Devotion and a New Hope Update

February 12, 2018

Psalm 136:13-16 (NIV)

13 to him who divided the Red Sea, His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.

The story of how God led the Jews out of Egypt has been told for thousands of years. The Old Testament is full of reminders of how God showed up in the most difficult situations to provide for His people. God would often use His Word to point back to the “wilderness days” of the Jews and say that since He had taken care of them before, He was fully capable of doing it again.

But the story of the Jews being led out of Egypt is not full of mountaintop experiences. This is evidenced by our Scripture from today. Psalm 136 points out that God’s Love endures forever, and then it lists all of the ways God’s Love was shown to the Jews. He divided the Red Sea, he led the Jews through it on dry land, he swept Pharaoh’s army away when they tried to follow the Jews. In each of those cases, you could clearly see that God’s Love endured forever. But it is verse 16 that may cause some readers to pause.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.

Let’s take a closer look at this verse. The Jews would spend 40 years in the wilderness. Their behavior was the main cause of this journey because they could have had quicker access to the Promised Land if they would have trusted in the Lord, but nonetheless, there they were, struggling in the wilderness. How was God’s Love enduring forever in this circumstance?

The answer is that he never left them. He led them. Even though the Israelites pushed back whenever they could, and at points, demanded that they be allowed to return to Egyptian slavery, God never left them. Their actions led to their wilderness, but despite that, God provided food provisions, kept them safe, and even made sure their shoes wouldn’t wear out from all the walking. Why? His Love endures forever.

You may feel like you’re in your own private wilderness right now, not sure of how you will ever get out of it. Rest assured, you are not walking through it alone. God’s Love endures forever, and that love is directly pointed at you right now. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. Turn your wilderness journey over to God right now. Let Him lead you toward your new Promised Land.

His Love endures forever.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I am tired of feeling dry and empty in this wilderness. I have exhausted myself by trying to control everything. I am ready to take a backseat to Your leadership. I know that you are the only one who can take me to better days ahead. I place my complete faith and trust in you to do it. You did it for your chosen people, and I know you can do it for me. Your love endures forever. In Jesus Name, Amen.

New Hope News
I have been excited to see all of the updating work being done in various areas of the church. Ms. Lauren Cochran, our Children’s Director, recently renamed her program to New Hope Kids, and had a nice logo made to go along with it.

Work has also begun in the Fellowship Hall to update the look of the Children’s Ministry. Most of you will see the updates when we have our quarterly Town Hall meeting on March 11, but I would encourage you to walk down and take a look before that. The backyard, wooded theme gives a warm, welcoming feel to the kids. I am excited to see the finished product, but for now, here’s a picture of the progress.

Over the next few months, you will begin to see updating and maintenance work happening with many external features of the church. We will be improving our exterior lighting around the Children’s Ministry entrances. We will also be giving a fresh new look to our rusted over parking lot light poles. We will even have an opportunity to refresh the parking lot itself when the weather is warmer. This, and many more updates are coming to the church, and it’s all because of the Lord’s faithful provision.

Blessings to you this week, (His Love Endures Forever)

Pastor Josh