Hope to Hearts

Official Blog

 

"Hope To Hearts" is a blog that shares the thoughts of Ericka to bring hope to people facing day-to-day life. Come be apart of the journey to learn and grow as we explore God's Word together. This blog is named after the charter school that Isaac & Ericka are building in Nkayi Zimbabwe.

Search

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed so hopeless that you began to view your very existence as hell? If you're like me, I know there have been moments in my life where I have said, "God, I feel like my life is a living hell right now"? Whether it has been family issues, financial issues, or just the issues of life. I've learned that it is in those moments of anguish and hardship, that it is tempting to view your circumstance as a living hell which is why I wrote a powerful blog on why community is such a vital weapon in times of hardship and why you shouldn't do it alone.


We talk about hell but have you ever really wondered where is hell located exactly?


Many definitions and tales regarding hell have ebbed and flowed throughout human history. Some attest that hell is located in the center of the Earth. Others believe that a region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean known as the "Bermuda Triangle" or the "Devil's Triangle" has ties to hell due to a number of reported ships and aircraft disappearances spanning from 1950 to 1969. A Finnish newspaper, ‘Ammennusastia', claimed a geological project led by Dr. Azzacov drilled a 14.4 kilometers deep hole in the crust of the Earth and reported hearing human screams.


Blog family -

If I could only share with you all the bewildering ideas that people have imagined in an attempt to locate hell! Some made me laugh and others caused me to scratch my forehead due to confusion.


"Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am."

John 17:24


I am currently in medical school studying to become a Naprapathic Doctor. I have always loved science and research and I've realized that the deeper I dive into the study of science, the more I believe science only reveals and confirms God's nature and His wonderful ways!

When I researched the chemical composition and temperature of the Earth's core, I discovered that scientist have used waves and melting point data to determine that the Earth's inner core is a solid alloy of iron and nickel under an extreme amount of pressure. Additionally, the temperature at the center of the Earth is 10,800 degrees Fahrenheit. With such alarming temperatures, it is easy to see why some can envision the conditions of hell described in Matthew 13:50, "a blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth", existing at the Earth's core.


How amazing is it that Jesus was willing to go down into hell to save us from living a downward bound life and exchange it for an abundant life?


Thank God for all of the downward situations that He raised you and I from!


While God did not inspire the authors of the Bible by His Spirit to share with us the exact geographical location of hell, He was gracious to give us hell's direction. Hell is consistently stated to be in the downward direction throughout scripture. Ephesians 4:8-9 recounts the victory that Jesus conquered over hell by descending down into the lower parts when He led captives who were previously in bondage to their natural desires into glorious freedom. An average person would not go into a sauna for you if it meant messing up their hairstyle but God valued your spirit so much that He endured the heat of hell.


Take a moment to ponder how valuable your life must be for Him to make this level of sacrifice.


Hell is a specific place that was designed only to hold the enemy and fallen angels but we can also manifest the conditions of hell or heaven with our own words and actions. Our tongues have the power to direct the course of our lives upward or downward (James 3:5-6; Proverbs 18:21). God has always identified the decisions that will lead to both blessings and curses so that we would avoid unnecessary hardships and enjoy all of the blessings that are available to us in His presence.


Partner up with the complete work of Jesus and say this confession with me, "I am only going UP"!


When Jesus was under the pressure of agony as He anticipated the pain of the cross He prayed this prayer:

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!" John 17: 20,24


How loving is Jesus that He voluntarily endured the cross so that we would never have to know hell and live with Him forever in glory?


Let this sink into your heart. Meditate on how great the love of God was towards you that He spent His last moments before the cross thinking of you.


Now that you know hell was not created for humans, I am thrilled for our journey into understanding hell to continue.

Next week, I am going to tackle the frequently uttered question of why would a loving God create hell.

This is a can't miss blog!


With all love and joy,

Ericka


I'd love to hear from you!

What are some tales and beliefs you were told regarding hell?

Let's have a conversation in the comment section below!



"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV) We often tend to think that when we walk alone this will make us stronger and most believe this makes one wiser, assuming you are safe. We've all had moments when we've tried to rely on ourselves and have tried to make things happen in our own strength. Why do we do this? Do you personally think someone will see you as being weak? I understand if you feel this way. It's hard to trust someone when you have been let down, but there is hope to recover. We were not meant to do life alone; it's always healthy to communicate that you are lonely. It's okay to say you are NOT okay.

Isolation is the condition and result of loneliness, especially when something or someone has made us feel less than or unwanted. The origin of the word Isolated is from the French word Isole (isolated). The French word derives from the Italian word Isolato, which is from the Latin word insulatus, which means "made into an island" from Insula (island). A person who avoids the crowd or company of others tends to look for places and ways to be alone. It is possible to be an introvert and getting joy in having alone time, but there should be a balance, it is needed and Godly.


Being alone is the easiest way to bring isolation and separation from the people in our lives. It has always been God's original intent for us to do life with people. "And the LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18 NIV) It is when we stray away from God's original intent that sickness begins to consume us. Seeking our desires instead of God's can also cause us to deviate apart from God's original plan for our lives. It is so important to trust in God's desires instead of our own, only because our desires can be very temporal and very misleading. When we lean into God's original intent and His desire for our life, it will help us find a community where we belong.


When we run away from issues instead of facing them, we catch ourselves facing the same monster with a different face. I know this is for someone, but moving to another state will not fix the problem, being present and moving forward with boldness is the answer. The Holy Spirit is our helper and God places people around us to aid us, but it is critical to accept the help. God blessings break isolation and loneliness. For example, when we have big decisions to make or something in life takes a sudden turn, it is essential that we have people around us to help bring insight and wisdom to our situation. It says in Proverbs 18:1 that, "Whoever isolates seeks his own desire, he breaks out against all sound judgment." We were never meant to try and figure it all out on our strength and intelligence; this is torture. It is incredibly helpful and much encouraged to prioritize our dreams and goals but to get there it will require people. While we are reaching our dreams and purposes, it is important to include our friends and companions in it as well and enjoy the process in getting there.


The critical key is to seek and know God's desires for us. When we show ourselves friendly, it will draw people to us. In Proverbs 18:24 it says, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." I encourage you to find a church, ministry or organization with a pure and safe community and get plugged and planted in that community. I also encourage you to get out of the house once a day, you never know, you may meet a new person and adapt to a different social environment. As you pursue your interests and dreams more doors will begin to open for your personal and professional relationships.

Our lives are more fruitful and filled with purpose when we choose to seek and live by the wisdom given to us. "Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14 NKJV) Leaning into a community gives us a sense of protection, trust, and hope for the present and future. When we're apart of a safe community that brings consistent peace and joy our lives will gradually become healthier and happier. It is with wisdom and an amazing community that you will experience the hand of God and begin to see loneliness leave your life.


Today take some time to pray to God and ask God to show you, two people, to reach out to and build a relationship with. Have you noticed a community you would like to join? Be uncomfortable for a few minutes and ask to be a part. Trust and believe that there is a place and people who are called to your life. God's understanding of where we are and what we need is more significant than our knowledge. Step outside of your comfort zone today by taking the initiative and reaching out to people and doing the very thing you fear. Isolation and loneliness are a reality but certainly not permanent; you can overcome this today! Be encouraged!


With all love and joy, Ericka



In life, it is very normal to desire a community with others where we can feel free to be ourselves, share common interests, and express our passions and goals. Being planted in a healthy community has the power to enhance, transform, and bring continual joy to our life. I want you to take a moment and ask yourself two questions; what kind of community do I desire to be apart of? Am I being active in pursuing that kind of community? I can hear some of you now, "Ericka it's not as easy as it seems". Trust me, I completely understand it's not always easy finding a safe and healthy community but as I mentioned in my previous post, if you will step out even in your discomfort you can always trust that God will certainly lead you in the right direction. In Romans 12:4-5 it says, "For just as each one of us has one body with many members and these members do not all have the same function so in Christ we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others." Just like it is impossible for the body to properly function without all the parts: it is the same way with the body of Christ. You are needed in the body of Christ. You add value not only to those around you but also those called to you!


At some point, we must face our fear and step outside of our comfort zone to connect with people. It is common to fear that people might reject you; they might leave you, or speak negatively about you. I understand how it can be extremely difficult opening up to someone when you've been let down or your trust has been misused, but I want you to know that you are more powerful when you are connected to the right people and are completely transparent. Everyone fears something, but we can always overcome fear with faith.


One of the ways we can activate our faith is by taking the initiative and choosing to let people into our world. Our lives become much better when we choose to do life with others. In Hebrews 10:25, Paul talked about "Not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another". When we do life alone, it can be extremely tough not having the support and encouragement from others. Paul understood that there was power in gathering together, speaking life into one another and lifting each other up. Have you ever stopped and thought about how much your life and your words could be the encouragement that someone else is waiting for?

Our words, when we choose to use them, have the power to bring people out of isolation. The sense of belonging and being around the right people can create in us a healthy perspective of being connected to others. In Psalms 68:6, it says, "God sets the lonely in families." How wonderful is that verse! God was always intentional about including us in His family but more than that He wanted to give us an earthly family so we wouldn't be alone. God loves us so much that He desires to place people in our lives that will bring out the best in us.


Isolation is not something that happens all at once, it can sneak in and cause you to drift away and eventually distance yourself from people and places. The more you distance yourself the more problems within you arise, eventually leading to sickness and depression. The absence of people can bring feelings of deep sadness and a loss of interests in the things we once enjoyed. I want you to know that it is okay to have some alone time and accomplish things for yourself, but it is always rewarding when we choose to include others in our plans as well. It is my hope that you will find people to do life with and that you will enjoy doing life with them. Life is truly better together. God created us as one body that needs the support of each other. No matter what we do or where we go, it is always God's intent for us to include people.


I truly believe that with the help of the Holy Spirit and wise counsel you can and will overcome isolation. The most important key is simply believing that you will come out of isolation and leaning into the resources to help you do so. Today I want to encourage you to initiate a conversation with someone you desire to get to know or be friends with. Take the time to research a local organization or an event that interests you and attend one of their gatherings. Whenever you feel loneliness creeping in, reach out and call someone. Make the choice to not go through it alone. As you step out and make changes little by little you will begin to conquer loneliness in your life and meet the people God has for you. Today's victory is yesterday's choices. You are closer to overcoming isolation and loneliness. Press forward!


With all love and joy,

Ericka

Contact Us

© 2018 by Hope To Hearts.