“Our Hope Is In You”

July 22, 2016

Monument Valley 7/9/16A view of the Monument Valley approaching from Utah
(Click to enlarge)

“Our Hope Is In You”

Personal note: For several days now I (Stephen) have had severe lower back pain, making walking very painful. Although we made our chaplain visits together the last three days today I am staying in, hopefully to give my back a rest and see the problem resolved (healed). Brooksyne is going solo today on our chaplain visits to two companies and I have done my best to see the message is editorially clean without her final read.

Message Summary: Today the immutable God is still at work controlling nature and everything else in all His creation. May this bring assurance to you today with all the uncertainty in our world, nations and in our own lives. In times past He has ordained periods of drought to come and remind mankind Who’s really in charge and certainly that could happen again. Indeed, let us all “praise God from whom all blessings flow” and acknowledge with Jeremiah the absolute source of our hope this day and every day. “Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the one who does all this.”

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is You, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the one who does all this” (Jeremiah 14:22).

We usually describe good weather as a sunny day with no rain. After all, who wants it to rain on your picnic? Of course about every day someone is having a picnic, going to the park or doing something in which they wish for good weather.

In our region we have rains scattered throughout the year so it tends to stay very green from the buds of Spring till the seasonal change in Autumn. Even in the winter the conifer trees and winter wheat stay green. In other regions they have specific rainy seasons and then a long period without or scarcely any rain. Then there’s the desert where it hardly ever rains.

Last week I was at a chaplain’s meeting in Phoenix and experienced the desert for the first time in my life. It was very hot. At one point the thermometer in my car read 119 degrees. Some say, “But it’s a dry hot” and then I heard this comment, “But a blow torch is also a dry hot!” I enjoyed the several days I spent in that region but was sure ready to return home. Although 4 million people live in the Phoenix area and it’s growing rapidly I don’t think desert living is for me. Rather I suppose the line from the old TV series comes to mind, “Farm living is the life for me” although I don’t really on a farm!

Looking down from a plane from Phoenix through west Texas it is mostly a brown parched landscape except for river valleys. As we moved east it got greener and greener and as we approached Harrisburg I looked down upon the rich, verdant farmland of Lancaster County and realized how productive the land is as I saw the farms from the air. What a blessing rains are! (In fact when I got home I found we had a rain storm the day before.)

One’s perspective on rain changes when you live near the soil. When living away from a farming area you are academically aware of the need for rain and may have some flowers, a small garden or a lawn that show the effects of dryness. But when you live near expansive fields of crops and interface with the farmers you are aware of how utterly dependent we all are on God’s gracious gift of rain. It is an example of what theologians call “common grace”, that is God’s manifestation of His grace and goodness to all regardless of faith.

Consider the prophet Jeremiah’s rhetorical questions in our daily text. “Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers?”  Of course they don’t. With all of our technology man’s various attempts to influence weather have been absolutely puny.

“No, it is you, O LORD our God” wrote Jeremiah. The Psalmist wrote, “He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills” (Psalm 147:8). The prophet Zechariah reminds us, “Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone” (Zechariah 10:1).

Jesus expresses this concept of common grace when He told His listeners that God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).  And the apostle Paul in an evangelistic appeal at Lystra said, “Yet He has not left Himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17).

“Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the one who does all this.” Today the immutable God is still at work controlling nature and everything else in all His creation. “Our hope is in You.” With all the uncertainty in our world, nations and in our own lives may these five words bring assurance to you today.

Let us declare:

In the crazy world of politics: Our hope is in You.
In a world that seems to be losing its mind: Our hope is in You.
In regard to that troubling family or personal matter: Our hope is in You.

In times past He has ordained periods of drought to come and remind mankind Who’s really in charge and certainly that or some other form of judgment could happen again. Today let us all “praise God from whom all blessings flow” and acknowledge with Jeremiah the absolute source of our hope this day and every day.  “Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the one who does all this.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we may experience peace because You are in control. We thank You for the Word of God which prepares our hearts for whatever time period You have ordained for us to live. “Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the one who does all this.” We must be diligent and faithful, serving You all the days of our life and all the while “testifying to the gospel of Your grace.” How blessed we are! Amen.


Monument Valley

This week (except for yesterday) I have shared photos from the trip I made to the Southwest for a Chaplaincy Conference in Phoenix.

Weber Mountain Colorado 7/9/16
We passed Weber Mountain near Cortez, Colorado. I never realized there was a Weber Mountain!

Twin Rocks, Utah 7/9/16
We passed through a rather desolate section of Southwestern Colorado and Southeastern Utah but with some interesting scenes such as this bluff in appropriately named Bluff, Utah.

Twin Rocks, Utah 7/9/16
Twin Rocks

Twin Rocks, Utah 7/9/16
In case you missed the massive twin rocks above the trading post this truck guides you.

Mexican Hat Utah 7/9/16
The source of the name for the town, “Mexican Hat”.

Monument Valley 7/9/16
We approached the Monument Valley from the north driving through Utah.

Monument Valley 7/9/16
Agathla Peak, one of the towering monuments rising some 1,500 feet above the high desert in northeastern Arizona.

Concerning monuments: In May we wrote a message titled, “Where Are The Monuments?” that makes a spiritual application.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Where Are The Monuments?”  Video  Legacy Five

“I Believe”  Video  Dailey & Vincent with Jimmy Fortune (This evening Dailey and Vincent have a concert here in Lancaster County)

“Too Much To Gain To Lose”  Video  Mark Trammell Quartet  What a great song of resolve to stay faithful.

“Green Acres” theme song  Video  “Farm living is the life for me”

More Monument Valley photos (Google)


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