Hope in Renewal
Written By: AnneMarie Hoopes
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Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise
has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
- Joshua 24:14 NIV
Since the pandemic began in 2020, many of us can probably agree with the fact that social distancing and quarantining were very challenging at times. Additionally, many of us were forced to adapt to a new type of “normal” lifestyle. Sometimes I felt like my faith was being tested and I even felt distant from God too. However, in a time like this, I had to remind myself of God’s faithfulness and trust that He would provide a sense of hope in renewal.
A few Sundays ago, I attended a small church service down the street from my house. Before it started, I was feeling very overwhelmed and distracted from all the business that I was experiencing in my life. I sat in my pew and wrestled with a few personal concerns of mine. Additionally, I was discouraged about the many different inconveniences that the pandemic had caused for the world as a whole. Also, it had been a while since I had gone to church in-person, and I noticed how much I missed my quiet time spent with God and my church community. During communion, I felt God’s holy presence as I shared with Him what was on my heart. After the service had ended, I felt a new sense of hope in renewal that God would take care of my worries.
Sometimes we need God's truths to wash over us in order to be able to stand against the lies. God has been teaching me that together we are a team, and that He values my personal time spent with Him. Additionally, I have been learning that if we keep Him at the center of our hearts, our lives become so much more fulfilling. As we turn to the Lord, we can rest in the covenant promises that He has made with us. Isn’t it amazing to think about how He has given us all that we need to live a life of Godliness? He also establishes the covenants and promises and we get the opportunity to respond!
What exactly is a covenant? A covenant is a solemn and binding agreement or promise that is made by one, two, or more individuals. In the book of Joshua, we see that Joshua makes a covenant with the people (berinth) in Shechem, where he takes a large stone and sets it up under an oak by the sanctuary of Yaweh (Joshua 24:25-26 NIV). He also leads the Israelites across the Jordan River and takes possession of the promised land and makes them promise to obey God’s laws. Today, probably one of the closest things that exemplifies a covenant in our society is marriage. "But you say, 'Why does he not?' Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant’" (Malachi 2:14-15 NIV).
Another major theme within the book of Joshua is God’s sovereignty and the importance of remaining loyal to Him. As Christians, sometimes we need a reminder that God is above all else. When we believe in our heart, we receive God’s eternal salvation and accept that He has the leading role in our lives.
1. Can you think of a time where God provided a sense of hope in renewal in your life?
2. Is there anything in your life that is hindering you from seeking and trusting in God’s promises?
3. What is a covenant?
Heavenly father, thank You for meeting us right where we are and for walking with us daily. Please help us to remember Your goodness and light and to trust in Your precious and holy promises that You have for each of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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