Abounding in Hope
In our article on enduring the cross we saw that we endure the cross and endure hardness (Luke 9.23, 2 Tim 2.3) by seeing and fellowshipping with Him, who is invisible, by faith (Heb. 11. 27), during the temptation or trial we may be facing. In fact, we are to put our attention on the Lord who is at our right hand (Ps. 16. 8, 11) rather than on what we are suffering.
This week I also want us to see that we are to endure and overcome the cross by concentrating not only on the Lord who is at our right hand but also on the hope that is set before us. In fact, the Holy Spirit will enable us to abound in hope, as we see and fellowship with Him by faith during the temptation or trial.
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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.
Now hope is an optimistic expectation in your heart based on the promise of God’s Word. It is earnestly looking forward to the fulfillment of the promise of God that has not yet been manifested.
It is vital to have hope, and abound in hope, during temptations and trial. We are to abound in hope in two areas: hope for the life that now is, and for the life which is to come (1 Tim. 4. 8). The hope of the life that now is motivates you to remain faithful to believing God and His Word (Rom. 4: 18). The hope of the life which is to come motivates you to a life of purity (1 John. 3. 3).
Furthermore, when the hope for this life is deferred or delayed and the heart wants to be sick or discouraged (Pr. 13.12), the hope of the life to come will strengthen and encourage you. Remember always that if in this life only, we have hope in Christ then we will be the most miserable of all men (1 Cor. 15.19).
We abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. As we pray in the spirit and meditate on the Word during temptations and trials it will cause us to abound in hope both for this life and the life to come.