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We have a God who loves us.

Us can feel so general. We have a God who loves you! Who pursues you. Who takes the time to find you when you’re lost.

I’m not talking about the time of salvation. I’m talking about times we can’t seem to find our way; when we’re not sure what to hope in because hope seems so far removed.

I feel like God wants to restore our faith.

To give us that supernatural ability to believe. It’s the gift we need to move forward into our future and hope. Because His plans are good! Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.

When our foundation is rooted and grounded in God, His Word, and our love for Him - we have the capacity to go through hard times.

The capacity to let life circumstances develop and mature us. We don’t have to run anymore. We can plant our feet on solid ground and declare as Peter did, “Lord, I have no place to go, You have the words of eternal life.”

Peter had gone too far with God to go back. May we also go too far to go back that the bridges of our past are so demolished, there’s no way to return.

I’m grateful that God can transform our lives and take us from running to remaining.

In my past I was a runner. I ran from everything that felt painful, challenging, or fearful.

Have you ever run?

As a teenager, I was living in the Santa Cruz mountains. There was a party way back in the woods with a live band so I thought I would attend.

There were lots of people…BUT I was alone.

Some wild bearded guy asked if I wanted to do some drugs and I said, ”Sure.” (I was not a Christian yet, and had an alcohol/drug addiction)

So I went to his house.

I was so naïve in some ways and just trusted people. I liked people and I thought people liked me.

That night I was kidnapped.

I was locked into a house in the woods with a stranger who disrobed and was trying to force pills down my throat. That night I stood vigilant with my teeth clamped shut, while I ran around a couch. By morning he left the room briefly and I saw my opportunity. I ran to the phone and called a friend with my location. When he saw what I was doing, to my amazement and relief, he let me go. Later, when his truck rumbled through town, I found out he had just been released from prison.

It’s hard to even write about that time. But what is our life for if not to teach us and show us a better way.

What made me so vulnerable?

I was running to the wrong things.

I was isolated and alone. I was empty and void. I was not thinking clearly. By the grace of God, I was not killed. I was not raped.

I was preserved. Not because of myself but despite myself.

Because God knew one day, I would run to Him.

Dear ones, what are you running from and who are you running to?

It’s time to stop; to let God show you who you are; to be willing to let go of all the shame and guilt - all the rejection - and believe the truth.

You are loved!

Sometimes we need to take a moment, untie our joggers, and stop.

We need to realize we have a Father who knows us by name, who understands what we’ve been through, and is waiting for us to run to Him.

Even as Christians we can run to the wrong things, especially when we’re isolated.

As believers our greatest enemy is not sin. It’s discouragement, and discouragement can make us vulnerable.

Hebrews 11:1 says… “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”

What are some of those things you’re hoping for, waiting to see happen? Let’s name a few. We hope to experience the love, care, and presence of God. If we have kids, we hope they will grow up to know and follow the Lord. We hope for healing. We hope for our marriages to be strong, loving and safe. We hope we can make it financially. We hope we can be delivered from our hurts, our destructive behaviors, and our sin. We hope He sees us, hears us and speaks to us.

We hope God will move in powerful ways. We hope for miracles.

Let’s blow the dust off our unseen hopes and believe again. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy and what he is after is your faith. The ability we have to trust and believe that God personally cares.

Jesus offers us abundant life.

For those of you who feel your prayers are going unanswered, that life has been one prolong trial and test after another, once again, turn to Him.

And as you do, may your hope no longer be deferred but stirred.

~ Dori Bannister

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