When we get bogged down by life’s problems and heartaches, it can be difficult to find hope, let alone be a hopelifter for someone else. I have experienced many painful situations when I wondered where God was. I felt so utterly alone in the darkness of my own pain. There’s a saying: “God won’t give you more than you can handle” or “This is a time of great learning through His great stretching.” To be completely honest, sometimes that wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
According to the dictionary, “Hope is commonly used to mean a wish: its strength is the strength of the person’s desire.” But in the Bible, hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in His faithfulness. I have learned to live my life grounded in faith and driven by the biblical definition of hope.
As women, we feel deeply, we love deeply and sometimes we hurt deeply. Our love for our children, spouse, family members and friends can sometimes be painful. God created us with the ability to love so deeply that there are moments when we feel as though we might break. And there might be a season when we just feel broken. Life can be very difficult. Financial problems, employment problems, family problems feel like they will over whelm us. How do we find hope in these moments? We need to remember that hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is in His faithfulness. We find Hope in God’s faithfulness and promises. We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 (NIV): “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” Paul’s reassurance is that we will be together with the Lord forever. We will suddenly and powerfully be brought together in the presence of God.
Imagine millions of beautiful butterflies rising together in the sky. That’s what it will be like. We will be reunited with those who have fallen asleep before us. As deeply and as strongly as we love, the Lord’s love for us is even deeper and stronger. Imagine Paul speaking to you, as he has seen the many hardships and heartbreaks you and I have endured. “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess.1:3 (NIV).
There are four stages in the life of a butterfly. At what stage are you now? The first stage is the egg similar to when we first hear about the message of God’s great love for us. As we feed on His Word, we mature as does the caterpillar. As we grow, God surrounds us with His continued love and changes us to be more like Him. For the butterfly this is the chrysalis stage. When we are fully mature, we become a beautiful butterfly. He is waiting for us to become one of the million butterflies that rise to the sky to spend eternity with Him. With eyes focused on God, hearts and hands dedicated to His work, we can be the example of grace, mercy and forgiveness towards others. We can live our lives grounded in faith and driven by hope. When we live in this way, we can become Hopelifters to all we encounter daily.
The Four Stages of a Butterfly
Put together a PowerPoint presentation of the four stages of the life of a butterfly. Information can be found on the Internet.
Create a Word Search using words associated with butterflies: Check the Internet for help in putting this together.
For easy butterfly crafts check Pinterest.