(March 26, 2023) Maureen McQuillan brings great encouragement …
It’s almost April and in a couple of weeks with joy and thanksgiving we’ll remember all that our Saviour Jesus did for us to assure our salvation.
April 2023 already!
And still the world is one of uncertainty for many! Crime increases, Ukraine is still suffering from Russian attacks, speculation about China’s intentions, covid is still here, scams, hacking, life savings losses, higher interest rates, more earthquakes… and other bad news that we hear about daily!
For many life has had its disappointments: even today some tragedy could befall even a Christian. It’s a time when so many people need encouragement, even a simple but meaningful thank you!
Are you perchance looking back with regrets? Wondering what’s next, or what to do about some issue? Today’s scripture was Hebrews 11:2 and good news – ‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’
Now there’s a different way to spell faith! C-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-c-e! It’s the key to getting through each day, whatever comes along.
Currently Robert and I are re-watching that brilliantly produced Foyle’s War series set in England during the terrifying days of WW2. We were only babies quickly becoming children back then, but we can recall the sirens warning of German bombers, of being hurried by our parents to shelters. (Would you believe that my family’s hidey hole was the cupboard under the stairs! Not that that would have protected us!).
Ah memories. In each episode we see or hear something familar… bottles of some old lotion, confectionaries, famous tea tins, drinks, clothes, wallpaper, furniture, sayings and customs… all reminding us of home and life as it was in ‘the good old days.’ Yes, even though there was the danger of Britain being invaded by the enemy, they were good days of people being kind and thoughtful to friends and neighbours (Who remembers neighbours calling with an empty cup, asking for tea or milk… even a few years ago?).
And as we grew into childhood we’d have dreams and hopes about surprises, birthdays, Easter and Christmas. Later thoughts, maybe dreams about the future. Then came the teenage years, first love, jobs, new contacts, marriage and new responsibilities.
Did you have times like this of remembering how your life was? Do you still recall a world where although there was trouble around, and times might seem bad, dangerous, you could still believe for a better tomorrow because most people (admittedly not everyone!) were kind and thoughtful? Did you at some point discover the love of God, and Jesus as your Saviour? That you knew that by faith you could trust God?
Were those dreams shattered… never amounting to anything? Has your faith in God weakened, perhaps drained away that you’re no longer sure if you have faith? Oh you still believe in God but you’ve been so rocked off your feet by life’s hard knocks that it’s just too difficult to start dreaming and hoping afresh.
Look ahead, not back!
Maybe too many doors of opportunity have slammed in your face, or you feel locked into in an unsatisfactory relationship or lifestyle with no apparent way out. You’re thinking: What’s the use of even hoping, never mind dreaming for something better? Perhaps you’re even looking back, wondering what have you really achieved in life. And now you’re querying the future, even shedding a tear.
I feel for you, I really do. I’d like to encourage you! Your ‘good old days’ may have only been a few years ago, not the 40s. Don’t over-relish them, but look ahead. Whatever is lost, whatever dreams have not come about, whatever disappointments have hit you hard, however low your faith may seem, the reality is that God isn’t shocked, hasn’t been caught unawares.
If we’ve accepted Jesus as our Saviour, know that He’s our friend! And that Christians are all very special children to God, our loving heavenly Father. We’re what the Bible calls the new creation – in Christ our God has created us as unique individuals (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15). We’re meant to dream and hope, and succeed in life, enjoying it!
Next month we’ll also be remembering that God sent Jesus that we may have ‘abundant life’ highlighted in John 10:10(b). Abundant! Now there’s a word that means ample, overflowing, inexhaustible. And this was the great claim of Jesus – He came to offer us this ‘abundant’ life!
Watching the like of Foyle’s War and recalling any good old times is relaxing… but the past is yesterday, gone! And while today’s world has much to offer and enjoy, it can be dangerous, unsafe without a Hebrews 11:1 confidential faith in God!
We must live with confidence in God, fully trusting Him regarding our future, believing that where there are problems, uncertainties and disappointments, our loving caring God will bring us through!
Can I encourage you to renew your relationship with Jesus? If you need to repent, do it knowing He will forgive (1 John 1:8-9). Think of this as starting afresh.
Confidence means that you know you can rely on someone! Our ‘someone’ is Jesus. If with confidence we follow Him, honour His teachings, submit to His leadings, we can enjoy a good life today! Otherwise life is pretty empty and miserable indeed. There is no real hope for today or tomorrow! Thank God for the hope He gives!
Many times our hopes and dreams have been robbed from us not just by life’s adverse circumstances but the devil himself. No wonder Jesus warned us about this deceiver and subtle trickster – He called him a robber of life, stating very clearly, ‘The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy’ (John 10:10NLT).
Hope for tomorrow
Today there are many challenges in life for everyone. But the truth is that Jesus can help us achieve much in life and find great satisfaction. Hopes and dreams, especially godly ones can become a reality!
Being a follower of Jesus Christ is knowing who He is, what He desires of us, believing His word and so enjoying life’s journey… even if the world around us is uncertain!
Let me encourage you to renew your hopes and dreams. Hand them over to the one who knows best how to give us the desires of our heart – (as well as His own of what He wishes us to achieve for Him. As grateful children there is much we can do for Him and His kingdom).
Don’t look back in hopelessness, helplessness, and some ‘good old days’ longing. Have confidence in God and start growing anew in your faith! God’s Holy Spirit can help you! Remember Paul’s encouragement: ‘I can do anything through Him who gives me the strength’ (Philippians 4:13).
Uncertain dark future? David’s confidence in his God was ‘… darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you’ (Psalm 139:12Mge).
‘Confidence faith’ in God means no hindering darkess, but having a bright future, and the right future!
Maureen McQuillan is a gifted communicator, ministering practically and prophetically. Links: www.connectingwithyou.net.
Lord bless you, Maureen, for this stimulating encouragement. Yesterday morning the speaker in my home fellowship shared with us about a lady he met in Bible college who was ‘suffering’ with cancer. He told how this lady had asked him if he would play guitar for her to sing at a mission meeting and when he asked what song she would sing she said I Know Who Holds the Future. Surely, Maureen, that is a good example of the confidence you speak about.