Hope is one of those dynamic words that deserves the title of catalyst when it comes to change. It is a spiritual attribute that God's people should use regularly as it is filled with life, excitement and positive energy.
Your first reaction to the idea of hope may be one of skepticism. Perhaps you are thinking it's easy for someone to talk about hope when they do not understand what a terrible condition my life is in. Well, I may not have walked in your shoes, but I know that being negative and giving up will not make the situation better.
It's true that health and financial problems, discouragement, fear and family and marital issues are very serious problems, but the Lord has a special word for you today found in Romans 8:31, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" He knows everything that is happening in your life today and is waiting for you to place all of your hope and trust in him alone. He is the God that cannot fail!
Faith is believing in what we cannot see, and we need hope in order to visualize the solution. The world is a fearful and unsatisfying place without the hope of knowing that Jesus is our refuge and security. Apart from the joyful expectation that comes from the hope of heaven, our world cannot provide spiritual peace or contentment. Hope gives purpose and meaning to our lives and inspires our decisions, emotions and pursuits. Hope fills us with joy in the midst of our trials and fuels our perseverance as we press forward in God's strength.
Listen to Romans 8:24-25, "For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." It gives us confidence to know that God not only has the power to help us but also desires to intervene into our circumstances.
Knowing that Christ is faithful to respond to our prayers is a step toward being released from the bondage of our doubts. Hebrews 6:18 reminds us, "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."
When we look up the world's definition of hope, it is described as "an expectation for a certain thing to happen." Many associate hope with wishing, but fantasizing is a half-hearted whim that changes from day to day. However, spiritual hope is associated with the reality of divine truth. This God kind of hope is more than waiting to see who wins the ballgame or if the casserole will taste good. It is spiritual nourishment that empowers the attributes of Christ within us and is based on who God is and what he has promised.
Hope and faith work together as we see in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Believing is having a vision and a dream of anticipation, which literally moves the heart of God.
Listen to these words from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: "Hope is a dynamic force, a reality filled with power. It can bring the weak back to strength. It can bring the sick back to health. It can turn failure into success. No wonder St. Paul included it as one of the three great principals of Christianity: faith, hope and love. What's the condition of hope in your life at this very moment? Does it get up with you every morning? Does it carry you confidently through the day? Is it still there, soothing and sustaining you, as you fall asleep? That's what God intended when he created this shining quality and poured it into us at birth. If cares, worries, fears and discouragement have gained a stronghold in your mind, then you need to open the windows of your soul and allow a strong, fresh current of hope to come surging through."
Yes, sometimes our journey takes us through the dark nights of the soul where we battle against anxiety and discouragement, but we are reminded in Romans 15:13, "Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that through the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope."
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