Possessing His Kingdom

Thoughts and Prayers of Irene Madding

Where Does Hope Originate?

Have you ever heard the old expression “ We’ll hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”? Well this is how it seems a lot of people think and pray today. Their hope tends to be more like wishful thinking instead of a positive expectation of that which is a good and right outcome to what they have prayed. So then can anyone tell me where exactly is faith involved in this kind of speech or prayer? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. NIV In other words by the confident faith that we have in the one in whom we are asking, God. We have a full assurance and conviction in our spirit, knowing of a certainty that what we have asked of Him we will obtain. Though we cannot see it’s existence at that very moment in the natural, we know by faith it is ours in the spirit. The Apostle Paul prayed this prayer in Romans 15:13 as he was teaching the Gentiles he said, “May God who is the true source of hope, fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” NLT (paraphrased) So then we can say that Hope, true hope originates in God who is the author and foundation of hope, the very source of hope, and the only way to obtain that confident expectation of hope is to have a relationship with Him. For only He has the power to give hope since He is it’s true source. So why then do so many Christians today walk around like they have no hope and they act as though God is dead. Perhaps it is because they have no true relationship with Him and He is no longer Lord of their lives. Because they have become so entangled in the newest attraction of pleasures this world has to offer, that they have no time for God or the things of God. “They have exchanged the truths of God and His Word to now worship and serve the pleasures of which a created being, the devil their arch enemy offers them”. Romans 1:25 NLT paraphrased As a child of God and one who has Jesus Christ living inside of you, you are not without hope unless you chose to relinquish or ignore the Hope within you. Unlike in the following scripture that says that those who are in the world are without God and have no hope. Ephesians 2:12 NLT says, “In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope”. Therefore from this scripture we must conclude that those who are without Christ in this world are without hope as we once were. They have no joyful confident expectation of eternal salvation. This scripture says that before you became a citizen of God’s Kingdom through your relationship in Christ, you were without hope. But when you received Christ as your Savior you then obtained access to the the covenant promises that are in Him through your relationship in Him. You also now have living in you a joyful confident expectation of Hope in and through Him because of salvation: sótéria (so-tay-ree’-ah) which in the greek means : health,welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, rescue or safety (physically or morally). So why would you give up all of the things listed above that are eternal for the simple pleasures of this world which are temporary. The problem is perhaps you have been too busy with the world and haven’t taken time to learn who you really are in Christ. Do you even know what He has purchased for you when He died on the cross. Have you not learned that you have been given weapons of warfare which are powerful in God to the tearing down and destruction of your enemy the devil. These are very important because when the trials and testings come, and they will. You need to know who you are and what your rights are as a citizen in the Kingdom of God and how to wield your sword efficiently and effectively so you will be victorious in the battle. You tell that devil and those enemies of circumstance to get under your feet where they belong, cause you don’t have no time for any of his nonsense. Then call on the angelic Marine forces of Heaven to come and get him and escort him right back to hell where he came from. You see dear one you can’t always depend on momma, granny or the preacher man to be there to fight your battle for you. God is gonna teach you how to reach up to Him and how to stand on your own two feet. This walk and these battles are not momma’s or grannies they’ve already had their trials and battles to overcome in their walk with Him. These are your battles, that have come to teach you and strengthen you in your walk with Him. They have come to make you stand strong in the day of adversity. I’m sure if your blessed enough to still have momma or granny around that they are prayerfully cheering you on in your walk with Christ. I was just reminded of an old song I use to hear my momma sing around the house when I was a child. I can still hear her singing it to the top of her lungs as she cleaned the house or rocked in her rocking chair. It goes like this. “You gotta walk that lonesome valley, you gotta walk it by yourself, there’s no one here can walk it for you, you gotta walk it by yourself.” Now others may walk away from you and leave you and you feel all alone but God is right there beside you cheering you on. This walk is a walk of faith, trust and hope in Him. He will get you through what ever comes, don’t ever let go of His unchanging hand. That reminds me of one of my old favorite hymns which my momma also sang “Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand” if you get a chance google it for the lyrics they are beautiful and will bring comfort and encourage you. I am so very grateful for a precious mom who instilled a love and a Hope in God, Christ His Son, His Word and His Holy Spirit in me, and a love for music, for without them I would probably not have made it through the many hard places I have endured and persevered through in this life. But they have been my love, strength and joy in this life. That is why I’m here today to encourage you and impart hope to you. Thank You God and thank you momma! In Romans 15:4 (paraphrased) it says that whatever was written in the earlier times of the Bible was written to those of us who were to come to announce,depict, portray and paint like a picture before our eyes a written instruction to show us that through perseverance and encouragement in those scriptures we might have and obtain Hope. Hope is not some half baked idea of wishful thinking but never fully believing that the thing you desire is even obtainable. Like I hear some say, well it would be nice if it happens but I’m not counting on it to happen. That is not Hope at all but skepticism which is a attitude of doubt as to the truth of something. There is no faith in that at all, it is the total opposite of faith and hope. A Hebrew word commonly used for the word hope is Yachael which means to wait expectantly. Meaning to patiently endure because of the assurance of what is coming. Another Hebrew word that the root qavah is commonly translated as hope is Tiqvah literally means a cord or attachment. Like in Joshua 2:17-21 the story about Rahab who was told to tie a scarlet cord tiqvah in her window as a sign of the promise that was made to her concerning her and her family being spared in the conquest of Jericho. This word carries the sense of something that is bound together for strength example a cord or rope. It has been tested and stretched and endured. It is in the truest sense of these words for hope symbolically representative of an unbreakable promise. In the New Testament Greek there are two words for hope. Elpis which is an expectation or confidence, and its verb elpizo, is the act of expecting or trusting. They also include the idea of waiting for the object of our trust.
As a Disciple of Christ then should we not have an unwavering hope and absolute assurance and confidence in the Christ we serve, the one who is the very source of our hope in this life and the one to come? As our dear brother in Christ Kim Clement says, “you’re somewhere in the future and you look much better than you look right now”. Amen! Another Hebrew word that the root qavah is commonly translated as hope is Tiqvah literally means a cord or attachment. Like in Joshua 2:17-21 the story about Rahab who was told to tie a scarlet cord tiqvah in her window as a sign of the promise that was made to her concerning her and her family being spared in the conquest of Jericho. This word carries the sense of something that is bound together for strength example a cord or rope. It has been tested and stretched and endured. It is in the truest sense of these words for hope symbolically representative of an unbreakable promise. In the New Testament Greek there are two words for hope. Elpis which is an expectation or confidence, and its verb elpizo, is the act of expecting or trusting. They also include the idea of waiting for the object of our trust. As a Disciple of Christ then should we not have an unwavering hope and absolute assurance and confidence in the Christ we serve, the one who is the very source of our hope in this life and the one to come? As our dear brother in Christ Kim Clement says, “you’re somewhere in the future and you look much better than you look right now”. Amen! We have a future in Christ and it is a good one and sometimes through prophetic words of revelation God gives us a glimpse of our future to encourage us and give us hope. As he said in Jeremiah 29:11. NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Did you know that God has a plan and a purpose for you being here on this earth? He is looking out for you if you’ll let Him by listening for His direction. Did you know that God wants and intends for you to prosper? Did you know it is He who causes your hands to prosper in this life, if you’ll listen and do what He tells you to do and ask for His help. Did you know that it has never been God’s intent to harm you? It was never His plan for you to go from one bad relationship to another to another. But if you choose to ignore the warning signals He’s giving you He won’t go against what you choose.He doesn’t want you to be some puppet that He controls the strings. He want you to choose Him and His ways of your own free will. He wants you to live life in abundance. His plan has always been to give you hope and a bright future. Did you know He already knows your future and He has it written in a book about you. He knows everything you’ve done, everything your doing right now and everything you will choose to do in the future. So why then do we as children of God grumble and complain as though we have no hope instead of patiently waiting in full assurance with expectation in the God we hope in? Why are we not filled with a sure certainty for that which we have asked of Him? If we are His Disciple then surely we know Him as He is. Therefore let us cast our cares then upon the one who truly cares for us, trusting in our hearts that what He has promised will surly come because He that has promised is faithful. Mattering not whether the promise came by the written word or a prophetic spoken promise or if it was as a simple whispered prayer of asking. Let us as His Disciples and dear children remember Hebrews 10:23 that says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise”. Is there something God has promised you child of God that you have not yet seen the manifestation of it. Then hold fast to your hope in the God you serve and believe His promise and you shall have it. You see we hope but not as the world hopes. But we live life from God’s perspective. Not as one that is just looking for a way to escape this wicked world and sitting idly by and rocking ourselves to sleep in our rocking chair. While the world goes to Hell in a hand basket. But as one who like Caleb even at 85 years old said, to Joshua you were there and you know what Moses said about the Lord’s promise that he would bring me into that land I had set my feet on and I and my descendants would inherit it. Because you see God saw that Caleb was of a different spirit and He had been faithful to God to serve Him wholeheartedly. Even when everything didn’t go as it appeared it was going to be. So Caleb said to Joshua “ give me my mountain the Lord has promised to me 40 years ago. For God has allowed me to live another 45 years and here we are again at this same mountain. With the Lord’s help, I will drive out the enemy and take this land for Him as He has promised me and my descendants.God has given it to me in a promise and it’s mine to take. I to say God give me my mountain you promised I haven’t come this far to let somebody else do what you promised me was mine to do. I haven’t fought hell this long and this hard and been brought this far to just let it go to somebody else. Just cause I’m a little older and others think it’s time for me to get out of the way and sit back and leave it to the young to do. That is not gonna happen! By God’s grace, if the Lord goes with me as He has been with me in the past I will conquer in His name and I will take this mountain as He has promised me years ago. I have not forgotten what He has promised and I count Him Faithful and True who promised. I hear this song for all those who think that God is through with you because you’re older now like Caleb. But I’m here to tell you dear one He hasn’t even begun with you. He is raising up an army of Caleb’s who will say as He did “Lord give me my mountain” give me that inheritance you promised 40 years ago. So lift up your eyes to the one who is your help and count Him Faithful and hold on to hope though it may seem gone. Get up out of your rocking chair and put your dancing shoes and sing along with me this sweet melody unto our God by faith. Remember faith is action. ” God did not bring me out this far to take me back again, He brought me out to take me into the promised land. Though there be giants in the land I will not be afraid, He brought me out to take me into my promised land”. As Disciple’s of Christ we should not be looking to escape this world or life’s problems, but to live our life’s courageously and with gusto for Him who gave His all for us. To fulfill the purpose and destiny for which He placed us on this earth. Building up His Kingdom here on earth which is in us.Like those who had the upper room experience we should be planning to turn the world upside down and encourage others to follow Christ. This is my hope in Him that I will conquer and conquer and conquer, then one day I will look to Him and say Father give me another one to conquer for you and I will hear Him say, child there are no more to conquer, well done my good and faithful servant. It is time for the marriage supper of the Lamb, come and join in the feast at my table. Then you shall return to rule and reign with me in my new Heaven and Earth. We must learn not to hold so tightly to the things of this earth but to hope in those things that are eternal and have a heavenly perspective. For hope in anything other than in God is false hope and will lead only to destruction. I leave you with this prayer from Psalms 62:5, Psalms 31:24 and Romans 15:13 As you wait in silence for God alone may your heart be made strong with courage as you put your hope in Him. And 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.
A Disciple Of Christ,
Irene

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