In ancient Greece, the word translated “cloud” here referred not only to the fluffy white billow we see in the sky. Nephos was also used to describe the highest seats in a stadium. Today, we might say that we have a “nosebleed section” of witnesses.
The word hearty means “exuberant, cheerful, jovial, spirited, vivacious, and enthusiastic.” When our hope is in the Lord, we have every reason to be confident in the outcome of our struggle. This does not mean every situation will be resolved to our satisfaction. It means that we can trust God to work in our lives, showing us the way, developing our character, and teaching us more about Him.
I love morning the way a dog loves a bone. I love to hear birds begin their symphony. I love the way sunlight pushes back darkness. Take that, gloomy shadows of doubt and fear. Your uncertainty is unwelcome in my sanctuary. Every morning declares God’s glorious victory. Add coffee, if you wish, to reach new heights of rapturous optimism. Crack your Bible, hear from God, and emerge to face the challenges of the day.
British humorist Jerome K. Jerome said, “I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” Although our labor can wear us out at times, it can also fill us with a deep sense of meaning and satisfaction. A job well done is its own reward.
One common tragedy in the United States every year is the existence of nearly half a million structure fires. As a safety precaution, most building codes require two stairways so people can still exit even if one of them is blocked by a fire. While no one wants to think about such a catastrophe, it is comforting to know that an escape route exists.
Makeovers are expensive. Every year, Americans spend roughly $62 billion on cosmetics, $20 billion on hairstyles and nail care, $16.5 billion on plastic surgery, and $12 billion on clothes. While we clearly care about our personal appearance, the Bible teaches that real transformation is more than skin deep.