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December 5, 2017

Day Three

Hope

1 Corinthians 1:9

“. . . God is faithful.” I Cor. 1:9a

Who do you trust? Not in a casual way, but completely. Is there someone with whom you would trust your very life? I am blessed to be able to come up with my list of family and close friends that fit this category for me. It is not that they are perfect and never fall short of my hope or expectations for them. I trust them completely because I know they love me in a way that does not put on conditions that I be perfect. I know they will be there when I need them. Thank God.

Those of us who have been blessed to find our “person” in life, the one we can always come home to, the one who will steadfastly love us with honesty and grace, and the one to whom we say, “I don’t know what I would do without you and as long as we have each other, we’ll be ok,” know a foundational truth and peace at the core of our being that gives us the strength to get through any of life’s trials as well as someone to celebrate with in life’s triumphs.
The Apostle Paul begins his famous letter, I Corinthians, with this message of hope. The first few verses are foundational for the whole letter. They remind the sisters and brothers in Corinth of the amazing gift they have in a god who offers to be their “person” in the person of Jesus Christ. As they face the struggles of their newly forged family of faith, they are not alone. God’s love and grace are there for them filling the well of doubt with hope and replacing their fear with courage. Love does that.

I know that is easier proclaimed that claimed in a world filled with so much pain. Do you remember the story of the pastor having a church meeting at home that went past her young daughter’s bedtime? The night was stormy and the daughter kept coming in frightened and interrupting the meeting. The pastor took her back to her room and trying to comfort her said, “Honey you are safe, God is here with you.” To which the little girl replied, “I need a God with skin on . . .”
So, I guess it is up to those of us with skin on who have experienced this good and loving God in our lives to witness to the truth of it. Just for the record, in my times of grief there has always been a channel of grace that has brought me peace. In my times of doubt, some instrument of hope has always been made available to me. I have come to know the source of all this to be this God of love, the source of all that is good. And, while I’ve got skin on I want to tell you, “Have hope. God is faithful.”

Prayer: Oh steadfast and loving God, teach me to trust in you that I may live in hope. Amen.