Thursday, March 10, 2016

Seasons of Hope

My new book, Seasons of Hope, will soon be coming out. We're in final formatting and are hoping to have it listed on Amazon around Easter. But I thought I'd share a few quotes from it:


I did a little research on the season we call “the fall.” Do you know why we call it that? It’s because of the “falling” of leaves during this period. Things fall in the fall. Leaves fall, branches fall, flowers fall. Pay attention, this is important! Everything that needs to fall falls in the fall. Fall is a pruning time. Fall is when things that are dead, diseased, and infested are removed. Fall is the season when everything that is superficial is stripped away. But, it’s also the time when seeds fall.

Several years ago, there was a grove of oak trees outside of my office. Every fall, you could walk in that grove and find numerous acorns peppering the landscape. Those acorns each experienced a long fall on their way to the ground. I bet if a typical acorn could talk, it would say that its fall wasn’t a pleasant experience. It would complain, “One day I was on top of the world enjoying the view. I was well fed, had plenty of friends, and had plenty of sunshine. My life was all blue skies. Then it happened. I fell and my life turned upside down. I went from the top to the bottom!”

Hope is like an acorn. It begins with a fall. But after the fall, it gets planted and grows into something beautiful . . .
Take a look at Romans 5:3-4. Paul seems to be talking about noble suffering here, like when we suffer for Christ. Look at what he says:
3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
Notice in this passage how there is a direct line from suffering to hope. Hope begins with a fall of some sort in the passage. Paul says that “suffering” produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, what? Hope! Suffering eventually leads to hope in the hands of God. Hope very often begins with a fall.
If you're at the end of yourself due to some sort of fall, look up. God may just be up to something big in your life.