Living Hope Part 4 – How Do We Own Hope?

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

Hope is an eternal truth.  It’s up to us to grab it and pull it down and make it ours.  We own the truth of hope.  As we own hope, it lives in us as an ember, a light.  Hope is an inner truth that gives us confidence in all circumstances.  It rests on faith—a solid unshakable faith. Together with faith, hope grows.  Think of faith as bricks.  Hope is the mortar.  It’s a foundation, and then a wall to protect the truth of the Holy Spirit who is our living hope alive in us. Even when circumstances are dead, the Holy Spirit tells us where and what to have hope in on earth.

The Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s promise of eternal life with him for all who believe in Jesus Christ.  Jesus lives beyond the constraints of death.  There is eternal life—and it’s glorious with God. Above and beyond all we can think or imagine.  This is the nature of our God.  This is the living hope we have in us.

Owning hope is how we get up the next day after a disaster and keep going.  There is a God, our God, who is powerful enough to keep his promise that he makes all things work together for good for those who love him.  Romans 8:28. It all matters.  Nothing escapes his notice.  He folds in all things.  His promises are kept over time.

It takes time to understand the things God has already taken into account.  He already knew what governments would do and decide for their countries before we were born.  It doesn’t stop his plan for our lives from happening. It might be different than we thought in our youth.  But God is constantly reconfiguring our path as life continues on earth.  God factors in our mistakes and continues to create a good plan for our lives.  In us, the Holy Spirit walks with us through each day comforting and encouraging and guiding us forward to the fulfillment of God’s good purposes in our lives. Letting these truths be part of us is how we own hope.

 

See also Living Hope Part 1 – Where Does Hope Come From?

See also Living Hope Part 2 – Do Miracles Offer Hope?

See also Living Hope Part 3 – How Do We Hope While Waiting for Answers?


Living Hope Part 3 – How do we Hope While Waiting for Answers?

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

In Part One of this series on Living Hope, we considered how hope comes from believing in the power of Jesus Christ.  After resurrection proved that death could not hold him, He then gave us the Holy Spirit as a guaranty that Jesus has come to abide in us.  Life with the Holy Spirit includes action and power and joy and love.

This Part 3 looks at what we can do for those times between asking and praying, and receiving the answer to our prayers.  During those in between times is when the enemy slinks up and starts whispering doubts in our ear.  We must go back to everything we know and believe to stand on God’s promises while we wait.  We must choose to wait in hope.  We do not wait in a false hope. We wait with a full hope in the God behind the promises.

There’s another key to waiting between prayer requests asked and prayer requests answered. Remembering the miracles he’s done for us provides hope for times we’re waiting for our prayers to be answered.  God told the Israelites to set up monuments to help the future generations remember how the Lord provides for His people.  See Joshua 4.  After crossing the Jordan River, God told Joshua to build a stone monument to remember the day God brought his people into the promised land.  There are many biographies one can read where people called on God before doing great deeds.  As a pattern, whenever the Israelites were in trouble they remembered how God had helped their forefathers and then they cried out to ask him to help them once again.  At their united cry, God heard and rescued them again and again.  Psalm 44 chronicles this pattern.  Verse 1 says, “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago.” The Psalm ends with verse 26, “Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.”

When miracles seem like the distant past, the truth remains that God is real, and alive—Now!  He is more powerful than death.  God is more powerful than any problem in our lives.  Further, he defines himself as love, and then tells us that he loves us.  Knowing this truth is the key to living life in its fullness.  Know this to gain eternal life.  Hope lives in this knowledge.  “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…by which has been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature…”  2 Peter 1:3-4.

 

See also Living Hope Part 1 – Where Does Hope Come From?

See also Living Hope Part 2 – Do Miracles Offer Hope?

See also Living Hope Part 4 – How Do We Own Hope?


Living Hope Part 2 – Do Miracles Offer Hope?

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

In Part 1 we looked at how hope comes from believing in the power of Jesus Christ.  His resurrection proves that death has no power over Jesus. He then gives us the Holy Spirit as a seal of His love for us and our love for him.  Life with Holy Spirit includes action and power and joy and love.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, and often miracles. Miracles give us hope.  Have you ever seen a miracle?  Have you ever heard someone’s miracle story?  He comes into the middle of our muddles and answers prayers every day.  The are stories of physical healings every week in healing rooms throughout the nation.  (See www.healingrooms.com).  Jesus is turning hearts toward him and these are miracle stories.  There are emotional healings available all the time through sozo prayer ministries.  There are changed lives through the power of God’s love.  Look for these in churches, parachurch ministries, sozo ministries.  We see people get healed of insomnia, of long term grief, of ailments the doctors can’t explain every time we’re open at the Silicon Valley Healing Rooms.

Some people see miracles and are not moved by works of God.  Jesus says woe to them.  “The Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.”  Matthew 11:20-24Miracles are designed to bring us to repentance, and teach us how to call upon the name of the Most High in our need.  From repentance comes revival, and with revival comes hope.  Our hearts are revived and hopeful in the face of miracles.

 

See also Living Hope Part 1 – Where Does Hope Come From?

See also Living Hope Part 3 – How Do We Hope While Waiting for Answers?

See also Living Hope Part 4 – How Do We Own Hope?


Living Hope Part 1 – Where Does Hope Come From?

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

We Have Hope because we Hope in God

When Jesus died, his followers went through three days of despair and utter disbelief that Jesus didn’t do something to save himself.  They had sacrificed popularity with the politicians of the day to follow Christ. They were secretly hoping that there would be some final display of power that would show the Pharisees that Jesus was the Messiah.  Or that some turnaround moment would upturn the Roman centurions from their militant grip on the Jews.  They were holding out that somehow Jesus’ type of love wins. His death wasn’t just about a really great and beloved man dying.  Backroom politics, paid liars and late night courtroom injustice culminated in a murder sentence. Their dreams and hopes died with the news of his death.

Three days later the rumors started that Jesus wasn’t dead.  Then came eyewitness stories of Jesus sightings.  With resurrection came hope.  Despair vanished leaving a mystery.  The followers started recalling the things Jesus had taught to make sense of the events.  They didn’t know the answer; they knew there had to be a deeper purpose.  Something greater was about to be explained.

Acknowledging Jesus’ Godhead makes all the difference.  Jesus’ power was greater than death.  The religious Pharisees didn’t go away.  The nagging comments continued.  Critics carried on.  Hope doesn’t come from winning the defiant over.  Hope is not derived from convincing people of the truth of Jesus.  Hope rests in God’s power.  We wait to see if these people will choose to acknowledge Jesus as God.  But we must not let their decision determine our faith.  Our hope comes from Jesus and His victory over death and everything less than death that tries to destroy our lives.

When we choose to embrace Jesus as Lord and ask that he be our Lord and Savior, we enter into a relationship with Jesus.  He comes and abides in us through the Holy Spirit.  Our access to Jesus’ power is through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit comes and lives in us.  He bears witness to Jesus’ Lordship and brings living hope into our  hearts.

Peter explains in 1 Peter 1:3.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

See also Living Hope Part 2 – Do Miracles Offer Hope?

See also Living Hope Part 3 – How Do We Hope While Waiting for Answers?

See also Living Hope Part 4 – How Do We Own Hope?


Differences Between Wishing and Hoping: Hope Upon the Lord

We Have Hope because We Hope in God

We Have Hope because We Hope in God

Another difference between wishing and hoping is that we don’t wish upon the Lord.  We do hope upon the Lord.  There’s something to placing our hope in something.  We hope in the Lord.  We hope in who God is, the Lord of the Universe.  We hope in what His promises to us are in scripture.  Some of us also have personalized promises from God.  We are hopeful because we know that He is not a man that He should lie. Numbers 23:19. If God says it, it will happen.  So He feeds the righteous.  We are more valuable to Him than sparrows.  Luke 12;24 He cares about what we care for. 1 Peter 5:7 We hope in God because of how powerful He is.  The God who made the promise is full capable of bringing them forth. Romans 4:21. He is all powerful.  Ephesians 3:20. We hope in a powerful God!

Wishing is fleeting. I wish I had a new pair of shoes.  The next week I may wish for something else.  It changes and it’s often short lived.. Hope is totally believing.  I hope that my children live up to the full potential of God’s plan for their lives.  This is expectant anticipation because we are placing our hope in the Lord to carry this out.

Hope looks forward.  Hope in God causes us to move forward.  Hope believes that God is part of our lives and the backdrop against which we hope and why we have hope.  Hope is the expectant outcome because we serve a God who promises to be with us.  He is at work on our prayer requests even when we can’t see anything happening.  We have hope because our prayers are heard. “Certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. ” Psalm 66:19. Hope gives us direction. We hope for today and tomorrow.  Hope allows us to move forward expectantly.

I Love my friend Jeeti’s acronym for HOPE:

H         Happiness

O         Ongoing

P          Peace

E          Everlasting

 

 


Prayers for the Parched: And God Said No

Every Time There's a No, Keep Asking a Different Question Till There's a YES

Every Time There’s a No, Keep Asking a Different Question Till There’s a YES

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it [my thorn] away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:8-9

 

I asked God to take away my pride, and God said, “NO.”  He said it was not for Him to take away, but for me to give it up.

 

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole, and God said, “NO.”  He said the child’s spirit is whole, the body is only temporary.

 

I asked God to grant me patience and God said, “NO.”  He said that patience is a by-product of tribulation.  It isn’t granted, it’s earned

 

I asked God to give me happiness and God aid, “NO.”  He said he gives blessings, happiness is up to me.

 

I asked God to spare my pain, and God said, “NO.”  He said suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me.

 

I asked God to make my spirit grow, and God said, “NO.”  He said I must grow on my own But He will prune me to make me fruitful.

 

I asked God if He loved me, and God said, “YES.”  He gave me his only Son who died for me, and I will be in heaven someday because I believe.

 

I asked God to help me love others as much as he loves me, and God said, “AH, FINALLY, YOU HAVE THE IDEA.”

 

From Betty Wagner, Editor, Wayfarers Monthly Report Letter, June 1998


Looking at the Hewbrew Word Qavah: To Hope or To Wait?

Looking at the Bible with Multiple Translations

Looking at the Bible with Multiple Translations

Psalms 33 has the Hebrew word transliterated as Qavah.  It means to wait, look for, hope, expect.  The verb in Spanish esperar can be translated into English as either wait or hope.

In English, the definitions of wait and hope are two different things, in most cases.  If I am waiting for something I am simply waiting for something to arrive in the mail that I expect.  If I’m hoping for something in the mail, it sort of implies I’m not really sure I’m going to get it.

 

This nuance matters to me when my prayer requests take years to come about.  Whether it is future spouses, people to win the battle of addictions, or friends to have their loved ones understand their love, some verses are best understood in the context of multiple translations.

I came across Psalm 33: 18-22.  It felt like the various translations could be interpreted in different ways.  Looking at v. 20,  NLT translated the word Qavah as putting our hope in the Lord.  The NASB and NKJV translate it to wait for the Lord. The NIV bridges the two by saying, “We wait in hope for the Lord.”

 

Psalm 33  NLT (New Living Translation)

20 We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.

 

Psalm 33 NASB (New American Standard Bible)
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
22 Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.

Psalm 33 NIV (New International Version)

20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm 33 NKJV (New King James Version)

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.

 


Prayers for the Parched: Prayer for a Future Husband Part 3

Prayer for a Future Husband

Prayer for a Future Husband

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

May he be fun!

May he have a great sense of humor, and be able to laugh

May we be able to share jokes and smiles together for eternity

May his personality draw people to God

May he be my best supporter, as I desire to be his best supporter and friend

May he be able to understand me, and may I understand him

May he be patient with me, and I with him

May we check and balance each other

May we bring out he best in each other

May we grow closer in times of trial

May life’s losses bring us together before you and together with one another

May our hearts remain open to each other even during the painful growth times

May we both know the things to hold closely and the things to hold closely and the things to hold loosely

May we always be able to communicate with each other and with you Lord

Lord, I desire that you be the core of our meetings, our family, our home, our work, our lives, and our ministries

May he love you, Lord,

May he love me

I love your Lord more every day

May I love him faithfully

 

See also:  Prayers for the Parched:  Prayer for a Future Husband Part 1

See also:  Prayers for the Parched:  Prayer for a Future Husband Part 2


Repentance and Forgiveness Go Together

The Beauty of Repenting is Receiving the Gift of Forgiveness

The Beauty of Repenting is Receiving the Gift of Forgiveness

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.  Acts 3:19

Repentance and Forgiveness go together like peanut butter and jelly. In this day and age, when something goes wrong, we tend to hunt down the person responsible so the blame can be squarely placed.  Accepting responsibility can diffuse many a situation.  It takes courage to say, “It’s my fault, and I’m sorry.  I have sinned, and I repent.”  We’re not a forgiving society.  We want someone to pay.  And it’s tempting to offer up the sacrificial lamb. Further, we live with a lot of learned overlooking. The beauty of repenting is the ability to receive the gift of forgiveness.

Charles Sprugeon (1834-1892) penned these words years ago, “ Repentance and forgiveness are joined together in the experience of all believers.  There has never been a person yet who genuinely repented of sin that was not forgiven.  On the other hand, no one has ever been forgiven who had not repented of being washed away, unless at the same time the heart was led to repentance and faith in Christ.  Hatred of sin and a sense of pardon come together into the soul and abide together while we live.  These two things act and react upon each other.  The man who is forgiven, repents; and the man who repents is most assuredly forgiven.  You will never value pardon unless you feel repentance; and you will never taste the deepest drought of repentance until you know that you are pardoned.”

 

See also 8 Reasons to Release a Grudge

see also Entering Into Forgiveness


Let God’s Creative Power Birth Hope

Baby Amelia is so cute.  Let's God's Creative Power Bring Hope

Baby Amelia is so cute. Let’s God’s Creative Power Bring Hope

God creates—all the time.   New happens.  New is unfolding.  Something new is being designed every day.  There are the news chapters to the book of our lives.  There is new being introduced into our lives.  It’s up to us to look for it, notice it.  If things seem gray or the same, we can pray for God to show us what is new.  Our God constantly creates things that have never existed before.  He invades circumstances that seem impossible with something new.

 

What about the scripture that says, “There is nothing new under the sun”?  Ecclesiastes 1:9    Is it possible that this verse focuses on the evil things of this world?  Politics have been around since the first city/tribal/national governments.  Blaming others for our choices started in the garden.  Untenable differences have been around since before Abraham and Lot parted ways.

 

In contrast to nothing new under the sun, the truth is that every new baby that enters the world is created unique.  Every year there are new species of animals reported in the science journals.  There are new flowers.  Even if my nursery sells the “same old” plant selection, it’s still new to me that way all the various vegetables grow in my yard, the way fruit develops on my trees ahead of or behind seasonal norms, and the way flowers bloom.

 

When life feels stale, it’s time to go to your church’s nursery and volunteer to hold babies one Sunday, and be awed at the wonder of a new life coming into your community.  New happens every day.  Be awed at God’s ability to create something new.  It births hope.