Faith…Hope…Love

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Isaiah 30:19 fills us with faith, hope and love. “He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.” It is in faith that we know this to be true. God is both attentive to our needs and gracious in his responses to our cries. Indeed, it is in this faith that we cry out to the Lord when we are in need.

We know, in faith, that God is good. He is the source of all that is good. In him there is no evil. Because of this, we know that God’s intentions toward his children are always directed toward their good. His good comes in many forms. First and foremost, it is in his willing and gracious forgiveness for our sins against him and our neighbors. When we realize our guilt and our sorrow so overwhelms us that we cry out to God for his forgiveness, he is always gracious in hearing our cries, and he is quick to answer us with incomprehensible, personal love. The proof of this is in Jesus. Jesus revealed to us the true nature of God. In him we have come to know the Father. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

When we are in trouble spiritually, and realize it, we cry out for help from God and he hears us. He sends us the Comforter, the Advocate, his Holy Spirit. He guides us back to the straight and narrow path. This may happen directly, or through the loving care, support, and kindness of a friend, a loved one, or through the compassionate guidance of a pastor. God works, after all, in mysterious ways. He can use another to touch us. He answers us in our need, because he loves us. He knows us like a father and his concern is always for our spiritual welfare.

In times of illness, when we are depressed, or in physical pain, we cry out to the Lord. It is because of our faith in him that he responds to our cries without hesitation. He answers our prayers in many seen and unseen ways. He is present to us in our suffering. He graciously gives us the inner fortitude and the physical strength to endure. If out of our love for him, we offer up our suffering and join it to that of Jesus’, he will answer us with graces beyond our comprehension. God is with us! He will never abandon us. He showed us this truth when he came among us in the flesh, to suffer with and for us, even to give his life for us, in answer to our great need to be forgiven and to be reunited with him forever in his eternal kingdom. This is our God. This is why we can trust that he will answer our prayers when we cry out to him in faith.

Lord, hear our prayers. Be gracious to us in our need. We put our faith, our hope, and our love in you. Help us also to be your faithful instruments of care, compassion, and grace to those we find suffering around us in our daily lives. We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen!

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