But those who hope in the Lord...

By Patrick A. Gregory, Parish Ministry Associate (PMA), Spiritual Director, & Co-facilitator of Drinking from the Well

31 But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  --Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

As persons of faith, we depend on God as our source of hope and strength.  However, even the strongest people get tired at times, but God’s power and strength never diminish.  God is never too tired or too busy to help and listen.  When you feel all of life crushing you and you cannot go another step, remember that you can call upon God to renew your strength. 

Hope in the Lord means expecting that God’s promise of strength will help us to rise above life’s distractions and difficulties.  It also means trusting God to fulfill this promise found in his Word.  There is always hope.

Just like many people, you probably have a toolbox full of various tools to make home repairs.  Just like a home repair toolbox, you can build a spiritual toolbox of resources to answer God’s invitation for a deepening relationship.  A spiritual toolbox is one of God’s resources for strength and hope.  

You can’t go to a big box store and purchase a spiritual toolbox; you must build your spiritual toolbox yourself.  You are not left alone in your quest to build a spiritual toolbox, there are many resources and opportunities to assist in building your personal spiritual toolbox.

One resource to help you build your spiritual toolbox is Drinking from the Well (DFTW).  DFTW is a ministry from Seeking the Spirit Within: The Nebraska Synod Institute for Spiritual Direction Formation.  DFTW is a place for seekers that are interested in developing a closer relationship with God and seeking a way to “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge so that you might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19)

DFTW is a resource to introduce you to spiritual practices as you deepen your relationship with God.  We are all wired differently and DFTW provides a variety of spiritual practices for you to add to your spiritual toolbox for use now and into the future. 

If you are being stirred to deepen your relationship with God, additional information regarding DFTW can be found on the Nebraska Synod, ELCA website.  On this website you can find out when the next session of DFTW will be offered and how to register for the next DFTW group.


Another resource to add to your spiritual toolbox is to seek spiritual direction with a Spiritual Director.  Per the Nebraska Synod, ELCA, “Spiritual direction is an ancient form of strengthening and encouraging one another in our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Spiritual direction seeks to attend to God’s activity in the lives of both director and directee.  The Spiritual Director helps a person notice how God is moving in the life of the directees in the everyday events of their lives and encourages them to respond to God in ways appropriate for the individual.  Directees are encouraged to draw closer to God.”

The Nebraska Synod, ELCA website provides a list of certified Spiritual Directors.

Our beautiful, gracious, loving, strong, hope filled God is concerned about you; specifically, you.  God does not desert His people.  

Put your trust in the Lord.  Trust in God’s heart, in God’s word.  Trust in God in those tired times in your life when you need strength.  Those times when it is hard to find hope.  In those times, reach for a tool from your spiritual toolbox.  Find hope in God.

How has God caught you when you have fallen?  In what way is God offering strength and hope to you right now?  What spiritual practices speak to you in your relationship with God?

Blessings to you on your faith journey and as you gather spiritual tools for your personal spiritual toolbox.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your promise of hope.  I pray today that you will give me a portion of strength and understanding.  Power my hands and feet to do work in service for You.  Let me be your tool in providing strength and hope to others that need your love.

Amen.


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