Scene 3 – Life as a prisoner

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Sold to a different human owner, Joseph soon found himself in more painful and perplexing circumstances beyond his control. But he also continues to experience the Lord’s presence and blessing through it all.

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned” (Genesis 39:1-4).

Another trial for Joseph

Joseph had the “misfortune” of being “well-built and handsome” (Genesis 39:6a). This would result in Joseph being the object of lust and false accusation. As the story continues, “After a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’” (Genesis 39:6b-7).

This was a very real and dangerous test for Joseph. Sexual temptation is real for all men. Joseph, however, responded with a kind of principled integrity that sets a great example for all men.

Yet doing what was right did not mean that he would be “blessed” circumstantially. Joseph paid a severe price for his obedience.

Follow closely the line of reasoning he used for refusing to give in to sexual temptation.  “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:8-9).

Guided by four great principlesTrust, Reputation, Ownership, and Obedience to God, Joseph stood firm against temptation.

Did God bless him for his obedience? Should we expect obedience to bring blessing? Did it for Jesus?

Joseph stood his ground even as things intensified from sexual temptation to sexual harassment. “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her” (Genesis 39:10). The persistence of this woman would not be deterred and Joseph couldn’t do anything to change what happened as a result.

Often in life we become the object of other people’s passions. Joseph was the object of parental favoritism, sibling envy and hatred and now lust and false accusation by Potiphar’s wife.

Another abrupt change occurs for Joseph.

“One day he (Joseph) went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. ‘Look,’ she said to them, ‘this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.’ She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: ‘That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house. When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, ‘This is how your slave treated me,’ he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined” (Genesis 39:11-20).

Have you ever been falsely accused?

It is a very painful experience. It cuts into a person’s heart. When we do the right thing only to be misrepresented, slandered and wrongly charged, temptations toward self-pity, resentment and despair are hard to overcome.

How would Joseph respond to this abrupt and undeserved turn in his life? Would he be confused? No doubt! Would you have been?

Could you hear his prayers, “Dear God how could this happen to me?” “Haven’t I suffered enough?” “How much can one man take?” “I tried to do the right thing and look where it landed me!”

We don’t read much about Joseph’s struggles but we must not treat him as if he didn’t. I am sure he wrestled through a number of dark nights of the soul. Have you had any dark nights like this?

Shortly we’ll notice that Joseph did not take lightly or completely forget the wrongs committed against him. Joseph was human and battled feelings common to all people.

But, again, I suspect that through a series of deep, dark nights of the soul, Joseph reaffirmed his conclusions about God and life (we will see these soon).

Once again, he faced options. We always do in our trials. Joseph needed something to lift him from the temptation to self-pity and despair; resentment and bitterness.

If he had chosen these responses, the story would not have been the same — for him and for many others (Genesis 45:7; 50:20). Our responses always have generational consequences.

Joseph prospers in the prison

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (Genesis 39:21-23).
 
Notice again that the Lord’s presence with Joseph and the blessings of God’s kindness and Joseph’s success (whatever it looked like) did not translate into immediate release from prison.

  • So what did God’s kindness look like in prison?
  • How did Joseph experience it?
  • Did he question whether God cared?
  • Did Joseph pray for release?

We know his desire for release and memory of his suffering never left him. Some time later he would interpret a dream for a new prisoner that indicated this prisoner would soon be released. Then he said to the prisoner, “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon” (Genesis 40:14-15, emphasis mine). His sense of justice was clear.

The prisoner was released just as Joseph said. No doubt, this inspired renewed hope in Joseph that he would be release from prison. Yet to Joseph’s trial was added the additional pain of being forgotten.

With a simple stroke of the historian’s pen we read, “The chief cupbearer (the prisoner who had been released), did not remember Joseph; he forgot him” (Genesis 40:23).

It hurts to be forgotten.

Could you hear his prayers? “Please God, cause him to mention me.” “Don’t let me be forgotten in this place.” “I have had so much evil committed against me, I am not sure I can take much more.”

But again, with another simple stroke of the pen we learn that, “When two full years had passed…” (Genesis 41:1), Joseph would finally be remembered.

Have you ever had to wait two full years for something? Why two full years? How did Joseph guard his heart against discouragement and despair? Was God not good and great enough to lift him from this dungeon?

At the risk of being repetitive, allow me to again emphasize that through a series of deep dark nights of the soul, Joseph had to reaffirm his conclusions about God and life. He needed something to lift him from temptation to self-pity, resentment and bitterness.

Ultimately, we see that he resisted the temptation to resign to fate — to stop believing that God cared. There was something stronger that held and guided Joseph through his many abrupt changes and dark years of doubt and discouragement?

But it also protected Joseph from a darker prison — the prison of anger, resentment and bitterness. More than that, (and how important this is), Joseph’s chosen perspective blessed many people and preserved a remnant for Israel (Genesis 45:7; 50:20). 

Steve Cornell

Mind, emotions and the gospel

“Human life is fundamentally a life of the mind. The posture of the mind determines so much about the character of an individual’s life.” (Robert C. Roberts, Spirituality and Human Emotion, p. 26).

Mind and emotions

Emotions are based on concerns. They arise because one cares about something that gives occasion to certain feelings.

Emotions are deeply connected to how one chooses to construe her circumstances in a matter related to a real concern. A construal – is an interpretation of the meaning of something; a way of viewing or a perspective on a situation, experience, or person.

Emotions and construals

  • To feel indignant is to choose to see myself or someone close to me as intentionally injured by someone in a matter of some concern to myself.
  • Becoming angry with someone necessarily involves construing him as obnoxious, offensive, or some such thing.
  • To feel despair is to see my life, which I deeply desire to be meaningful, as holding nothing, or nothing of importance to me.
  • To feel envious is to see myself as losing against some competitor in a competition on which I am basing my self-esteem.
  • To feel guilty is to see myself as having offended against a moral or quasi-moral standard to which I subscribe.

How to dispel emotion

“Because emotions are construals, and construals always require some ‘terms,’ to succeed in dispelling an emotion, I must somehow get myself to cease to see the situation in one set of terms, and probably must get myself to see it in different terms.”

Control over emotions

“It is important to Christians that emotions are partially within people’s control, that they can be commanded. Scripture commands us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. When Scripture reminds us that love is not jealous, or irritable, or resentful it seems to assume that these feelings are broadly within the control of the reader. Being resentful is not like being five foot six or having congenitally bad teeth.” (R. Roberts, p. 21).

Emotions and the Gospel

The ‘terms’ of the Christian emotions are provided by the Christian story, there is a necessary connection between the Christian emotions and the Christian story” (Ibid. p. 21)

“The gospel message provides people with a distinctive way of construing the world: the Maker of the universe is your personal loving Father and has redeemed you from sin and death in the life and death and resurrection of His son Jesus. You are a child of God, destined along with many brothers and sisters to remain under his protection forever and to be transformed into something unspeakably lovely” (Ibid., p. 16).

  • To experience peace with God is to view God as a reconciled enemy.
  • To experience hope is to see one’s own future in the eternity of God’s kingdom,
  • To be Christianly grateful is to see various precious gifts, such as existence, sustenance, and redemption, as bestowed by God.

Not our whole story

“Christianity is, among other things, the wonderfully good news that this life is not our whole story… The few years that we live in this body… are a kind of pilgrimage, a sojourn, a preparatory trip on the way to something much greater. For the Christian, this present existence is provisional. He is aware that every activity he undertakes is schooling for something else—that it is all directed toward a higher end” (Roberts).

Steve Cornell

How do you see yourself?

A fascinating presentation on how women view themselves compared with how others see them.

What a great conversation piece! Although it could be taken with a misguided emphasis, it’s clearly worth conversation. How do you see yourself? How do others see you? Does this matter? What does it tell us about contentment and acceptance of God’s work in and through our lives? What Scripture might apply to this?

 

 

Formula E429 could change your life!

One of the best ways to improve our communication is to replace destructive tones with constructive ways of speaking to each other.

Words of appreciation and encouragement are excellent alternatives to ugly tones of grumbling, whining; impatience, frustration and defensiveness.

Think of how many times we could defuse a situation by choosing better words and tones. Parents especially need to ask if their words and tones set the right example for their children. 

Use Formula E429 to remind yourself of God’s will for our speech. The formula is based on Ephesians 4:29 – “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29, NLT).

Then apply a large dose of the first two characteristics of love: “Love is patient, Love is kind…” (I Corinthians 13:4).

This could literally change your life and the lives of those close to you!

WARNING LABEL

This advice comes with a warning about how easily we excuse our attitudes, words and tones by pointing to the difficult people around us. Remember the basic truth that the only person you can change is yourself. But by working on self-correction and experiencing personal change, we can powerfully influence others. So if you feel stuck in a bad place, find ways that you can change your attitudes, words and tones. But start with the words and tones you use because this discipline will make you face and confront your attitudes and emotions.

Recognize how all of this change fits under the work God is doing in your life based on these truths:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all … are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (II Corinthians 3:17-18, NIV).

“Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:12-13).

I have work to do. Will you join me?

Steve Cornell 

See also: Spiritual Depression

Resolve anxiety through worship

When we feel weighed down or distracted by anxious thoughts and burdensome circumstances, the answer for calming our anxious hearts is worship.

The call to overcome anxiety through worship is found in a very significant connection between I Peter 5:6 and 5:7.

  • Verse 6 is a command - “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. 
  • Verse 7 is an action of the command - “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (ESV). The main verb (or command) – “humble yourselves” is obeyed in direct relationship with the participle “casting” (all your anxieties on Him).

Some translations miss this dependent connection by treating verse 7 as an independent command: “Cast all you cares on him.” But “casting” is the better translation and places it as an act of humbling oneself under God’s mighty hand. 

In other words, when we pour out our cares (distressing burdens) to the Lord, we are to do so worshipfully under God’s Lordship over us. “Humble yourselves under…. casting all….”

Connect the warning of verse 8 – “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (ESV).

When we lose perspective on our trials and distressing burdens, the evil one sees an opportunity to use his age-old accusation by suggesting that God doesn’t really care for or love us.

Relate the flow of James 4:6-8 -

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

Apply Philippians 4:6-7 in light of what you’ve learned here. 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Steve Cornell

People who are discontent

People who are discontent with their lives tend to spread dis-contentment to otherwise grateful people.

If you spend too much time with the discontent, you’ll find it difficult to shake their negative spirit. 

Discontentment can sneak up on people when maturity gives way to melancholy and an overall disincentive or loss of motivation. But a life of diminished hope and deflated resignation can slowly become a life of justified pessimism or even dark cynicism. 

Run with positive, uplifting, and encouraging people to avoid the infectious poison of dis-contentment. God calls us to be extravagantly grateful! A moderately grateful person is not doing life in the will of God. 

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. ” (I Thessalonians 5:18). Spirit-filled people are “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
 

Redirect those who are negative toward more God-honoring perspectives on life. “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Corinthians 13:7). “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (NLT).

A few extra thoughts:

  • “…the rhythm of divine renewal beats in the pulse of a purposefully grateful heart” (Ellen Vaughn, Radical Gratitude).
  • “Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder” (G. K. Chesterton).
  • “We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is ‘good,’ because it is good, if ‘bad’ because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country” (C. S. Lewis).

What are you thankful for today?

Steve Cornell

For those who battle discouragement

If we’re not careful the setbacks and discouragements of life can begin to define our spirit. 

This often happens when maturity gives way to melancholy and leads to an overall disincentive, loss of motivation and diminished hope. But can setbacks and defeat actually lead to a deflated kind of resignation — even to cynicism and bitterness? Yes.     

A clouded perspective can easily turn into a dark and negative outlook that expects the worst most of the time. But always remember that pessimism and bitterness are infectious and defiling (see, Hebrews 12:15). They spread in ways that hurt others.

The way out

We must come to terms with the connection between loss of godly optimism and a decreased practice of gratitude. “It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.”

If you’ve lost the vital optimism of life, the path of recovery must include a renewed discipline of gratitude. To shake a spirit of discouragement, we must learn to, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). 

Spirit-filled people are “always giving thanks to God the Father foreverything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20).

Scriptures to encourage you

  • Isaiah 40:30-31 – “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)
  • II Corinthians 4:7-9 - “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (ESV)
  • II Corinthians 4:16-18 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (ESV)
  • II Corinthians 12:9-10 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
  • Romans 12:11-14 – “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (NIV)
  • Hebrews 11:6 - “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

What are you thankful for today?

A song to lift you

Steve Cornell

Always leading us back to grace

This morning, I was thinking about how easily our hearts drift into efforts to justify ourselves in comparison with others. In some sad and deeply deceptive way, we feel better when we think we are better than others. 

Although we confess to knowing God only through the grace we received in Christ, we continue to feel this ugly pull toward self-justification. We turn to a surveying spirit of comparison to feed our longing for approval and acceptance. 

When we worship together, we sing of our acceptance with God as “not from ourselves but the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9), yet we fall for narratives of comparison with our fellow-worshippers to satisfy sinful desires to be better than others.

Perhaps we’re not as audacious as the man who prayed, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers…” (Luke 18:11). Yet, in more subtle ways, our hearts fight a desire to be confident of our own righteousness and look down on everyone else.

How this must grieve the heart of our God! He “made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:21). What does it say to our Savior “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5)? 

Over many years of walking with God and serving Him, I’ve noticed how faithfully God smashes this stubborn idol of self-justification. We are called to “serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (I Peter 5:5-6).

God is always leading us back to grace to confess our unworthiness and to celebrate His mercy. This is where true service of God and others begins. 

God relentlessly leads us to find our confidence and comfort in the cross — not in some delusional and dangerous fantasy of being better than others. 

How I grieve when my heart looks to other sources of comfort!

Lead me to the cross.


It doesn’t feel good to be a Christian

Zac Northen wrote a perceptive piece over at Relevant Magazine titled, Can Inner Peace be Misleading?

His call is timely for many people:

“We need to develop the wisdom for living a life that is comfortable with being uncomfortable, and accept the fact that it sometimes doesn’t feel good to be a Christian on the straight and narrow.”

“… many people believe …. God’s main job is to make us feel good about ourselves and remain happy on our journey…”

“In this approach to following Jesus, there is no place for ambiguity, tension, struggle or any sense of anxiety. It’s a lot easier to believe that abundant life comes without pain and struggle. This mentality, however, directly opposes the type of self-denying life Jesus lived (Luke 22:42), and the inward dying and external pain Paul wrote about (2 Corinthians 4:7-12, Romans 5:3-5).”

C.S. Lewis explains in Mere Christianity, “Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: If you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth—only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with—and, in the end, despair.”

“We cannot follow Christ faithfully unless we are following Him into the world’s pain, tension and aching complexity. We must remember we follow a King who enters a broken world, then willingly chooses the Cross (John 10:17-18).”

For more on the subject of the role of inner peace, see: Inner Promptings?

Steve Cornell

A Closer look at Hope

shining_hope

The Nature of Christian Hope

1. Hope is a response – of those who have experienced the mercy of God’s loving intervention and by faith embraced the certainty of God’s promises for the future.
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  • I Peter 1:3-4 –

“In His great mercy God has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.”

  • Hebrews 6:18-19

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”

2. Hope is a choice – to focus on the certainty of God’s promised future
_
  • I Peter 1:13

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”

  • Colossians 3:1-2

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”

  • Philippians 3:19-21

In contrast with those “who set their minds on earthly things…. our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

3. Hope is a calling 

  • Romans 12:12

  “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

  • Psalm 42:5, 11

  “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,”

4. The prayers for hope

  • Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

  • Ephesians 1:16-19

“I do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” 

5. The certainty of hope

  • The hope of the believer is not wishful thinking but confident expectation; not based on probability, but on certainty. Not only a blessing in this life, but assurance of greater life in eternity (Romans 8:18). 
  • Hope flourishes where there is belief in the living God who acts and intervenes in human life and who can be trusted to keep his promises.

6. The reach of hope

  • I Corinthians 15:19

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

This life? Is there another one? Yes, resurrected life! If you just know Jesus so that you can have a better day or week or earthly life, pity you! The focus of hope is so much more!

  • Colossians 1:4-5

“because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel”

  • Colossians 1:27

“Christ in you, the hope of glory.

  • Titus 2:13-14

“….waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us…” 

7. The development of hope

  • Romans 5:2-5

“Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

  • Romans 8:24-25

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 

8. The purifying effect of hope

  • I John 3:2-3

“we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

9. The witness of hope

  • I Peter 3:14-15

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”

10. A loss of hope

  • Loss of hope involves a loss of perspective resulting from a loss of focus.
  • When we disconnect our ambitions, values and priorities from eternity, we lose focus and perspective. Hope (of the kind found in Scripture) traces a clear line from your life to:
    • the fame of God’s Name,
    • the coming of God’s Kingdom and
    • the doing of God’s Will — on earth as it is in heaven?
  • Hope is typically transferred to another source when no longer focused on eternity
    • Jeremiah 17:5-8

“This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.”

  • The remedy for a loss or transfer of hope is found in these verses:
    • II Corinthians 4:16-18

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Steve Cornell