ABOUNDING IN HOPE_2011
Romans 15:13 KJV: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
God wants us to abound in hope; why?
Hope motivates us to be diligent in our spiritual lives, purifying ourselves by the blood (Heb. 13:20-21), Word (1 Jn. 2:5) and Spirit (1 Jn. 4:12-13) so we can experience the reality that our hope in God’s promises.
1John 3:3 KJV: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Now, there are 3 levels of hope we should have as Christians:
1. Hope for the promises of God in this life: healing, prosperity and physical and material blessings. For example, Abraham’s hope to give birth to a son through Sarah in their old age:
Romans 4:17-21 KJV: (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (18) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. (19) And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: (20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
2. Hope for the perfection and fullness of Christ in this lifetime (1 Th. 5:23; Jn. 14:12):
Colossians 1:27-28 KJV: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
3. Hope for the resurrection and the glorification of our physical bodies at the ‘rapture’ at the physical return of the Lord Jesus at the close of this age:
Matthew 24:14 KJV: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
1Corinthians 15:51-55 KJV: Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
To abound in hope, we need to:
i. Maintain an honest and humble heart:
Proverbs 11:2 NIV: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
ii. Pray as a daily habit for the spirit of wisdom and revelation:
Ephesians 1:17-18 KJV: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (18) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling…
iii. Pray frequently and fervently with tongues and all types of prayer in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18), with hearts filled with the life of God to release the revelation and power of the Holy Spirit into our hearts to abound in hope:
1Corinthians 14:2 KJV: For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1Corinthians 2:7-10 KJV: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Psalms 119:49 KJV: ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
It is instructive to observe that we should always have the hope of perfection and the hope of the resurrection constantly in our hearts so that when our hopes for physical and material things are denied or delayed our hearts will not become sick making us miserable:
Proverbs 13:12 AMP: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
1Corinthians 15:19 KJV: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
So we are to abound in hope not only for the things of this life, but firstly and more importantly for the perfection and fullness of Christ in this lifetime and the glorification of our bodies at the resurrection: knowing that as we grow into the perfection and fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:15), we will have all other things added to us (Matt. 6:33)!