So That You May Overflow With Hope

Romans 15-13 imageThe YouTruth in Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

There are good days and there are bad days. Or are there?

For those without Jesus as their Lord and Savior, I’d say this statement is very true. But for those with Jesus in their heart, it can be different. The key is planted in this passage from the Apostle Paul.

During our good days, it is easy to experience the joy and peace of the Lord. It just comes naturally. But there is one thing that is important to remember about this experience. If we rely on our “good days” to provide joy and peace, then they will be fleeting things that come and go quickly.

During our bad days, it is hard to experience the joy and peace of the Lord. This is natural too. It is also helpful to remember that bad days are temporary things too, and while you may string together several bad days in a row, a good day will one day come.

This sounds like a roller coaster ride, doesn’t it? Would you like to get off the ride? It can be simply done, by deciding not to have good and bad days. Have “trust days” instead.

During your traditional good days, trust that what God is revealing to you, by the power of His Holy Spirit, is only a thin slice of the joy and peace that is part of your eternal relationship with Him. Remember that your trust days (that happen to be good days on Earth) really aren’t that good! Trust in the hope of eternal good days to come.

During your traditional bad days, trust that what God is revealing to you, again by the power of His Holy Spirit, is that the world can’t offer you what eternity with Him offers. During trust days of this type you can trust that all days on Earth are temporary, that a good, Earthly day is probably on its way and that an eternity of the best days ever is around the corner as well.

Have Salt Among Yourselves (Huh?)

Mark 9-50 imageThe YouTruth in Mark 9:50

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

According to Jesus, you are the salt of the earth. Salt seems like an insignificant thing, to be occasionally sprinkled on food. In Jesus’ time salt was used in two important ways. In this context, Jesus’ illustration is not insignificant, but powerful and meaningful.

Before food could be refrigerated (meat particularly), salt was used to cure it and keep it from going bad. While it certainly contributed to its taste, as it does today, its primary function was to prevent decay. Carrying the illustration forward to today, Jesus wants to prevent the decay of your relationship with Him and with others. He does this amazingly by being both the means and the end. If you continually pursue a strong relationship with Him, He will be the “saltiness” that you can then apply to your relationships with others. When you are at peace with Jesus, you can them be at peace with others.

The second way that salt was used in Jesus’ time illustrates the opposite condition of relationships—fractured and hurting. After salt had been used up and could not fulfill its original function any longer, it was tossed out as a covering for roadways, much like gravel might be used today. If you allow your relationship with Jesus to falter, it becomes like “unsalty” salt and is only good for tossing onto the ground, and your relationships with others will falter along with it. Jesus does not want this for you!

So be salty today! Carry the “salty” peace of Jesus into all of your relationships.

You Have Been Raised

Colossians 3-1 imageThe YouTruth in Colossians 3:1

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

You have been raised.

That doesn’t seem right, does it? You are clearly still here on earth, breathing the earth’s air, standing upon its ground, driving on its roadways, fighting against its nastiness and challenges. If you’re like me, you’d love to be raised, and are looking forward to that day. But until then, you keep on slogging through life in the world.

God has a different perspective. It is God’s perspective that Paul relies on in this passage. God is the God of eternity. God is not bound by space or time, so He sees things from outside those constraints. And in His eternal view, if you have received the gift of His grace, through faith in Jesus, you are there with Him. What is in the future for you, is in the “now” for Him. Isn’t that crazy and exciting to think about?

Equipped with this understanding, you can set your heart on that state of being—the state of being eternally in God’s presence, forever in His Kingdom. With this “heart-setting” firmly in place, you can adopt this state of being in your life on earth each and every day, being the presence of God for those hurting souls around you and advancing the borders of His Kingdom wherever you go.

To God, today is always the day. Set it as the day for you too.