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Love, Hope and Peace

The holidays are upon me. Again I am nearing Thanksgiving, a holiday known for family time and thankfulness. Then the season for gift shopping and parties spreads out before me culminating in a solid week of “holiday” busyness. Sometimes it seems too much.This year has been a year of changes. This has been a year when the world around me reels with blow after blow of economic crises. I have lost my job as many others have this year. It is not just a personal crisis. The whole nation is filled with people concerned for their jobs and keeping their family fed and housed.There are many others who have experienced illness and loss of life. There are those who are concerned about what is happening to this nation as a whole. My discouragement seems to be the normal reaction of many people. There are changes in this country so widespread it seems impossible not to be discouraged. I have heard many who do not trust those in power and fret about what will become of this country.Out of necessity I turn to God for hope and peace. I look for the evidence of love. When I look at everything I have to do and need to do to get a new job, I need hope. I need to know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When I am faced with new challenges at every turn. When I face my own disappointment in my abilities and myself. When I see my children struggling with health issues and money issues. Then I must choose to turn to God in trust.He is the one who is my salvation, my refuge and my fortress. He is the one who gives me peace in the midst of a storm. He is the one who heals our diseases and forgives us our iniquities. He is the one that I can turn to when I need hope. He is my hope.So this holiday season, I turn to God to provide love in my heart for others. I turn to God to provide means of support for my family. I turn to God to provide peace in my heart in spite of the news or the hopelessness of some situations.I believe God can create miracles in the midst of despair. I believe God can find companionship for those who walk this life alone. I believe God can provide income for families who need it. I believe God can provide hope for those people hardened by their circumstances. I believe God will work things together for good. I believe he will provide for us here and take us to him when it is time. I believe he has given us desires to work his will in us and he will give us the means to obtain those desires.I believe in God, the creator, the healer, the provider, our father.Lamentations 3:21-24 But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.Philippians 4:13 whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.Psalm 43:5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.Psalm 46:1-3 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us. God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

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