Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Hope should be a positive word, but the way we use it today, it has a element of doubt in it. "I hope we win the ballgame." "I sure hope this diet works" "I hope the Lord answers my prayers." Inside each of those statements is an element of doubt.
BUT- when you look the word up in the dictionary you will find that the definition is "An expectation filled with desire for fulfillment of promised blessings."
Now everytime I come to the word in my scriptures I say to myself. I expect, instead of I hope.
What a difference that definition has been to my faith.
Faith = trust. I trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, His promises are sure.
Hope= Because I trust in Jesus, I can expect to receive those promised blessings.
What does that have to do with my being here are sparkpeople? Hope is step 2 of the 12-step program I am working through. This time though I don't just hope that it will work, I expect them to. I don't hope I can stick to a diet, I expect to. I expect to be successful.
Step 2 - come to expect that the power of God can restore me to complete spiritual health. Finally humbled I am ready to stop trying to have it my way, and turn my will over to God's way. All that is required in this step is simply to become willing to practice believing in the love and mercy of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the accessibility and blessing of the Holy Ghost.
I tried the 12-step program in the past and it worked, but once the weight come off, I returned to old habits. I am relearning that my willpower is not strong enough to keep the weight off, especially under trials and stress. I need to return to His Willpower.
The Bible tells us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find the grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
Grace = God's enabling power. Just like I changed the word Hope to expect, when I come to the word grace, I change the word to "God's enabling power."
"That I may obtain mercy and receive God's enabling power to help in my time of need."
In trying to recognize God's enabling power in my own life, I am going to start looking for tender mercies, (those evidences of His enabling power in my life) through out the day and keep a record of them.
"I...will show you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." 1 Nephi 1:20
Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) said, "We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord's tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto deliverance... I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us. (Conference Report Apr 2005, 106-7, Ensign May 2005, 100-101)
My task for today is to pray for help in this journey and to watch for the tender mercies, the evidences of God's enabling power helping me throughout the day.