Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13

The first jolting text came Sunday at noon. A dear young cousin had fallen in church and couldn’t speak, couldn’t move. She was flighted for life. Details trickled in all afternoon. Brain surgery soon. A possible stroke? By bedtime, Stable now. Still, please pray for Hope

Inside Out

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45

What’s inside our cup comes out when we spill. If my mug’s full of coffee it’s coffee that splashes, not tea. If my cup full of water is shaken, then water, not milk’s what you’ll see. When the cup spills, its contents are exposed. 

I know spills. Coffee stains spot our living room carpet. Drowsy at dawn, I stepped on a right-side up Lego and stumbled and spilled. Last Monday four hours of work didn’t save and I spilled. The suddenness of the provocation, said Lewis, doesn’t create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. 

Whenever a heart is full, full to the brim of a thing- of pride and self, or hope and faith-it will show. Because when a full thing is shaken it will overflow. For better or worse, when we’re shaken up and jostled about, insides spill. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains this so well, how being full of one thing matters most.

We think, I’m not an angry person, until we get jostled, right? Then out come attitudes, and these words that come spewing out. We think, Ooh! Maybe I am an angry person. I didn’t realize it! When we get shaken, we find out what we’re full of, and what we’re filled with is what flows out in those crisis moments. 

It’s the Holy Spirit, and the fullness of the Spirit, that enabled Stephen to suffer for Christnot just to serve, not just to speak, but also to suffer. When Stephen was threatened, he didn’t retaliate. In Acts 7:54-55 we see: When they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Do You Bleed Bibline? 

Prick him anywhere-his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting it, for his very soul is full of the word of God.  -C.H. Spurgeon 

But it can’t pour out if it wasn’t put in. Even for Stephen, such fullness was a gift given with discipline. He did-we must-still get dressed each day. We must put off our old self and put on Christ’s new. We speak in Psalms, hymns and songs and giving thanks to God are filled. 

So what comes out of your when you’re pricked or shaken and spill? Do words sill out that show we trust God is still good? Do we grateful words like Thomas Watson’s flow? Do we spill faithful words like Job’s? If we have not what we desire, yet we have more than we deserve. The Lord gives and the Lord takes and blessed be the name of the Lord.

It’s absolutely unnatural to be filled like that. Such gracious words don’t bubble out from a muddy fountain. We can’t just drill up this kind of faith, these words of hope, when we get shaken and spill. 

No, the kind of full happens daily, as we work out while He works in. We bop the sinful self every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, for our whole lives long, Lewis said. We count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. We know we’ve been crucified with Christ and no longer live and that Christ, our hope of glory, is alive inside.  

Then, filled like that with His fullness, hope will overflow.

Hope Overflows

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and hope in believing that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:4

With this quake, this awful shake, we glimpsed our dear cousin’s heart. A few days after the jolt, her older sister sent this note:

The last couple of days have been a bit of a blur to us. Thank you for those of you who have been praying for my sister. Hope had a stroke and is hospitalized in Madison.  

We are grateful that she is able to converse with us, albeit slowly at times. She is very weak…

Thank you for your prayer covering for the family. As Hope has whispered to us many times over the last three days, “God is good.”

Hope’s whisper shouts. Her sacrifice of praise puts it all in perspective: Life is hard and God is goodHope’s whisper stirs my selfish soul, and reminds me of these truths we know: 

That we will be shaken and jostled,
That we all will be spilled;
That precious words of praise tip out,
When with the God of hope we’re filled. 

*   *   *   *   * 

But this I recall to mind and therefore I have hope. 
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses never cease. His mercies never fail.

They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. 
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in him.’

Lamentations 3:21-24

10/17/15-As I write, I know Hope’s is grateful for your prayers for her doctors and her recovery and for comfort and strength for her husband, children and family. 

*Spoken of John Bunyan in Mr. Spurgeon as a Literary Man,” in The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, Compiled from His Letters, Diaries, and Records by His Wife and Private Secretary, vol. 4, 1878-1892, p. 268.

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  1. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all Your goodness! Please heal Hope and comfort her family as they journey through this season. Place Your wisdom and knowledge with Hope's medical team. And let us all remember "Upu are Good." In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

  2. Thank you, Michelle. Your prayers mean a lot. God delights in we who fear him, who put our hope in his unfailing love. Hope's family does, we do. God be praised!

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