REJOICING IN HOPE 2
Firstly, we want to wish all our readers a wonderful Christmas.
May the hope of the Christmas season and message truly make us full of joy now and forevermore!
In our last article, we saw that love was the greatest the three eternal divine attributes of hope, faith and love, because it is love that gives birth to hope, motivates and directs faith and delivers the promise of hope. Love is the reason and source of both hope and faith. No wonder the scripture says God is love!
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Now hope is the desire of Love: what God wants to give us but which we have not yet seen or experienced.
Now, it is hope in our hearts that give us joy even when nothing seems to be working or going right as shown in
Habbakuk 3:17-18 KJV: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation
Now to be able to rejoice evermore we must have hope at 3 levels (2 Cor. 13:1, Pr. 22:20-12):
1. Hope of the promises of God for the temporal blessings of this life, like Abraham’s hope to have a son in his old age.
Romans 4:18 AMP: [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. [Gen. 15:5.]
2. Hope of the perfection of Christ in us in this lifetime:
Colosians 1:27-28 AMP: To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory. (28) Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).
1 John 4:17 AMP: In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.
3. The hope of a glorious resurrection.
Philippians 3:20-21 KJV: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
1 Corinthians 15:19-20 KJV: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
It is this 3-layer hope that is the ‘helmet’ of our salvation (Eph. 6:17) protecting our souls: wills, minds and emotions symbolized by our foreheads (Rev. 14:1) from discouragement of the delays and disappointments of this life, causing us to be able to rejoice even when nothing seems to be working; and it also motivates us to a life of purity.
1 John 3:2-3 ESV: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (3) And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
Proverbs 13:12 AMP: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
So when there is a delay or deferment of the first or second layers of hope, the 3rd layer of the hope of the resurrection continues to guard our hearts, giving us the joy and the strength to continue rejoicing and praying. If there were no extra layers of the hope of perfection and of the resurrection then every delay or deferment of the hope for the things of this present life would cause our hearts to be sick, robbing us of our joy and strength.
The Holy Spirit gives us hope at these 3 levels by:
1. Revelation knowledge of the scriptures
Romans 15:4 KJV: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
2. Power through praying in the Spirit with all types of prayer (Eph. 6:18, Jam. 5:16).
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.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 NIV: However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— (10) but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. (11) For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (12) We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (13) This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
1 Corinthians 14:2 ESV: For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
So, let us rejoice evermore in the hope of the glory God (Rom. 5:2), this joy will give us the strength (Neh. 8.10) to continue instant in prayer to overcome any tribulation however severe!