Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let Your Light Shine: Hope Is Never Lost

In Acts 27, there’s a great story about the apostle Paul. He was travelling by ship with some people when a violent wind came bursting down from the island. For a few days they were caught in the storm, and at one point it was so fierce, they were dangerously tossed about by the violence of the storm and had to throw the ship’s equipment overboard. They ended up without food, hungry, stranded – seemingly without any hope.
In that moment, Paul stood in the midst of the survivors and said to them, “I beg you to be in good spirits and take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you…” He then shared that an angel of God told him this, and said (verse 25), “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as it was told me.”
How could Paul, in the middle of this horrible storm, ask the people to “be in good spirits” and have a good attitude? Because he believed in his heart—without a doubt—“that it will be exactly as it was told me.” I love that! It’s a great picture of the power of faith in God when all hope seems lost. And we can have the very same faith that Paul had if we will overcome doubt.
I love this quote from President Holland (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
"Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there. Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings
Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead." 
We all face storms in life. Some are more difficult than others, but we all go through trials and tribulation. That’s why we have the gift of faith. Ephesians 6:16 calls it the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Doubt is a type of “flaming arrow” that the enemy uses to attack our faith.
We usually experience doubt after we’ve made a decision. James 1:6, says having doubt is like being tossed about like the wind, which feels like you’re trying to go in two different directions at the same time. It’s miserable to be torn between two places, not able to decide what you really believe. It’s in those moments we have to choose whether we are going to believe God or the enemy…God or our feelings…God or what people tell us…God or our circumstances…
In James 1:5 that when we need wisdom, we can go to God, ask Him for it, and He will give it to us liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding. Even with all our imperfections, God will be faithful to us and give us what we need if we will ask Him for help. He loves us and wants to help and bless us because He is faithful! And we never have to doubt that.
I’ve learned through my own relationship with God that He’s not expecting me to be perfect; He wants me to do my best to be in His will and take steps of faith as He leads me and the promptings He speaks to my heart. Remember.....He wants us to put our confidence in Him. 
With putting God first and having confidence in Him, we can be bold in faith and overcome every attack of doubt during the storms of life.
Let Your Light Shine

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At October 30, 2014 at 8:11 AM , Blogger Candace Groberg said...

Thank you for your beautiful words! I really needed to hear this message today.


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