Revelation

by Carolyn Hope

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Matthew 11:25-26)

Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 that, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God … But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” (verses 18 and 27). In essence, the Gospel does not make sense to human reasoning. It seems foolish and ridiculous; yet upon belief, it suddenly makes sense.

Children are willing to believe crazy, impossible things. You can tell them that you came from an alien planet and once had blue skin, and they would be amazed. Their trust and faith don’t rely on mental reason. Often we call them ‘gullible’ and ‘naïve’ … yet the simple believing nature of children was applauded by Jesus. He said that it pleased God to reveal things to little children which even the wise could not comprehend.

Revelation doesn’t come through reason but through faith. It is when you believe that Holy Spirit begins depositing truth in your heart. You are called to have a child-like faith. Will you be brave enough to simply believe what God says? Will you take Him at His Word and not try to figure everything out? Will you trust Him to fulfill His promises when they don’t make the least bit of sense?

Your Father is trustworthy. He is true and faithful. He has much more to give you, and much more to show you. As you rest in His promises, I believe you’ll find a deeper well of revelation and understanding. God delights in sharing secrets with His children. In order to hear His whispers, you must draw near. In order to draw near, you must believe (see Hebrews 11:6).

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Stretching Seasons

by Carolyn Hope

I do not say that I have already won the race or have already reached perfection. But I am pressing on, striving to lay hold of the prize for which also Christ has laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not imagine that I have yet laid hold of it. But this one thing I do—forgetting everything which is past and stretching forward to what lies in front of me, with my eyes fixed on the goal I push on to secure the prize of God’s heavenward call in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

When you’re in a stretching season, God is doing just that: stretching you. He’s pushing and pulling you into more than you thought you could be. This will often be shown by getting an unexpected promotion, or taking on more ministry and/or work than before. You’ll suddenly find yourself in a position you don’t feel qualified for, or a role you’ve never had experience playing. These seasons often feel somewhat chaotic and stressful as you struggle to balance everything and still find time to be refreshed.

Stretching seasons will remind you that you’re not perfect, and you have in no way “arrived” at full maturity in Christ. You’ll be forced to choose if you will depend solely on yourself (and most likely fail in the process of doing so), or if you will rely on Jesus to sustain you in the areas you don’t have a full handle on. Times of stretching are uncomfortable and even painful, but they teach you to trust the Lord and let Him guide you.

I want to remind you today that stretching seasons are for a purpose. That purpose is not to break you. Think about a rubber band; before it has been stretched out, it can hold some things, but after it’s been stretched again and again, it is able to hold far more. When God stretches you, it is because He wants to give you more to carry. He has something greater for you to do, and in order to accomplish that vision, He will stretch you in different ways to prepare you for what’s coming.

Don’t be discouraged if you feel stretched beyond your limits. Holy Spirit is with you, and He will cover you and supply you with all you need. Hold onto hope. There’s more waiting for you.

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