Hope River Church Blog

Fruitology: Elements of a Transformed Life - Patience Scripture from 7/16/2017

Posted by Matt Weigle on Sunday, July 23, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

(NIV unless otherwise noted)

Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Isaiah 9:6 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalm 119:165 - Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Matthew 22:36-40 - “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Ephesians 2:12-18 - …remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Romans 8:1-2 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Colossians 3:15 - Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Romans 14:17-19 – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Ephesians 4:3 - Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Matthew 10:34-36 - “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law... a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’"

1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:14 - Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Romans 12:17-21 - Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Isaiah 54:10 – Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Matthew 26:36-46 - Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


The Storm

Posted by Dean Olson on Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 8:18 AM


I come by my love of storms quite honestly. Whenever we felt the winds growing stronger and the sky was getting darker, my mom and sisters and I would gather on the front porch and watch as the sky lit up with lightening and the trees swayed in the yard.  When the thunder boomed we would cover our ears and hide our faces but we stayed there on that porch as long as we could, enjoying the thrill of our own bravery.

And, still, even today as I was cooking dinner and I looked out the window to see the sky darkening and the wind whipping the jungle of weeds in our yard, I had to stop and run onto the porch so I could watch the storm roll in. Standing there with the wind and the rain and the thunder was where I needed to be in that moment.

Tonight I’m thinking about that and wondering what it is about a storm that draws me in so strongly that I have to stop and watch. Not just watch but be right in it. It’s so many things really…

it’s the display of power and me feeling so small

it’s the wind blowing in my face and me feeling so free

it’s the thunder crashing and me feeling so brave

it’s the rain letting loose and me feeling refreshed

it’s the shelter of my porch and me feeling safe.

One storm, coming in so quick and then gone, and it leaves me feeling changed, better, stronger.

raining hands


I’ve seen my share of real storms but it’s the storms of life that have left the biggest mark in my life. I can’t say that when I see those kind of storms coming I run out to meet them with such eagerness. No, these are the storms that make me want to hide under the covers until it passes. But life isn’t like that. Try as we might, there are some storms that we have to face head-on and I’ve seen my share of these also.

And while I may never look forward to them, I can face them and I find that with each one I feel a little stronger. I’m learning to look at them for what they are…life. Life is full of storms and we can run from them, be angry about them, or learn from them. Here are some of the things I am learning.

A storm helps me to grow. I have been studying and memorizing the words of James 1:2-4 in the last several weeks, Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. It’s hard to look at my storms and see them as a gift. At least the kind of gift I don’t want to return unopened.  But they are really. When I look back at the storms I’ve come through I know that I’m a different and better person because I weathered them.  And, you know, I want to be mature in my faith. I don’t want to be found deficient in any way.  I want people to be able to look at me in the midst of my storms and see my faith and its true colors and not find me lacking. So I’m learning to let the storms work in me.  And it’s hard. But worth it.

Storms force me to run for cover.  When it storms we all look for shelter, don’t we?  We look for a safe place to land and wait it out. And that’s what happens when the storms come in my life.  I find myself running for protection and I always find it in the same place; He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection (Psalm 91:4). I run to the shelter of His wings and there I find my safe place. I remind myself of His promises and His faithfulness and protection in the past. And as I hide myself in Him I find comfort and rest in the midst of the raging storms.

Storms show the glory of the creator.  When we watch a storm we can’t help but be in awe of the sheer strength, the beauty, the power. When we look at the storms of life we see the same. We see the way He works in us and through us and beyond us and we are in awe of His power to calm us in the midst of the worst of the storm.  And, in the end, His glory will be on display. Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place.  I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.‘”(John 12:27-28)   All around me is the evidence of His work in my life, Him using the storms to bring out His beauty in me. If we let Him do His work in us, we become the rainbows, symbols of His glory and faithfulness to those looking for hope in their storms.

Praise you in this storm


There is no way to escape the storms and there is no way to soften the blows. Storms are hard. Storms are scary. Storms are powerful. But, in the midst of the storm, we can praise the One who is more powerful. We can thank Him for what He is doing in us and for us and through us as we walk through the storm. You are strong and He is stronger.

 -written by Stacey Olson


Posted on Sunday, August 2, 2015 @ 8:54 PM -
Very good, storms of life do grow us.
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We Are Not Consumed

Posted by Statia Olson on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

I feel as if the hurt is consuming me. These were the words I spoke recently to a friend about a painful situation in my life. As I said them out loud the weight of it overwhelmed me. I laid in bed that night once again going over the circumstance. Trying to make sense out of the senselessness that results from living in a broken world with broken people. And once again I was consumed by it all. In the darkness of the room and my own thoughts came a small voice... you are not consumed... you are not consumed... you are not consumed... you are not consumed. It started as a whisper in my head and ended as a triumphal shout. I knew it was from one of my favorite scriptures so I had to turn on the light and read it right then.

 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

We are not consumed. Why? Because of His great love for us. We can have hope because He loves us and sees everything that is happening to us. He has compassion on us and is faithful to us. He gives us a fresh start every morning.


I turned out the light and laid back down in the darkness to let these truths consume me. And my mind wandered...


Three men thrown into a fiery furnace. Three men who chose to obey God over man, knowing that they would face the flames, but they trusted in His great love for them. Three men became four as they walked through the flames untouched. God's very presence was with them that day. They were not consumed. (Daniel 3)


A bush burning in the desert. Flames bursting from it yet the leaves not burned up. Moses has to go closer to see how this could be happening and the voice of God comes out of the fire. God's presence is there. God is getting our attention. He is there. And the bush is not consumed. (Exodus 3 )


What can we learn from a fiery furnace and a burning bush? We can learn that God's presence in our lives will protect us from the fires in our lives. We don't have to be consumed by worry, anger, hurt, anxiety, or any circumstance. We can allow His great love to consume us and His grace to saturate us so that when the flames come we are left untouched.


So, what is consuming you today? Instead of looking at the flames around you, listen to the Fire within you.

Life is Messy

Posted by Statia Olson on Monday, September 8, 2014 @ 3:04 PM

As I was washing the dishes for the second time today and thinking that I needed to go switch laundry for the third time, I had this thought… 

Sometimes it seems as if my life is just a series of messes. 

Seriously, I feel like I am constantly cleaning up a mess, looking at a mess, apologizing for a mess, thinking about a mess… it feels endless and hopeless. And I look at it all and wish that I could just, for once, have it all cleaned up and have it stay that way.  For a very, very long time. 

But then I remember that those messes aren’t just messes.  They are the reminder of a life that is being lived with people that I love.  The dishes that I wash were used to share a meal and conversation together.  The toys that I pick up were played with by a little girl and her daddy.  The books and papers that I am forever cleaning off the dining room table are tools to help my teenage daughter learn and grow.  The socks that never seem to make it to the hamper are worn by my husband who works hard and long to take care of his family and the ones God has placed in his care. 

 Sometimes messes remind us that life is being lived and people are being loved.

As I was thinking about all of this it occurred to me that it isn’t just my home that gets messy.  My life can be really messy.  There is hurt, rejection, disappointment. And grief.  It can be so overwhelming at times…

Sometimes it seems as if my life is just a series of messes.

And sometimes I really want to run away from it all.  Run from all the hurts and disappointments and worries. I want to go somewhere where life won’t be quite so messy.  My heart hurts so much from it all and it seems just too much.

But then I remember that those hurts and disappointments, even the rejection- they come from loving people.  They come from relationships.  The truth is that if you have any sort of relationship you take the risk of being hurt or rejected or misunderstood.   But the alternative is to live in isolation, to play it safe.  Relationships can be hard but they are what life is about.  For every hurt, there are a multitude of blessings.  People help us to grow.  They encourage us.  They love us in spite of ourselves. 

Sometimes messes remind us that life is about relationship and relationships are messy.

I can’t avoid the fact that most of the messes in my life are the result of my own messiness.  I am a work in progress.  I feel like I am constantly cleaning up my own messes.  When I make progress in one area I realize I’ve neglected another.  It can be so discouraging…

Sometimes can be such a mess.

I get so frustrated with myself for making the same mistakes over and over.  I try so hard to clean myself up and get it right.  I spend so much energy trying to improve myself.  But then I am reminded that it is impossible to fix my own messiness.  I am reminded that I am in constant need of a Savior.  He is the only one who can clean me up and make me right.  My messiness leads me to Him.  If I could do it myself I wouldn’t have any need for His love in my life and what a sad life that would be… to live apart from Him.  I can’t even imagine it.  I don’t want to imagine it.  So, I guess I can say thank you for making me so imperfect and messy because…

My messiness reminds me that I am in desperate need of grace.

Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) 



Posted on Friday, September 12, 2014 @ 6:45 PM -
Statia, very good. Yes we all are a work in progress and messiness is part of life Jesus reached out to the messiest of messes.
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