THE SUBSTANCE OF HOPE
Everybody needs hope. If you don't have hope what is left but despair. But the hope promised by God is not positive thinking. Biblical hope is radically different from mere wishful thinking or positive thinking.
Hope is a substance which needs to be inside you. It is trust in God before the answer appears.
Hope is the promissory note from God of a something to be given. Hope is the downpayment of a substance. Just as you put a promissory note in your wallet, the substance of hope resides in your heart. Hope is a substance but it is not the full substance of what is promised. It is the guarantee of a future reality.
Paul says in Romans 8:24: “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for that which we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Hope always relates to the unseen. Hope always relates to what has yet to become real and substantial in your life. When you lose hope, often you try and grasp at the unseen promise and pull it into the now. The only thing that can do this is God-given faith otherwise it will not work.
REAL HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT
“And hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” Romans 5:5
The difference between human hope and biblical hope is that human hope has the potential to disappoint; hope placed supernaturally by God does not disappoint.
Many people (including myself) have carried disappointments in our lives. In my experience, this was because I placed too much weight on my own self-generated hope.
But when the love of God is poured out in my heart, I know without a shadow of a doubt that He always hears my request.
Hope is meant to be the guardian of the mind and the emotions. It is the protection against depression, anxiety, pessimism and all forms of negative thinking.
Human hope is never enough. Human hope always has the risk of crushing disappointment. Biblical hope is like the inbreathed word of God. It will accomplish that which it promises. Biblical hope carries within it the divine seed of the promised substance. When you receive the hope that God gives, you already have the seed planted in you.
THE GOD OF HOPE
Jesus was full of hope when He lived on earth. The Father’s love deposited the substance of hope in the heart of the Son. He had hope for the joy set before Him and so was able to endure the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He is so full of hope now for His Bride. He is totally confident in the Father. Likewise, the Father is totally confident in the Son’s promise to bring many sons to glory. Father and Son are fully confident in Holy Spirit for the preparation of the gifts. God is the God of Hope.
Love is the source, Hope the stem, faith the flower.
Jesus’ experience was that the Father promised Him a bride and He never lost that promise. He did only what He saw the Father doing and did nothing of His own initiative. In fact, he could do nothing of Himself. He completely trusted His Father to look after all of His needs. He did not suffer anxiety because He knew His Father so well.
The Father’s experience is that Jesus has promised Him many sons. Do you think that the Father lacks confidence in His beloved? Not for one instant. The divine persons have total confidence in each other and are in complete rest. They trust to the nth degree each other’s capability to deliver on the promises that each gives to the other and they are fully at rest in that.
HOPE IS REAL
Sometimes we pray out of pressure or fear because we are afraid of failing or looking vulnerable. We often ask God to save us from embarrassment or insecurity. The prayer of sonship is very different. The son is not insecure. He is secure in his vulnerability and confident in his weakness. He does not take undue regard of his potential to sin. The son knows experientially the power of the fathomless love of God to overcome all obstacles.
Often hope is just a thread. It is a filament of expectation in the heart. That is hope in its seed form. But it grows into a tree. When the tree gets too big to be carried inside you it has to burst out - that is faith, which then becomes substance.
...I will continue this theme over the next couple of blog entries.... if you allow Divine Love into your heart, it will bring Divine hope with it.
(Image by Megan Aroon Duncanson)