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Donna Faulkner urges us to make an extra effort to put God's love into action and build hope.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

“The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:7).

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 71:3).

Scripture tells us that God is our strength, our rock, a very present help, a refuge and a fortress. However, sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. Most of us would like to think “a very present help” means “an immediate help.” We want God to step into bleak situations in our lives and change them. What we really yearn for though is hope — that belief that things are going to get better.

At Habitat, we feel that God has called us to make life better for those who simply need a helping hand. Building hope is even part of our mission statement. As we answer God’s call to put love into action for those on the other side of the community or the other side of the world, though, let’s not forget the co-worker sitting in the office next door. Even professional Habitat hope builders need an encouraging word, a prayer sent up and the knowledge that others care.

Maybe you are struggling during this season. There’s hope for you. Pray, expect, wait — and repeat. And have the courage to tell someone. There’s a power in sharing your story with a compassionate listener who can understand, relate or say, “Me too!” When we share our burdens and pray for one another, we find the “very present help” we so desperately seek.

During Lent — and every day — let’s make an extra effort to put God’s love into action and build hope.

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, we call out to You, our very present help. We lift up those both near and far who are living in situations that feel hopeless. Open my eyes to see their suffering. Help me to build their hope. May the light of Jesus Christ and the hope He brings shine in all the dark places. Amen.

FOR DISCUSSION
1. What does it mean to build hope?
2. Have there been situations in your life that have seemed hopeless? Who saw your suffering during that time?
3. Is there someone you sense could use a good word today?

By Donna Faulkner, writer/editor in Habitat for Humanity International's Office of the CEO in Atlanta.

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