By: CJ Peterson
They say that a “man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.” Hope can be the difference between success and failure. You can withstand so much if you know you have people who support you and are looking out for you. You can face just about anything, as long as you don’t lose the hope that you can succeed. Even hope and faith as tiny as a mustard seed can produce mountainous amounts of blessings.
Now, does that mean you will be successful at everything you go after? Absolutely not. As Ralph Nader said, “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” If you continue to persevere, learning from your failures, you will eventually succeed. Whether it’s running, walking, or crawling…progress is progress. There are a couple of people I am currently working with right now, who I have had to repeatedly remind them that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Take things a little at time. As it is often said, “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins…not through strength, but through persistence. Persistence and hope are both keys to success.
Even in the darkest rooms, a tiny candle can shed light. The lighthouse that sends its light to warn sailors of dangerous areas or points of navigation, are only lit by a 250-1000 watt light bulb, but can be seen anywhere from 14-19 miles away. The difference? The light reflects off mirrors. Is your ‘light’ reflecting to help others? Are you being an encouragement to those around you?
In Matthew 5:14-16, it reminds us that as Christians, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”” Is your spiritual light reflecting off of the Father? Are you sharing your light to help those lost in darkness? In these dark times, we need to reflect the light, love, and life of Jesus to the world.
Who is your light? Where does it come from? As Christians, John 8:12 tells us, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”” No matter what you are going through, if you have Jesus in your life and heart, the darkness can never overtake you. Stay focused on Him, and He will bring you through whatever life brings. Let Him be your hope and strength. When you don’t think you can hold on any longer, let Him carry you. He never said life would be easy, nothing good in life ever is, but He did say that He would never leave you.
Some people aren’t sure how to take that first step. They’re afraid or self-conscious about what making such a drastic life change will do to their lifestyle. Can they trust someone they can’t readily see? Some are nervous on what to say to the Lord God Almighty in prayer. He knows your heart. Just have an honest and open conversation with Him, and then let Him do the rest. Read His Words in the Bible, allowing them to help guide and direct your steps. He placed the Bible in the world for a reason. B.I.B.L.E. is sometimes described as “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” You want an owner’s manual to life? There you go!
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Let Him show you what purpose He has placed you on this earth for. It may not necessarily be what you want, or what you planned, but I promise you that you will be blessed if you trust Him and let Him show you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Does that sound like someone who intends to destroy you or help you?
I want to encourage you to stay focused on Jesus. Be the stream, not the rock. Pray for endurance. Know the Lord has a plan. And finally, be a reflection of hope to the world. Let them know where your hope, faith, and trust lies, sharing the light and hope with them.
About the Author:
I was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!
While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.
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