Hope for the poor - 7 August 2020

Xanthe Hancox

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.Psalm 9:18

Psalm 9 is a psalm of thanksgiving. The first part acknowledges God's wonderful acts of deliverance in the past and this final segment requests God's ongoing protection and provision for the future. In verse 18, David comforts those who maintain their trust in God by reminding us that the poor will not be forgotten.

We see God’s tender heart for the poor again in the New Testament. In James 1:9 we read: “Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.” It seems strange to tell that to people who are suffering!

Those who experience poverty and trials now can take pride in it because in the world to come, in heaven, they are to have a greater reward because they endured such hardship in this life (James 1:12). Our God is a God of justice and he gives hope to those who live in humble circumstances.

After all, Jesus Christ himself was born in a dirty, dark stable for us. He came from all possible richness and power and become poor for us here on earth, so that he could save us from our sin (2 Corinthians 8:9). Because Jesus died for our sins and has saved us, he has made us richer than we could ever hope to be. We don’t necessarily have lots of money, but we are rich in a way that can never be taken away from us.

Whether you live in humble circumstances or you live in affluence, take heart. Because whether you are poor or rich, if you live a life honouring God, you will have a just reward in heaven.

The Bible Society of South Africa makes Bibles available free of charge in a responsible manner to those who cannot afford it. You can read more about the Bibles for the Poor project here.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that your eyes are not closed to the difficulties and problems I face, and that people in my community and around the world face. Thank you that the needy will not always be forgotten, but that you have prepared something better for those that love and trust you. Amen

Hoop vir die armes - 7 Augustus 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Waarlik, die behoeftiges word nie vir altyd vergeet nie, nie vir ewig sal die verwagting van dié wat in nood is, vrugteloos wees nie. Psalm 9:19

Psalm 9 is 'n dankpsalm. In die eerste gedeelte word God se wonderlike bevrydingsdade van die verlede erken en in hierdie finale gedeelte word daar gevra vir God se volgehoue beskerming en voorsiening in die toekoms. In vers 19 vertroos Dawid diegene wat op God vertrou deur hulle daaraan te herinner dat die armes nie vergeet word nie.

In die Nuwe Testament sien ons weer dat die Here 'n teer hart vir die armes het. In Jakobus 1:9 lees ons: "'n Gelowige wat arm is, moet hom daarin verheug dat hy sy aansien in God het" (Jakobus 1:9). Dit klink vreemd om dit aan mense wat ly te sê.

Diegene wat armoede en beproewings ondervind, kan gelukkig wees want in die lewe wat kom, in die hemel, sal hulle 'n veel groter beloning ontvang aangesien hulle reeds in hierdie lewe swaarkry beleef het. (Jakobus 1:12) Ons God is 'n regverdige God en Hy bring hoop aan diegene wat in armoede leef.

Per slot van rekening is Jesus in 'n vuil, donker stal vir ons gebore. Hy het van die grootste rykdom en krag gekom en arm geword vir ons hier op aarde, sodat Hy ons van ons sonde kon verlos. (2 Korintiërs 8:9) Aangesien Jesus vir ons sonde gesterf en ons verlos het, het Hy ons ryker gemaak as wat ons ooit kon hoop om te wees. Dit beteken nie noodwendig dat ons baie geld het nie, maar ons is ryker op 'n manier wat nooit van ons weggeneem kan word nie.

Of jy nou in nederige omstandighede of in weelde leef, skep moed. Want of jy nou ryk of arm is, as jy tot eer van die Here leef, wag daar 'n regverdige beloning op jou in die hemel.

Die Bybelgenootskap van Suid-Afrika stel op 'n verantwoordelike manier Bybels beskikbaar aan diegene wat dit nie kan bekostig nie. Lees gerus meer oor die Bybels vir die armes-projek hier.

Gebed: Hemelse Vader, dankie dat U nie u oë sluit vir al die probleme wat ek, my gemeenskap en mense regoor die wêreld ondervind nie. Ek dank U ook dat die armes nie vir ewig vergeet sal word nie, maar dat U iets veel beter voorberei het vir diegene wat U liefhet en vertrou. Amen

Abrahams hope - 6 August 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21

Abraham had hope even when there seemed to be no reason for hope. God had promised him a son, and from that son’s family would come a great nation. They would be so many that, like the stars in the sky, it would be impossible to count them (Genesis 15:4-5).

But time ticked on, Abraham became an old man, his wife Sarah became an old woman, and still God had not carried out his promise to him. Sarah even laughed when God repeated his promise to Abraham.

Despite this, Abraham chose to believe God and waited for God to carry out his promise. When Abraham was 100 years old, his wife Sarah gave birth to their son, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-5). The birth of Isaac brought great joy to Abraham and Sarah; but it was just the beginning of God’s promises to him. Most of the things that God promised to Abraham would not happen during Abraham’s life (Hebrews 11:13). Abraham was aware of that fact (Genesis 15:13-16), but he still continued to believe and to trust God.

We can believe our circumstances, or we can believe God.

Abraham and Sarah’s long years of disappointment at not being able to have a child ended as the joy of welcoming their son Isaac filled their hearts. God had indeed brought laughter and hope, the beginning of the fulfillment of his promise to make them a great nation (Genesis 12:2).

Prayer: Father, sometimes our hope seems so far-fetched that we struggle to believe in your promises. Forgive me for doubting that you are able to do all you have promised. Amen.

Abraham se hoop - 6 Augustus 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Toe daar geen hoop meer was nie, het Abraham nog gehoop en geglo, en so die vader van baie nasies geword volgens die belofte: “So sal jou nageslag wees.” Al was hy sowat honderd jaar en al het hy dus goed besef dat sy liggaam reeds gedaan was en dat Sara te oud was om kinders te hê, het sy geloof nie verswak nie. Hy het nie in ongeloof begin twyfel aan die belofte van God nie, maar hy is in sy geloof versterk en het aan God die eer gegee. Hy was ook ten volle daarvan oortuig dat God mag het om te doen wat Hy beloof het. Romeine 4:18-21

Abraham het nog gehoop selfs toe daar klaarblyklik geen rede tot hoop meer was nie. God het hom 'n seun beloof van wie daar 'n groot nasie sou voortspruit. Hulle sou so baie wees dat, soos die sterre in die hemel, dit nie moontlik sou wees om hulle te tel nie. (Genesis 15:4-5)

Maar die tyd het verbygegaan en Abraham het oud geword. Sy vrou, Sara, was ook oud en steeds het God nie sy belofte aan Abraham gestand gedoen nie. Sara het selfs gelag toe God sy belofte aan Abraham herhaal het.

Ten spyte hiervan, het Abraham gekies om God te glo en op Hom gewag om sy belofte uit te voer. Toe Abraham 100 jaar oud was het Sara geboorte gegee aan hulle seun, Isak. (Genesis 21:1-5) Die geboorte van Isak het vir Abraham en Sara groot blydskap gebring, maar dit was slegs die begin van God se belofte aan hom. Die meeste van die dinge wat God aan Abraham beloof het, sou nie gedurende sy leeftyd gebeur nie (Hebreërs 11:13). Abraham was daarvan bewus (Genesis 15:13-16), maar nogtans het hy geglo en God vertrou.

Ons kan in ons omstandighede glo, of ons kan in God glo.

Abraham en Sara se jare van teleurstelling omdat hulle nie 'n kind kon hê nie, is beëindig toe die vreugde van die koms van hulle seun, Isak, hulle harte gevul het. God het werklik blydskap en hoop gebring, die begin van die vervulling van sy belofte om hulle 'n groot nasie te maak (Genesis 12:2).

Gebed: Vader, soms is ons hoop so vergesog dat ons sukkel om u beloftes te glo. Vergewe my dat ek soms twyfel dat dit vir U moontlik is om alles wat U beloof het, te doen. Amen

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