Posts tagged ‘trials’

Hope Fully Living

Hope is one of those words that can be difficult for someone to define. If you have hope, you know it. If you don’t, and are hopeless, you know that, too. But what is hope? How would you define it? More importantly, how does God define it in the Bible? Let’s take a look in Romans chapter 15.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NKJV)

The first thing we need to realize is that Jehovah is a God of hope. He has so much hope that it is a part of His very nature. That means He is the source of all hope for His children. Biblical hope can best be defined as “a confident expectation”. God does not wish for things. No, that implies that He is uncertain of the outcome and is just “hoping it all turns out right”. No, God knows the end from the beginning.

Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ (Isaiah 46:10)

God is the God of hope precisely because He is certain of the outcome of things that have not yet happened from our perspective. So we can anchor our hope in the one who isn’t up in heaven crossing His fingers and hoping for the best.

But how does God give that hope to us as His children? By “joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13). You see, nice we come to a realization of the nature and character of the One in whom we have placed our trust, we can experience deep joy. Because of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross, we now have access to God. In prayer and in reading, studying and meditating n His Word, we can daily come into his presence and have that faith built up and our hope reaffirmed. As The psalmist David wrote:

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11)

We not only have joy, but with God, we have fullness of joy!

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8 KJV)

Another byproduct of the hope we have in God is peace. Even in the midst of life’s darkest hour, we can be at peace with God. We have a calm assurance that God is on our side because if He was willing to save us by His death, He will also see that work through to the end by His life, and constant intercession for us. God gave us grace to save us, but that same grace goes on to change us as well.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10 KJV)

So as we increase in peace and joy, we increase in hope. They all go together and build upon each other. So no matter what you are going through (and some of us are really going through it), even if it is the valley of the shadow of death, we need not fear, for God is with us (Psalm 23). We know that we receive our hope from Him who is the very “God of hope” and can rest in His love and will for us.

that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus,(Hebrews 6:18-20a NKJV)

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Absolutely Nothing

Have you ever struggled to do something, only to have someone else come by and do it like it was easy? It can definitely be a humbling experience. But when you have someone on your side that can handle anything that comes your way, it inspires confidence and trust in all who follow him. Jeremiah the prophet had just that sort of confidence in his God, and said so when he prayed.

‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, (Jeremiah 32:17 NASB)

Truly, nothing is too difficult for our God. What does that mean for us as His children?

There is no temptation that God cannot provide a way of escape from.
No matter what our adversary throws at us, our God provides a way of escape for us. We will never encounter a situation and find that we have no choice but to sin.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB)

Of course, if we continually refuse to take those escapes, we can put ourselves into a trap. But we have to purposely refuse to escape for that to happen.

There is no problem that God cannot preserve us through.
The Lord’s rescues come in at least two ways. He either takes away the problem, or enables us to persevere through it.
When Peter was in prison and scheduled to be executed, God rescued him with an angelic escort, in response to the prayers of his fellow believers. (Acts 12:1-19)
But when Paul was afflicted by a messenger of satan he pleaded with The Lord to remove it from him. After the third time, instead of removing the thorn in the flesh, God supplied grace sufficient for him to bear it (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
The point is, that no matter what happens, God is faithful to cause us to persevere.

There is no sin that God is not willing and able to forgive.
The blood that Jesus shed is of sufficient value to pay for every sin that has been or ever will be committed.

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NASB)

Jesus has made peace for us with God by the blood that he offers in the heavenly most holy place. (Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 10:14)
The price has been paid, and we now have access to God. We have been saved to the uttermost!

I am sure there is more that God can do.
Paul put it this way:

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

It would be enough if God could do all that we ask or think. But it is more than that. He can do above all we can ask or think. No, wait. It is on a higher level. He can do abundantly above all we can ask or think. Not being satisfied, Paul takes it to an exponentially greater power. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above, all!

That is the God we serve and who is on my side and your side! And so we conclude as Paul did:

to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21 NKJV)

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