Hope… How does a Christian get it?

I just finished having “coffee with the Lord” this morning… Had a wonderful time of fellowship with Him in His word.  I’m just relishing a wonderful “blessing” I read that was given by Apostle Paul to the followers of Jesus in Rome.  (I have to admit, as a follower of Jesus myself, I claimed it as my own as well!)  Here it is…

Apostle Paul said, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope!” (Romans 15:13)

Now let me unpack the truth in that blessing a bit…

First of all, there is a vast difference between “hope” as the broader culture understands it today and the Bible’s perspective on “hope!”  Hope for most people today is what you longingly, and fervently wish would happen… It may not happen, but you want it to happen – in fact, it would be wonderful if it did happen.  That is NOT the biblical understanding of “hope!”  The Bible presents “hope” as a confident expectation…  For the believing Christian, “hope” is what is going to happen!  God promised!  Which leads to the next observation…

Apostle Paul said the “joy and peace” that comes along with “believing” comes from “the God of hope!”  God’s character is on the line!  He promised what is hoped for – and He will deliver on His promise.  The confident expectation is tied to God’s faithfulness!  He never fails!  All the promises of God find their emphatic “YES!” in Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:20)  And the result in our lives? … “Joy and peace” as we put our trust in Him… Hey, He promised it… it’s going to happen, regardless of the circumstances!

And it doesn’t happen because we clinch our fists, work up our trust-emotions, or try muster all of our spiritual resources to try and claim it… Paul’s blessing says, “by the power of the Holy Spirit” we “abound in hope!”  In other words, God works it within us – the Holy Spirit is at work within to produce it!

Oh, I don’t know about you, but I’m claiming those words in the Bible as my very own today!  We live in a world where the attacks by our spiritual enemy, Satan, the evil everywhere around us, the pressures of life, and the circumstances we face, militate against “hope” (whether it is the Biblical kind or “hope” by the broader culture’s definition).  I’m so glad “the God of hope” out there, and the Holy Spirit within, are working to produce it in my life! … Aren’t you?  Me?  Today I’m going to “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer!” (Romans 12:12)

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