Posts tagged ‘hope’

Biblical Hope Shapes Response to Life: Hope Series 4/4

Biblical hope should visibly influence a Believer’s life regarding attitude and actions. “As Christians hope they anticipate the future and bring it into the present. Hope is not defined by present realities but by God’s purposes for the future” (DPHL, 416).

Embrace hope. Allow yourself TO BE embraced by hope. Set your mind on God's past faithfulness AND Hie plans for your eternity.

Embrace Biblical hope. Allow yourself TO BE embraced by hope. Set your mind on God’s past faithfulness AND His plans for your eternity.

Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures point out that God’s purposes for our individual futures are one’s of hope, promise, and of God’s choosing.[1] Our individual lives have great potential to bring glory to God.[2] Living this kind of purposeful life not only honors God, but it brings great satisfaction, direction, and joy to the one following God.

Our corporate lives (as a church) also have great potential to bring glory to God. God purposed that His people in the Old Testament and New Testament should live as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that [they] may declare the praises of Him who called [them] out of darkness into His wonderful light” (I Peter 2:9)[3] with the purpose of sharing the salvation message.

By keeping our Christian duty in mind as individuals and as a Body, we will have all the hope we need in order to carry out this enormous and oft-times difficult task. “Hope, Biblical hope, the hope of glory that is firmly anchored to the Cross, has a powerful shaping influence on our present condition. Therefore: live in hope.”[4]

Out of this hope let us keep an eternal perspective of life while engaging in this earthly life. Let us share the Hope of the World with those who are hopeless while there is still time.

“Hope is a Christian prerogative because the Spirit reaffirms the Christian’s position in Christ as an adopted family member” [5]. . . (DPHL, 416). As an adopted family member Christians have access to the power and presence of the Spirit which is needed to live daily life. Christians have not been misinformed.

The New Testament plainly speaks about the trials, tribulations, and suffering they will undergo while they are residents of mortal earth. Christians undergo earthly suffering in like manner as their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did. And like Christ, the suffering ends in glory. It has a purpose and a destination.

“The glory is as sure as the suffering, and the Holy Spirit is a pledge that the suffering is not in vain” (DPHL, 416). Alleluia! Christians “have more than God’s faithfulness in the past and promises about the future to give them hope. God’s gift of the Hoy Spirit provides an experiential basis for hope in the present” (DPHL, 416).

Life in this world will be troubled. Believers will face hard times; sometimes as a result of their own poor choices and sometimes as a result of their stand as a Christian. Throughout the Scriptures, God has proven Himself to be faithful in upholding His promises of deliverance and help in times of trouble. This allows the freedom to hope well and consistently in the One who is worthy of that hope.

As sovereign God, He gives meaning to suffering. Yes, “hope is an encouragement to Believers in the midst of suffering, but it also prevents Believers from being content with present circumstances. Hope insists that Christians wait with eager longing for the great day when all of God’s promises are fulfilled. ” (DPHL, 417) Hope also insists that Christians live life with joyful hope.[6]

Note: In reading about Abraham I was struck anew with the unique way God interacts with modern Believers. Abram did not have a past history with God that showed how faithful God was. Abraham did not have the continuous indwelling presence of the Spirit to confirm God’s words. Nor did he know about Christ.

Makes me think hard about how privileged my Christian life is. I have a past history with God. The Holy Spirit lives within me. I have my own copy of God’s Word (the Bible). And I know about and benefit from the death and resurrection of the Messiah.

Your Turn . . . 

  • How does Biblical hope shape your attitude and actions especially when you are facing hard times?

Related Posts . . .

4 Part Hope Series. The posts will be hot-linked as they go live.

  1. Hope Based on Personal Strength is Futile (5/16)
  2. Biblical Hope (5/20)
  3. New Testament Hope According to Paul (5/22)
  4. Biblical Hope Shapes Response to Life (5/27)
 FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post.

[1] See Genesis 50:19-20; Lamentations 3:18-23; Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 2:10.

[2] See Matthew 5:16; Romans 12:2.

[3] See Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 55:4-7; Matthew 28:19.

[4] http://misterstandfast.blogspot.com/2004/03/notes-on-biblical-hope-1.html

[5] See Colossians 1:5.

[6] See Romans 12; 12.

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Biblical Hope: Hope Series 2/4

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Because of what Jesus did on the Cross and because He rose from the dead, He is truthfully our HOPE.

In the first post of this series on Biblical Hope, I said that hope based on personal power, strength, motivation, and perseverance is a futile hope and will come to nothing (in the long-term).

146 passages in the Old Testament contain the word or notion of hope. Many of these hopeful expectations are not well-founded and can in fact be called futile or foolish.

But there are 73 more Old Testament verses on hope. Let’s see what they say.

 “In the 73 passages in which the hope of the faithful of Israel is expressed through the verb or noun Yahweh is named as the object of hope” (Hoffmann, 239).

These passages recognize that God has recorded promises that He covenants (obligates, promises) Himself to accomplish. His track record shows Him to be perfectly faithful to those promises. Thus, having Yahweh as the basis and fulfiller of hope is not futile or foolish.

Indeed believing in these promises is a wise way to live. God has the power, mercy, and inclination to fulfill the promises He has made. The Israelites agreed (although didn’t always live like it) with the writers of the Old Testament that Yahweh was their hope.

This confidence was never claimed by worshippers of other gods. “Those Babylonians whose prayers have come down to us never called their gods their “Hope” (Hoffmann, 239).

Misplaced hope in Old Testament times and today can be summed up by the following Nietzsche quote:

“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man.”

Hope based on man or gods is hopeless. In the end it is futile.

However, Biblical hope is a safe bet.  It bound the Israelites to God and God to the Israelites in an intimate, loving relationship not seen in other religions. Biblical hope does the same thing together between us and our loving, Father-God.

As was stated in the opening paragraph of the 1st post, hope can be described as having certain expectations based on a person’s (perceived or real) ability to perform. Old Testament hope based its confidence in the person of God.

Because God is the hope of the righteous, they can expect good things from God and wait patiently for his help and deliverance. This patient hope is firmly anchored in the history and narrative of Scripture. The God who has fulfilled His promises to Israel in the past will continue to be faithful in the present and future.” (DPHL, 415)

This hope was not just for personal benefit. The Old Testament hope largely focused on “Yahweh’s coming in glory, His reign over a new earth, the conversion of Israel and the nations, and the new covenant based on forgiveness of sins” (Hoffmann, 240).

This Old Testament hope had an eschatological basis. The Israelites hoped in God’s guiding hand which one day would end all “earthly distress” by establishing David’s throne on earth, forever, through Messiah.

“The messianic age was seen as a time when Israel’s hope in God’s promises would be fulfilled, the Kingdom of God would be given to the saints, and the hopes of the ungodly would be destroyed by God’s judgment” (DPHL, 415). Because the people of Israel trusted in God they knew their hope was well founded on a personal and a national level (as a result of His History with them) .

Your Turn . . .  Upon whom and where is your hope based?  . . .  Does it make a difference to your day-to-day living?

Related Posts . . .

4 Part Hope Series. The posts will be hot-linked as they go live.

  1. Hope Based on Personal Strength is Futile (5/16)
  2. Biblical Hope (5/20)
  3. New Testament Hope According to Paul (5/22)
  4. Biblical Hope Shapes Response to Life (5/27)
 FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post.

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Hope Based on Personal Strength is Futile: Hope Series 1/4

Hope based on our own power is a feeble power and comes to nothing.

Hope based on our own power is a feeble power and comes to nothing.

Hope is a general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled    . . .   an expectation or wish, an optimism which may or may not be well founded,   . . .     and someone or something on which expectations are centered.[1]

Human beings need hope in order to thrive at life, realize ambitions, overcome another hellish day, maintain optimism through illness, and follow fantastic visions.

Hope is also about something or some person being powerful enough to fulfill expectations.

This latter impression of hope is a new one for me to contemplate. It is also more in line with the biblical definition of hope. This 4-part series will look at hope according to this last idea. I’ll show how Biblical hope, in the Old Testament and New Testament, is centered on a Person.

 Old Testament Hope

 146 passages in the Old Testament contain the word or notion of hope. Half of these uses are secular and are an “expectation combined with certainty and tension, directed towards some definite desired object or event still lying in the future” (Hoffmann, 239).

Many of these hopeful expectations are not well-founded and can in fact be called futile or foolish.

“When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength,” (Proverbs 11:7).

Hope based on our own power is a feeble power and comes to nothing.

The next post will discuss how the other half of the “hope” verses in the Old Testament are centered on a Person.

Your Turn . . . 

  • How would you define Biblical hope?
  • Where do you place your hope?
  • Do you agree/disagree that hope based solely on our own strength is feeble?

Related Posts . . .

4 Part Hope Series. The posts will be hot-linked as they go live.

  1. Hope Based on Personal Strength is Futile (5/16)
  2. Biblical Hope (5/20)
  3. New Testament Hope According to Paul (5/22)
  4. Biblical Hope Shapes Response to Life (5/27)

[1] Definitions of hope on the web.

 FYI. During April I participated in the A-Z Challenge. Most of the posts were from drafts that are at least a year old. I want to clear out my draft pile (193 as of May 15, 2013). So I am continuing to make a special effort to finish those. This is one such post.


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Grateful for the Hope That is Within Me


I have hope in . . .

  • God’s word (Psalm 119:114). He is my refuge and my shield.
  • God’s love (Psalm 147:11). His love is unfailing.
  • A future (Proverbs 23:18). This future is positive and it will happen.
  • Renewed strength (Isaiah 40:31). Teach me, Lord, to wait on you.
  • Eternal life (Titus 1:2). God has promised this to us before the beginning of time.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

Now, that’s something on which to base our hope and gratitude!

 Other Related Posts:

P.S. Ann Tatum is hosting 30 Days of Thanksgiving. She encourages us to daily share our gratitude. Click here and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post and click on Mister Linky. Then you’ll be able  to read other participants on this thankful journey.

Click on (more …) for All Photos from 2009 November’s Photo-a Day.

(more…)

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My 6 Word Philosophy of Life Brings Perspective

Coming up with my Philosophy of Life took some thinking. What is my philosophy of life? What truths do I follow consciously or unconsciously?

And it took 12 tries:

  1. God loves me. Live like it.
  2. First things first. Forget the rest.
  3. Weary but still hanging in there.
  4. Live life on purpose every day.
  5. Forgetting is easy, forgiving is hard. (At 50, forgetting is a natural talent.)
  6. Friends are treasures. Tell them often.
  7. Loving God. Loving others. Loving myself.
  8. Life is hard. Deal with it.
  9. I love being mom, auntie, sister.
  10. Breathe. Eat. Read. Walk. Think. Talk.
  11. Forgive often. Pray always. Love now.
  12. Joyful Hope, Patient Affliction, Faithful Prayer.

I choose #12 as my 6 word philosophy of life.

It comes from Romans 12:12: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. This has been my on-again, off-again verse for the year for many years.

  • It gives me proper perspective on how to handle life.
  • It also reminds me that life here on earth is short, has a purpose, and is preparation for a greater forever destiny – Heaven.
  • Most importantly it reminds me that Someone (God) is in control, has the answers and power and wants to share both with those who ask and obey.

Your Turn . . . Take time to wrestle with your philosophy. Your philosophy will guide how you behave and think. . . . Then post you answer here. . . . How about tagging someone so they too can benefit from this meme?

Four Related Posts  . . .

This meme was brought to you by . . . . Theresa from Stitches of Grace . She tagged 3 people (me, Lynette and Amy) for this meme.

Memes have rules. Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you. Done.
  2. Post the rules. Done.
  3. Share a 6 word philosophy of life. Done.
  4. Tag 3 other people. I’ll tag 6 because in RSVPing there is usually a 50% chance of a No: Lori, Doodah, RunningShoes, Jenny, Alanna, Can’t Backspace. It would be awesome if either Catlady or Duker left their 6 word philosophy in the comment section.

Be warned. This is not as easy as it looks. Be sure to let me know, if you do participate.

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