Abounding in Hope
Romans 8:18-21 NIV, KJV, NKJV: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Here, Paul tells us to hope for the manifestation of the sons of God that will deliver the creation from the frustration and futility of decay of death brought about by the fall of Adam.
These sons of God will manifest the character, power and glory of God just like Jesus did (Jn.14.12).
This is the hope that is currently set before us.
Now, hope is confidence in the reality of what God will do in the future; while faith is confidence in the present reality of what God has done, that is not yet perceptible to the physical senses.
For instance we can have faith to be born-again, to be physically healed and prosper, but we have hope to be resurrected with a glorified body.
The new birth, physical healing and prosperity are present realities. The resurrection with a glorified body is a future reality.
Similarly, the manifestation of the sons of God is an imminent future reality: a future reality whose manifestation will occur anytime now.
Our hope for this manifestation is to abound so motivating to us to higher and higher degrees of diligence and purity.
1 John 3:2-3 NASU, NKJV: Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
The scripture says in Rom. 8.24 above that we are saved in hope. So when hope is lost or deferred it makes the heart sick or discouraged.
Proverbs 13:12 NKJV: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
So it is vital to keep your hopes high so to speak or to abound in hope.
How then do we abound in hope?
Firstly, by the comfort and patience of the scriptures:
Romans 15:4 NKJV: For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
As we read, study and meditate upon the scriptures the Holy Spirit refreshes our hope, by the accounts and examples of those whose hopes, in spite of long delays and difficulties, ultimately were fulfilled in the scriptures: like David, Daniel, Nehemiah, Ezra and Esther.
Secondly, by the power of the Holy Spirit through frequent, fervent praying in the spirit with an attitude of love.
Romans 15:13 NKJV: 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.
As we do this the Holy Spirit will illuminate our minds with revelation of the reality of God’s Word giving us bright hope:
Ephesians 1:17-18 NIV: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you,
Also, experiences of past victories in Christ give us hope for future victories.
Romans 5:1-5 NKJV: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hope based on the solid foundation of the Word of God that has produced victorious experiences in your life when you acted on the Word with faith and patience (Heb. 6.12, 10.35), will never be disappointed.
For example, the experience of the new birth gives hope for the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us hope for the perfection or maturity of the love of God in our lives and the consequentmanifestation of the sons of God: doing the works Jesus did and greater (Jn. 14.12).
Experience of the manifestation of the sons of God will give us hope for the rapture.
Experience of the rapture will give us hope for the millennial reign of Christ.
And finally experience of the millennial reign will give us hope for the eternal Kingdom of God .
So continue to abound in hope by acting on the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit!