8:22 ESV). As terrible as that may seem, though, the Lord offers a glimmer of hope for their future, proclaiming that while judgment is coming presently, in a latter time a Messiah will be born to bring about a new Kingdom and everlasting peace.

The message of the Messiah centrally is that in the midst of darkness, disease, and despair, just when all hope seems lost, God will redeem His people through the anointed work of Christ! Sin and its affects will not have victory over those who see the work of this “Prince of Peace” and turn to Him alone for salvation; rather, they shall be victorious and reign with Him in an eternal Kingdom defined by justice and holiness.

When you feel discouraged or without hope, remember the promise of Isaiah 9: Joy has come in Jesus. Our obligation now is to spread that joy to those who are still without hope.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 194:  2 Chronicles 27;  Isaiah 9-12)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, July 20th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Hope, Isaiah, Messiah.
Interact No Comments
June 26th, 2012

The Enduring Hope of Christ

“Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them.” Ecclesiastes 4:1 ESV

In the middle of The Preacher of Ecclesiastes’ musings about the emptiness of this world, he directs his attention briefly to the reality of those who are oppressed and without any comfort.  He wonders why the Lord allowed them to ever be born at all, suggesting that non-existence would have been better than this existence.  Certainly, many of us in our time on this earth have seen oppression like that described here and likely thought the same thing.  All the hunger, disease, abuse, and abandonment in the world can be overwhelming and lead to questions like: Why would God allow such a thing as this?  Has He forgotten these people?

You and I know, however, that God has not forgotten these people.  In fact, setting free those who are oppressed is one of the expressed reasons the Son of God stepped out of heaven and into our seemingly hopeless world:

  • “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19 ESV)

Because of the work of Christ, we no longer have to look upon the sad reality of this world as hopeless.  Because of the gospel, the good news of Jesus, these people who are oppressed, poor, captive, and sick (both spiritually and physically) have a future of hope! Our responsibility is to tell them about the work of Christ, so that they can be saved spiritually and, then, continue the work of Christ by taking care of them in their hour of need.  Who do you know that needs to hear this message of hope today?

 

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 170:  Ecclesiastes 1-6)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Evangelism, Evil, Hope.
Interact No Comments