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Tag Archives: staying hopeful

Time for Moving On

In my preparation to write this blog, I found with link with 2974 quotes about healing. There is an old saying that “time has a way of healing all wounds.” Unfortunately, not everyone recovers from an accident, addiction, broken relationship or painful experience. According to a recent study, nearly 15 million Americans struggle with various degrees of depression. These individuals aren’t ready to move on.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, Ecclesiastes 3:1-3.

As a judge, King’s Solomon’s rulings on cases are filled with insight, strategic genius and wisdom. The most famous was a dispute between two woman claiming to be the rightful mother of a living child. After a baby dies in the middle of the night, an awake woman takes a nearby infant and replaces him with her dead child. This case is brought before Solomon, making what appears to be a strange ruling to have this baby cut in two. However, this decision is merely a plan to reveal the true mother, 1 Kings 3.

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live], Ephesians 2:10.

Even when you experience a positive outcome following a trial, life can be emotionally draining. Instead of going from point A to point B in a straight line and so on, each week is full of dead ends, detours and road blocks. Trying to stay hopeful, optimistic and upbeat while undergoing hardships is difficult. Yet, with God’s all consuming love by your side, God wants you to let go of the past by setting your sights on the future, Ephesians 2:10.

by Jay Mankus

I Don’t Feel Like It Today

After another frustrating day visiting the doctor, sometimes its hard to stay motivated.  When I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel like reading the Bible or praying.  Part of me thought, “what’s the point?”  I’ve done everything I can think of and I’m still not cleared to return to work.

Perhaps, this same emotion is experienced by millions of individuals on a daily basis.  Once you bust your butt and work hard without any tangible results, apathy and pessimism often set in.  Thus, staying hopeful is a battle, especially when others around you seem to be better off than yourself.  In these moments, faith must be more than a feeling or else you will collapse under a sea of disappointment.

Despite my initial inclination, I fought through these urges to give God my first fruits, the first hour of my day.  Although I did not receive the outcome I wished for, there is still enough time in this day for my prayer to be answered.  When desperation sets in, the Lord is the only firm foundation remaining, Psalm 28:1.  Within my own uncertainty, I cling to the promise of Psalm 28:7, hoping to leap for joy instead of feeling depressed.

by Jay Mankus

Forgotten Prosperity

At church last Sunday, I heard a verse from the Bible that struck a nerve.  When reality hits home, its hard to ignore, especially when a verse sums up the last 15 years of your life.  Lamentations 3:17 references Jeremiah, who is speaking a message to Israel given to him by the Lord.  In essence, God’s chosen people had forgotten what is was like to experience prosperity during their years of exile.

As for me, I moved to Delaware a wealthy man, at least in my own eyes.  Wise investments after getting married resulted in enough money to pay for our first house in cash.  However, being told to rely on first time home buyer tax breaks, my wife and I decided to save most of this for the future.  Unfortunately, when many of the .com companies went belly up in 2000, I lost nearly $65,000 dollars in the stock market.  With this slush fund basically gone, the hits kept coming as my teaching salary wasn’t enough to support a family, losing on average of $2000 a year.  Thus, our savings account quickly became an accumulating debt which has taken a toll on both of us, sending my family into our own sort of financial exile.

However, if you’ve never had a bad day in life, you won’t be able to appreciate the good ones.  Thus, the James 1:2-4 principle applies to forgotten prosperity.  When your money is gone, God is a last resort, a crutch to help you stand back up.  I wish the last 15 years had a different ending, but for now what’s done is done.  The hard part is moving on, swallowing your pride and trusting God for daily bread, Matthew 6:11.  I’m not sure what God has planned, yet it’s never too late to pray for a Job like conclusion, Job 42:12-15.  Go with God and God will go with you!

by Jay Mankus

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