Hope Done Differently

Ben Blog

In case you’re not aware, the FIFA World Cup is on at the moment. So yeah, soccer. In total, there are 64 games to be played with the last team left standing at the end crowned the winners and the best team in the world. For people like me who are 100% useless at soccer, someone came up with a competition to make us feel good and to give us some kind of hope at winning. What was this competition? Correctly guess the result of all 64 games and you win $5 million. I entered, along with about 45,000 other hopeful Kiwis. The odds of getting all 64 correct are impossibly slim, but we all tried in the distant hope of winning. After two nights of action, there had been 5 games played and I was one of only 600 people still left in the competition who had guessed all the games correctly. I started to think thoughts such as, ‘I can really do this, I could seriously win $5 million!’ I even had conversations with people as to what I’m gonna do with the money. This hope which I held onto of winning the cash was strong. It was probably the most exciting 12 hours or so of my life. Well, after going 5/5, I found myself at 5/12 two days later – obviously my hopes of winning were dashed, and it was only a couple more days until there was no one left. Our hopes had come to nothing.

So what’s the Christian parallel? Hope. But hope done differently. You see, I was putting my hope in this competition and my faith in myself. How quickly it was gone! When we talk about hope in a general setting, we are usually wishing for a favourable outcome. ‘I hope the washing dries in time!’ ‘I just had a job interview. Hopefully I get the job.’ ‘I remain hopeful that the Warriors will win the NRL.’ There is no certainty in each of these statements… so it is with anything in the earth that is not God.

Deuteronomy 32:3-4 says, For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.

Numbers 23:19 says, God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?

With God, hope is done differently. Hope goes from being something containing so much uncertainty, to something that is only certain. Hope becomes more of a knowledge when we trust God and know that he has got it. Hope in God. Put your faith in Him. Love God. Love others.

Are We Really Too Busy for God?

Denae Blog

Okay hear me out, LIFE IS BUSY - I get it.

Sometimes it feels like there's not enough hours in the day to get everything done!

With everything going on, your week can look pretty full on - whether it's school, uni, work, little ones or even the claaassic brass band practice (yay...). On top of all this, there are things like hobbies and a social life (whatever that is) to fill in all the cracks of your ALREADY hectic week. Often it seems like there's no room to schedule in some “Jesus Time,” or some days in your spare time, you’d rather chill out and do your OWN thing than open the Bible and start a conversation with God.  

Some days, after a long tiring day at school, the LAST thing I wanna be doing is getting emotionally drained by spending time with God. The “worship playlist” and Bible app go far far away, out of my sight, because I don’t feel up to talking to God. I don’t feel like telling him how my days been because he’s God - he should already know, right?

Yes. He already knew before my day even began, but he WANTS me to tell him about it - to start a conversation with Him.

If I was to shove off someone the way I have God, they wouldn’t want to be near me - far from it if anything! The crazy thing that’s taken me so long to comprehend is that God is ALWAYS wanting to be near you. No matter how busy you are or how much you really DON’T want to talk to him.

God is known as a resting place, meaning that instead of focussing on our worries and stresses due to our busy lives, we can simply give all those things to God and can rest in Him. All we have to do is talk to him!

I’ve always taken for granted the love that God has offered me from before I was even created. God has lowered himself - the Creator of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE has made himself someone we can casually talk to - all the time. It doesn’t even have to be formal! However you talk to God, as formal or as casual as you like - it is so important to him. Every time. Take the time to reach out to Him and start a conversation.

That’s when I realised I’m actually not too busy for God; I had been putting myself and my own comfort before Him. I’ve had to rethink my priorities in life. Maybe you need to do the same?  

Song to listen to: “Defender” by Rita Springer (I personally love the Upper Room Worship version!)

“God is strong and can keep you from falling. He can bring you before his glory without any wrong in you and give you great joy. He is the only God, the one who saves us. To him be glory, greatness, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord for all time past, now, and forever. Amen.” - Jude 1:24-25 ERV