I think many of us often get our inspiration from another. This last week the Holy Spirit triggered my thinking when I listened to my daughter Jessica’s teaching titled “Fill up on Hope”. You are able to watch that 13 minute teaching here:
As often happens I only made it my second time through to about the 4 min mark when the Holy Spirit began to share a few more thoughts that I will share with you as well.
Let’s take a look at a couple of the scriptures that Jessica shared.
13 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.
Paul wants the church of Rome to understand that Yaweh is actually the source of hope. It is by his power that we are filled with hope and joy and peace in abundance. This hope does not come via what we see with the natural eye or hear or feel rather it is deposited into us by God’s power alone.
Our God is called the God of Hope and it is Him that we are to look to in order to be filled with joy and peace even as we look around us at what often looks hopeless.
Jessica tells us that the definition of hope she found is “the confident expectation of the coming goodness of God based on His faithfulness”.
We need to take refuge in His faithfulness so that we will be infused by His presence with new courage.
Confident Expectation is exciting. You know there is something wonderful around the corner but you just can’t see it or get to it yet. However, when expectation is delayed we have to find our rest in the waiting room with the God of hope.
The Hebrew words for hope and wait come from the same root word. The Hebrew words translated hope mean “confidence, twisting in labor pains, waiting, expectation, patience, trust, enduring, expectancy, something longed for.”
Being a mother I immediately thought of labor and child-birth. Mine was not quick or easy. However I never gave up. Of course not, I new that labor and waiting would come to an end and there would be a promised baby! That is confident expectation!
Lets look at the phrase “the coming goodness of God based on His faithfulness”. God is faithful. Faithfulness is part of who God is. He is always true to His promises. He keeps His covenant because He made it and He loves his people. He cut covenant with Abraham the father of Israel. He promised to be their God and they His people. You can read about the blood covenant in Genesis 17:1-8.
In Deuteronomy 7:9 and in Galations we are told that same covenant is ours today
9 “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
From the very beginning God had in view that Jesus would be the descendant of Abraham and that everyone who trusts in him would become an heir of Abraham’s promise!
If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Because of the existence of this covenant, we can have faith that God will do certain things because it is a “blood oath” forever established on the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 7:22 tells us this covenant or contract is what we stand on to obtain the promises of God. This covenant is not like a western contract. It cannot be broken or changed. Parties are bound until death and God does not die. It is the basis of our faith and our absolute faith in His promises. The blood covenant is a exciting and intense study, you may want to did deeper by taking level 2 in Operation Solid lives to learn more.
Well, lets look at the next verse that Jessica shared. Hebrews 6:18-19 in the Passion translation, where we are told that hope is our anchor.
- So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change! And now we have to run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time-an unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold.
It is the blood of Christ on the mercy seat that gives us free access to the mercy of God today.
I love the image of an anchor. For over 30 years our family recreation has centered around boating and water skiing. We would often seek out a quiet cove for a swim. Before we jumped off the boat we had to throw down an anchor. That anchor would go down deep to the bottom and catch and hold the boat from drifting off. The lakes were big and without an anchor holding that boat we would have been in trouble! That anchor was tied at two ends. One was chained to the boat the other to the ground at the bottom of the lake. Once we went boating with our friends the Anderson’s, many of you know Candace from our call. Well as Dave found our perfect spot he told Bruce to throw the anchor overboard. We all watched as that anchor and the full length of the chain went to the bottom! You see at that point Bruce had no experience with anchors and Dave forgot to tell him to attach it to the boat! That story has always given us a chuckle but this morning I am sure the Lord brought it to my mind to drive the spiritual point of the Anchor home. The unbreakable anchor holding our souls (our thoughts, emotions and will) is our hope in God who is faithful to His word. It is fastened to the promises made ours through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. We have to hold tight to our end, belief and faith in the God of Hope.
This morning Judi reminded us of that an anchor keeps us from being tossed here and there by every wind of news or circumstance we may find ourselves in. Then Candace took us right there in James.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
It is doubt that throws us into the wind and waves and tosses us about. We must anchor ourselves to the very nature and faithfulness of God so this does not happen.
Jessica sites in her teaching a study found in USA Today which states that hope is a robust predictor of mental health and provides resilence against things like PTSD and depression. The length of time that the pandemic has gone on and all of the life style changes it has brought could easily ware on our mental health. In this study it showed that hope actually changes the chemical makeup of our brains. God has given the answer to a hope that will keep us steady and mentally and emotionally healthy.
So how do we raise our hope in Him? I think we go back to the word. Review God’s attributes, that he is faithful and unchangeable. Review how much he loves us and that he has made an unchangeable covenant with us. Just get back to the word and all his promises.
Psalm 1 is my go to:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night, He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.
Grab the anchor of hope my friend as you go deeper in Him.
In His Grip,