The Hand We're Dealt
The Hand We're Dealt: Part Four
His Promise is Peace • November 25, 2018 • Mike Ashcraft
When our world comes crashing down, Christ is setting us up to experience more of His faithfulness. He is building trust within us. No matter our circumstances, an unshakable peace, and an inner calm can define our heart. His peace transcends our understanding. His promise is that we possess a hope that disappointment cannot erode. Because we have peace with God, we have the power to experience and exhibit the peace of God in any circumstance. But, this requires a fight. It entails trusting in Christ and not our circumstances. It involves taking control of our emotions. It requires setting our sights on a greater hope. We must take our eyes off of what we are worried about and see ourselves in the care of the one that satisfies. Peace is a gift, but we have to receive it.
The Hand We're Dealt: Part Three
Moments of Hope • November 18, 2018 • Mike Ashcraft
Our need for endurance means facing disappointment is inevitable. In this life, we will encounter circumstances that will make us want to give in or give up. Disappointment possesses the power to rattle our confidence - in others, in ourselves, and even in God. It erodes hope and with it, the fuel our soul needs in order to be fully alive. We can't throw away our confidence in His faithfulness. Rather than escape or avoid, we need to endure. Endurance is sufficient strength for the moment in the moment.
The Hand We're Dealt: Part Two
Disappointment As A Revealer • November 11, 2018 • Mike Ashcraft
Our disappointments reveal something deeper taking place inside of our heart. They expose where we’ve placed our hope for security, life, and meaning. The more we feed our desires, the stronger they become. Eventually, the idols of our heart become the focus of our inner and outer life. What we fail to realize is these ‘idols’ are incapable of leading to satisfaction because they were never designed to satisfy in the first place. Forsaken hope breaks our heart and crushes the object. Every longing we experience is a longing for life. At the core of these wants is a connection we are missing which can only be filled by God. We are designed to be satisfied by His steadfast love.
The Hand We're Dealt: Part One
Handling Expectations • November 4, 2018 • Mike Ashcraft
We have the capacity to never be disappointed again. A statement like this halts us in our tracks because it seems too good to be true. Encountering disappointment comes with the territory of living in a broken and hurting world filled with broken and hurt people. At some point in our lives, we’ve all been dealt a “bad hand.” We reason the only way to avoid disappointment is by lowering our expectations or throwing out our hopeful outlooks altogether. Our hope is often limited by the fear of disappointment. Because we don’t want to risk disappointment, we don’t risk hope. But, what if there was a different way - one that enabled us to encounter any circumstance and not be disappointed?