Tag Archives: abide

21 Day Experiment-Day 7

Even before I believed in Jesus, I knew there was a great divide between those who followed Him and those who did not. As I’ve shared earlier, I was firmly in the “not” camp. Christians seemed so… well…needy. I knew I’d have to admit I was broken before I could accept Jesus as my Savior. And I repeat—I did not want to see myself as needy. Can anyone relate?

Welcome to day seven of our 21 Day Experiment. In John 7, Jesus is speaking at a Jewish Festival. All of a sudden He stands up and singles out the “needy” ones:

Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) (John 7:37-39 NLT).

Jesus spoke of “living water” only twice. The first time was in John 4. He was sitting by a well when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink. She was shocked because he was a Jew—everyone knew Jews hated Samaritans. Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

“Thirsty” is just another word for needy. Jesus promises, not a cup, but a river to fill us to overflowing. “Living water” reminds me of rushing rapids. White water—rough, wild, extravagant. Beyond my need, expectations, or imagination. That’s how Jesus describes the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit is a person. Not an “it.” The Bible says He dwells in us once we invite Jesus to be our Savior. That means we get to talk to God, by way of the Holy Spirit. We train our heart to recognize His voice—most often a whisper.

To be a doer of the Word means I first admit I am thirsty. Next, I’m going to be intentional to slow myself down today so I can reflect on this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit.  It helps to eliminate hurry if I want to hear His voice.

The Bible also encourages us to commune with the Holy Spirit.  Listen to His nudges—they’re always consistent with Scripture. They’re personal—just for you. The Holy Spirit knows your need. He speaks your language.

Prayer: Lord, I’m thankful for Your gift of the Holy Spirit. You gave this gift so I could have a relationship—an intimate friendship with You—for all eternity.

May the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you (2 Corinthians 13:14 MSG).

30 Days of Hopeful-Day 4

We wait in hope for the LORD (Psalm 33:20). 

I’m glad you’ve joined us for 30 Days of Hopeful.   I am always on the lookout for secrets when it comes to learning to persevere with hope.  My greatest lessons have not come through discipline or fervor—but rather through weakness. I’ve often shared how I learned to hold onto hope when my husband and I battled through years of infertility before our children were born.

Waiting for the deepest longings of our heart is not what I’d call fun. Many of you know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you have prayed and prayed about something. You’ve heard God whisper to you to keep believing. And yet the answer still hasn’t come.

But a time of waiting can become a season when our “hope muscles” have a chance to grow. The Bible gives plenty of encouragement about how to wait with hope:  “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,  even as we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:20-22).

During my season of waiting, I learned to strengthen myself on the promises of God’s Word. I held tightly to verses about healing—too many to count—day after day, month after month, year after year. I learned to hear God’s whispers of encouragement and trust His character, even when my circumstances seemed hopeless. In short, I gained strength through the secret of what the apostle John called “abiding in Christ” (John 15:7).

If you’re in your own waiting room right now, be encouraged by the words of 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon: “The longer the blessing is in coming, the richer it will be when it arrives. That which is gained speedily by a single prayer is sometimes only a second-rate blessing; but that which is gained after many a desperate tug and many an awful struggle is a full-weighted and precious blessing.” 

So wait with hope, dear friend.  Your blessing my be nearer than you can imagine.



Waiting for Hope

If we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Romans 8:25 ESV).

 Are you waiting for something? Maybe it’s the fulfillment of a dream or the resolution of a long-standing problem.  You’re waiting for a spouse, or a baby, or a wayward child to come home.  Or you’re anxiously awaiting a medical diagnosis, waiting for healing, waiting for hope.  Whatever you’re waiting for, I’m sure you’d agree that waiting is hard work.

When we wait, our hearts hope for something we can’t see.  There’s no earthly guarantee that what we hope for will ever come to pass.  We risk disappointment.  That’s why hope can be scary.  It requires both faith and courage.

Many of us decide that hope is too dangerous, so we play it safe. Better to lower our expectations. Adjust to life without dreams. Be a good sport. The problem with playing it safe is that we close ourselves off to the life giving beauty of hope and the rewards of patience.

The Bible encourages us to wait for hope “with patience” (Romans 8:25).  Instead of patience, some translations use the word endurance. What does it mean to wait with endurance?  We discover an interesting secret by looking at the Greek word for endure, hypomeno.  It actually comes from two words:  hypo or “under” and meno or “abide.”  Meno is the same word Jesus uses when He encourages us to abide in him (John 15:7).  So hypomeno, or endure is to “abide under” a time of trial as we wait for hope.

Bottom line?  We learn to stand our ground as we “abide under” our circumstances and “abide in” Christ during our times of waiting.   Abiding will help us hold onto hope as we wait with endurance.

Will you be able to stand your ground as you wait for hope?  It’s a muscular journey and you can’t endure apart from Jesus.  Resolve to abide in Him daily.  Rely on the Holy Spirit. Stay filled up with God’s Word.  Wait for hope with endurance. 

Ponder this thought: Abiding in Jesus helps you endure as you wait for hope. 

Day Nineteen: Finish Strong

It’s Day Nineteen of our 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed.  So glad you’ve stayed with us for the  final lap!  Lots has happened during our time of fasting and prayer. Naghmeh calls her unexpected meeting with President Obama a “miracle.” I agree and rejoice with her.  Now we need another miracle to bring Saeed home!  Many of you are fervently praying that our President will not be able to forget their faces, nor rest until he brings Saeed back to his family.

Some of you have shared your own stories of how this 21 Day Fast has opened doors and given you fresh perspective into your problem areas.  Now it’s important to remain alert and watchful to guard the ground we’ve gained.  The enemy is always looking for a breech in our wall.  No wonder we bump into trouble at times.

It’s not like Jesus didn’t warn us.  “In this world you will have trouble,  but take heart,” He reminds us.  “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).   Friends, we need to stay connected to Jesus if we hope to stand our ground when trouble hits.

To stand one’s ground is to endure .  The word endure comes from two words:  hypo or “under”, and meno, “to remain.”   Meno is the same word Jesus uses when He tells us to abide in him (John 15:7).  So to endure is to “remain under”  a painful  trial with grace.   It’s bearing up under a load of trouble with a peaceful mind.

Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen Naghmeh and Pastor Saeed so they can continue to stand their ground.  To abide in Jesus daily.  To endure until he is released.

That’s also my prayer for all of us during these last three days of our fast.  May we be strengthened to stand our ground,.  We can’t endure apart from Jesus, so we must abide in Him daily.  Rely on the Holy Spirit. Stay filled up with God’s Word.

And remember: If we abide when it’s light,  we’ll be able to endure in the dark.  




How often I go to God with big prayer requests. For family, for friends, for places and people who need God’s help. I believe God answers prayer. The Bible encourages us to ask God for what we need. We’re to go boldly and often to God with our heartfelt desires (Philippians 4:6,7).

But in John 15, Jesus points us to our relationship with Him as the starting point for prayer. Calling Himself the “true vine,” He reminds us that we’re His branches. Branches can’t bear fruit if disconnected from the vine.

In my busy, noisy world, I’m likely to blow right past the relationship with Jesus in my prayer quest. Jesus stops me dead in my tracks with these words. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7).

Abide is from the Greek word meno, which means to “remain or dwell.” I’m to make my home in Jesus. I’m to plant myself in Him and His words in me. This sets up the condition for faithful living as well as answered prayer. When I abide in Him, I’m more likely to be praying His will. Powerful words. Powerful reminder.

I’m struck by the fact that Jesus uses the word abide eleven times in the first ten verses of John 15. If I tell my kids something eleven times, you can bet I mean it!

So what does abiding look like for me practically? Here are a few thoughts:

1. I carve out time to spend in God’s Word each morning.  I plant His Word in my heart.  Then, I try keep in step with His leading and be alert to His whispers throughout my day. I try to guard myself against jumping ahead of His leading.

2. I’m fierce with my Sabbath. Humans need to come apart or we “come apart.” Few voices these days encourage us to take time off to rest, reflect, and abide.

3. When I abide in Jesus, I may have to let a few of life’s “outer things” slide a bit.  Care of the soul may not be as obvious as care of my image.

And if we abide in Jesus? “This is to my Father’s glory,” He reminds us, “that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

How about you? What helps you to abide in Christ? He’s worth your best energy. Let’s ponder that today.