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Hope

2 Corinthians 9:8 (New International Version)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

I prayed for my friend Hope, whose name the enemy has assaulted with all of his might for the past three months. She fell seriously ill in October and has been in hospital since then, battling cancer, lung problems and infections.

Reaching across to the small table beside the wingback chair in which I was curled up, I picked up my weighty, red covered Bible. David's psalms had come to mind as I prayed, so that was the book I opened to, quite expecting to find myself reading of pits and despair--David's laments in dark places.

Instead I opened to psalms (96-100), which spoke and sang of God's power, might and justice; and David's thankfulness.

Next I opened Amy Carmichael's Edges of His Ways, where she wrote on 2 Corinthians 9:8 and God's all sufficiency. She wrote, "All means all, not some; aways means always, not sometimes. Lord, help us today to live upon this 'all.'"

I read more of Mark Buchanan's The Rest of God , a portion about Paul and Silas in jail in Philippi . They stayed when the jail doors were opened by an earthquake and not just they, but the others there with them. "We are all here," they said to the distraught jailer.

Mark Buchanan suggests that the reason the other prisoners didn't run for freedom when their chains fell off and the doors flew open, was that they had heard Paul and Silas singing praises to God all evening, even in though they had been brutally beaten and imprisoned; and they wanted the God that these men knew, more than freedom.

How does God do this--weave so many separate things into a consistent message of hope and victory, even in a place where a physical assault has taken place and freedom been stripped away? I don't know, but he does...he does.

Psalm 100 (New Living Translation)
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation
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