Jesus – My Refuge & My Hope

YOU are my and my shield; YOUR WORD is my source of hope.

Jesus – My Refuge & My Hope

“What is one word God has given you for 2015?” That is the question our women’s ministry team asked a roomful of women at our January brunch. Each woman was given the opportunity to record her word and share it with those in a small group. The ladies seated near me didn’t even pause as their words spilled onto the page and out of their hearts. Hope … Trust … Surrender … Love.

Everyone wrote their word on a large roll of paper titled “Hope for 2015” followed by this Scripture: “You are my refuge and my shield; Your word is my source of hope.” (Psalm 119:114)

My favorite thing about asking God for a word is that when He places His thoughts in our minds, He’s actually making a promise. He’s giving us a glimpse into the very good and sure plans He has in store for us.

The word God gave me is “intimacy” along with the verse “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

Somehow over the past few months, I’ve become more intimate with pain than with my Savior. I’m not sure how this happened but it seems that the ongoing disappointments and stresses of life have driven a wedge into my heart separating me from the sweet, deeper intimacy I’ve enjoyed in the past with Jesus.

As I’ve prayed for God to restore my heart, He’s given me fresh hope through the story of a woman in Luke 7 identified only as the widow of Nain. As Jesus approaches her village, he notices a funeral procession. A widow, engulfed in grief, is burying her only son. When Jesus sees her, His heart overflows with compassion.

“Don’t cry!” he said. Then Jesus touched the coffin and commanded the young man to get up. Immediately he sat up, began to talk, and Jesus handed him to his mom. Can you imagine the inexpressible joy of this mother as she held her son?

My heart beats a little faster as I grasp in a deeper way that nothing … absolutely nothing is impossible for Jesus!

But the part of this story that’s meant the most to me recently is not so much what happened, but what didn’t happen. We don’t know if this woman was a follower of Jesus or even if she knew Jesus was there. But one thing we do know is that she didn’t ask Him to raise her son from the dead. It probably wouldn’t have even crossed her mind to put words to such an impossible request.

And yet … Jesus … moved with compassion … did the impossible, fulfilling her deepest desire, and accomplishing more than she could have asked or even imagined!

As I look to 2015 and consider all the breakthroughs I want to see as well as the daunting obstacles that lay in my path, I could easily become anxious. But through this story, God has given me a new and powerful picture of Jesus … a Savior whose tender heart is moved with compassion by my pain and who meets my deepest desires even when they remain unspoken.

His heart is moved … and then … His hand is moved … and the earth trembles!

What a Savior!

But what strikes me just as powerfully is the realization that Jesus did ALL the work … without even the slightest hesitation! He didn’t wait until this woman prayed just the right prayer or until she mustered more faith. Moved by compassion, He did it ALL!

Aren’t your grateful that Jesus promises to complete the work He began in us. We don’t have to manufacture intimacy with Jesus! We don’t have to conjure up hope or deepen our own faith. What a relief! Heart transformation is not in our job description!

We simply run to our Savior with our deepest desires … and Jesus … overflowing with compassion … accomplishes the impossible in our lives!

Thank You Jesus! You are my refuge and Your Word is my source of hope. Fill my heart with a deep sense of Your power and shake my world with a fresh vision of the impossibilities You have in store for me.

What is your word for 2015?