Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Power of Hope

There are many elements (we call these elements virtues) which constitute the true Christian life. These virtues exist concurrently in the justified Christian's character and are enhanced in the sanctified Christian. The commandments of God, the grace of God and the gifts of God all work together to make up the victorious Christian life. If parts of God's plan for a righteous and holy life are missing, then the Christian life is in danger of being lost and unacceptable with God. You can not be disobedient to the revelations of truth, which the Holy Spirit brings to your understanding; and, at the same time have a hope and expectation of God's approval and blessings.

Disobedience and an unwillingness to make yourself a sacrifice, crucify the flesh, and walk in the Spirit will destroy confidence and hope. If, by reason of your conduct and attitude, you have lost confidence in your possessing the favor and blessings of God, your hope will turn into fear and doubts.

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

What is our hope? It is the hope of the glory of God both in this world and in heaven. Because I have obeyed God, I have a hope of God's glory shining on me. I have already experienced many blessings which encourage my hope to be strong. I am not ashamed to trust in the Lord because I have already experienced His goodness to me in times past. Just as good produces more good and evil produces more evil, we know that “kind produces kind.” The experience of hope produces more hope and faith produces more faith.

Why are so many church of God pastors, teachers and saints going to the doctors and physicians instead of exercising faith and hope in the promises of God?  Are they afraid to die? Where is the sting of death? Is it not only in sin? Where there is holiness and no sin, why should not the ministers and saints of God be putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ instead of the “arm of flesh?” The fear of death will work against faith in God. Christians must have victory over the fear of death and dying.  It has been my observation that carnal Christians tend to allow the fear of death to make them afraid of dying. Consequently, when they are fearful of some illness being possibly terminal, they go the physicians of this world instead of trusting and believing in the Great Physician Jesus Christ.

Who will suffer with the Savior? If He died for us, then we must be willing to also die for Him. Has the message and faith for divine healing been lost in your congregation? Before a pastor can pray the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man, he must be first partaker of what he preaches. If a pastor does not practice the faith and hope of divine healing, he can not truly and honestly pray the prayer of faith for others.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-4
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

The blessing of a sure hope is the outcome of joyful patience. Because we have willingly and joyfully put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a sure hope that we will receive that for which we have prayed. A spoiled, impatient child wants his request granted immediately. A mature child of God will with patience wait for that which he has asked the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 2:18-20
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.

What is my hope for you? It is that you will be saved on the day of Judgment. I pray that you will be ready when the Lord calls you to leave this world. If you have salvation now; if you are being obedient to the message and all the light and understanding which the Holy Spirit has revealed to you, then you are my glory and joy. Your victory is my victory. Your hope is my hope. I rejoice with you in your salvation, your deliverance.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Some people have lost their hope. They have rebelled against the truth and against the Lord Jesus Christ who purchased their salvation and have become reprobate in their minds. And even worse than that, some have physically died in their sins and have absolutely no hope for all eternity.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-8
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

The helmet of hope will help protect your head, your mind and your heart so that you will not backslide and return to the sin life where Satan tries to destroy all hope.

Psalms 31:23-24
23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Psalms 33:18-22
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth 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 thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalms 71:4-5
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5 For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

Hope is a vital part of our defense against Satan's lies and accusations. Without hope we will become discouraged and be in danger of spiritually fainting. Let the conduct of your daily life be such as is necessary for you to have a sure understanding of the power of hope.

The virtues of salvation are inseparable, each one adding to and empowering the others. Our vision of future victories coupled with a firm expectation and hope will give power to our faith. Remember the words of King Solomon in:
Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

If we are willingly obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ, then we can be confident that the vision we have will surely come to pass; and therefore, we will patiently hope for that which we have seen by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

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