“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV).
Nothing can give you fulfillment or fill you with a personal sense of value like God’s words of acceptance and saving grace. “You are accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV). When you are challenged with whether or not you should trust Him with your life, let go and let God. Even though you want to be in control and you struggle to understand first before you yield, just give up, give in, and say, “Yes, Lord. Fulfill your will in my life. I yield myself to you. Use me as I am.”
God wants to use you now. He wants to be able say to you, “Well done,” while you are still alive and active in the earth. The Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) but don’t wait until you are dead to be present with the Lord and hearing God’s voice. You can hear Him clearly in this life, saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
The degree to which you believe that God accepts you as you are is the degree to which you will seek His face and look into His eyes. All of your inner conflicts are resolved by the eyes of the Lord. Paul knew when his work was finished that he would receive a reward in heaven because he already knew that he was approved in God’s sight on a daily basis. He knew that when He went to be with the Lord He would hear words of approval and acceptance. He would receive a crown.
All of us can live an approved life. You get approved by God in the closet of prayer, not from seeking honor and recognition by people. As you wait for the Lord, keep your spirit right and expect to be reproved, because God always reproves to improve. You cannot have a vital prayer life with God without being corrected. If you can’t handle the correction of man, you can’t touch the correction of God.
The Lord loves you. He speaks to you. He deals with the root issues in your life. He empowers you with hope that you can change and through your change you can be a blessing to Him and those around you.
Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine
“Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior, all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior, all the day long.”
—Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)
GREAT TESTIMONIES OF HOPE—FANNY CROSBY
Blindness could not stop her from writing songs
During Fanny Crosby’s lifetime of nearly 95 years (1820-1915), she wrote more than 8,000 songs. She was blinded at six weeks of age by a medical error, but that did not stop her from becoming one of the most prolific hymn writers in history and one of the best known and well respected women of her era.
Although God was already using her, Fanny Crosby did not consider herself truly converted until she was 31 years old. She heard the hymn of another writer, Isaac Watts, which spoke of the humble state of man as a worm. She wrote, “After a prayer was offered, they began to sing the grand old consecration hymn, ‘Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed?’ ”
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior was her first song to gain worldwide attention. Like other poems, it began to stir inside of her as she heard the heart-rending cry of a sinner calling on God. She wrote it after hearing a prison inmate say, “O Lord, don’t pass me by!”
During the 1875 Dwight L. Moody crusades in London, Ira Sankey sang the song every night because the crowds loved it so much. An alcoholic in the crowd heard it and whispered, “Oh, I wish He would not pass me by.” When he returned the following night, the service began with that hymn, and he went forward and was saved. For the next forty years he carried a copy of the words until, as a successful businessman, he finally met Fanny Crosby.
Some of Fanny Crosby’s accomplishments
• 8,000 poems (song lyrics). She wrote so many that sometimes she did not recognize the words when she heard one of her own songs.
• 200 pen names. Publishers did not want the public to know she had written so many of their hymns.
• Daily productivity. Could write up to seven hymns in one day.
• No copyrights. Was paid only $1 or $2 for each poem and had no copyrights. The composers of the tunes usually kept all the rights.
• Living simply. In spite of the urging of friends and admirers, she chose to live among the poor.
• Simplifying the Gospel. She wrote for those who might not understand preaching and many were saved as a result.
Sample of song titles
• Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine
• He Hideth My Soul
• Near The Cross
• I Am Thine, O Lord
• To God Be The Glory
• Rescue The Perishing
Fanny once said, “Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind . . . for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”
Are you excited about dying some day and seeing God’s face? In that day, you will know what God has known about you all along. Will your face be full of joy at seeing Him face to face, or will you be distressed at how you failed Him?
In Lamentations 3:21, Jeremiah was troubled but he said, "Yet I still dare to hope." Using the format of a daily journal, Bishop Boone takes the reader on a 30-day journey to hope. Each day, you read inspiring vignettes, study the Bible, pray, and write a journal of your day. Pleasing God becomes your priority. Each night, you examine your life to find anything that might cause you to lose hope. You see where you have been unlike Jesus, make changes, then go to sleep in peace.
Dare to Hope is a message of fearlessness in a time of coronavirus. It is a great encouragement for times like these! In this 30-day journey to hope, Bishop Boone says that Christians can rebuild their hope and restore hope to individuals, families, and nations. He recalls Lamentations 3:21 when Jeremiah was troubled but he said, “Yet I still dare to hope.”