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The angels fell, and remained without hope or help. Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels, therefore he did not take their nature; and the nature of angels could not be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of man. Here is a price paid, enough for all, and suitable to all, for it was in our nature. Here the wonderful love of God appeared, that, when Christ knew what he must suffer in our nature, and how he must die in it, yet he readily took it upon him. And this atonement made way for his people’s deliverance from Satan’s bondage, and for the pardon of their sins through faith. Let those who dread death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace, and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death. The remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations, makes Christ mindful of the trials of his people, and ready to help them. He is ready and willing to succour those who are tempted, and seek him. He became man, and was tempted, that he might be every way qualified to succour his people, seeing that he had passed through the same temptations himself, but continued perfectly free from sin. Then let not the afflicted and tempted despond, or give place to Satan, as if temptations made it wrong for them to come to the Lord in prayer. Not soul ever perished under temptation, that cried unto the Lord from real alarm at its danger, with faith and expectation of relief. This is our duty upon our first being surprised by temptations, and would stop their progress, which is our wisdom. – Matthew Henry

As Christ was tested by what He suffered and is able to help those who are also being tested – and as we share His life, joined with Him because of His gift – we must be prepared to share His commitment with others along our spiritual journey. As Christ lead the way and shows us how, we too are required to share those travellers burdens, encourage them, and share our hope with them.  Our hospitality is part of the privilege of following Jesus who opened the way of life to us.

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.  For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham.  Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. – Hebrews 2:14-18

LIFE IS HARD…SHARE HOPE

 

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Hope in Christ

I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.  See, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. – Isaiah 8:17-18

This Isaiah passage was quoted later on in Hebrews.  I statement suggests that the OT is hidden (but still with hope) and also suggesting that the NT would be a time of understanding God.  When Hebrews identifies the last days, it would seem that the promises and realization of the Messiah marked that day and a better day coming.  All that was hoped for and spoken of in the OT met its end in Christ.

So the message of the NT – summarized well in Colossians —

 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27

We do not have any hope if we do not have Christ.  If Christ is not active in you, and you have not already begun to experience the mystery of His life being lived in you, then, first of all, you are not a follower of Christ, and second, you have no hope — no hope of glory, no hope of fulfillment, no hope of ever being anything, in the final analysis, other than a non-entity, a total zero in life! All this is involved in this vastly important secret.

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.  He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. – Hebrews 1:1-3

Hope in Christ | Spoken Word

Hope in Christ

1 Corinthians 15:19

Hope in Christ

 

 

Resurrection of hope

These two disciples had left their companions after Peter’s return from the sepulchre and before Mary Magdalene hurried in with her tidings that she had seen Jesus. Their coming away at such a crisis, like Thomas’s absence that day, shows that the scattering of the sheep was beginning to follow the smiting of the shepherd. The magnet withdrawn, the attracted particles fall apart. What arrested that process? Why did not the spokes fall asunder when the centre was removed? John’s disciples crumbled away after his death. When Theudas fell, all his followers ‘were dispersed’ and came to nought. The Church was knit more closely together after the death that, according to all analogy, should have scattered it. Only the fact of the Resurrection explains the anomaly. No reasonable men would have held together unless they had known that their Messianic hopes had not been buried in Christ’s grave. We see the beginnings of the Resurrection of these hopes in this sweet story. – MacLaren

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened.  While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them,  but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.  And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.  Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?”  He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,  and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.  But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.  Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning,  and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on.  But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them.  When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”  That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. – Luke 24:13-33

Hope and the Resurrection

Hope and The Resurrection

The Resurrection: Our Hope for the Future

 

 

Prayer prompts us to continue

He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again – 2 Corinthians 1:10

Prayer prompts us to continue in hope —

I praise You God, my deliverer.

You have unlimited power over the enemy and the trouble I face. I invite You into this situation. Deliver me from evil.

Let Your love and truth be revealed. In Your great power, conquer all that is meant to harm me.

I believe You can do more than I can ask or imagine in love and in obscurity. You delivered people from lions and fire. You can certainly deliver me.

I believe You are already acting on my behalf to deliver me. You are where my help comes from.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

Prayer gives us hope today, and peace, and even joy and gratitude. Indeed, “taste and see that the Lord is good” can be our testimony today.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears – Psalm 34:4

Prayer for Hope and Strength

The Power of Praying God’s Words

 

Jesus, our hope

All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God’s favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord’s watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us. – Matthew Henry

Throughout the Psalms there were many references pointing to the coming Messiah as our hope.  Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise God had made.  Jesus faced our greatest fear for us as He stood before God in judgement of our sin.  Even so, the Father did not abandon Him but raised Him up from the grave by the power of the Holy Spirit.  And this is our hope in Christ too – that He will not abandon us.  There is no where you can go, no circumstance we can pass through that Jesus will not see us.  This is not a promise of no suffering but rather a promise to never leave or forsake, to preserve, rescue, restore and when the time is right, resurrect.

Each new day offers us a fresh opportunity to centre our lives around the love of God.  As you make space to gain God’s perspective, may we ground our hopes and activities on His grace and celebrate what He has done and is doing.

I pray that our time with God today will be filled with the grace and peace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.  The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save. Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,  to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.  Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. – Psalm 33:16-22

My Hope – Matt Redman (with lyrics)

1 Timothy 1:1

His steadfast love

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love Psalm 33:18

It was Psalm 32 that God gave me when I was 14 years old, but it was Psalm 33 that expresses exactly what happened the night I read Psalm 32.

I started to go to Sunday School at a Presbyterian church, invited and taken by my friend and neighbour Mark Findley and his family – I was ten years old.  Two years later we moved and started to attend the closest church to our home, a Missionary church.  At twelve I knew something was missing and was just not sure what it was.  I knew though that I wanted God to be a very special part of my life.  At that time God was just beginning to be a resurrected interest in the life of my parents.

I started praying every night that God would take my life and use it and of course I wanted to know how He was going to use it so that I might prepare myself.  For two years He did not respond.

At fourteen, I remember that I had enough – praying every night and no response?  I fell across by bed and said to myself that there must not be a God and a split second later I remember telling myself, who was I kidding – He was real.  So I prayed what I thought would be my last prayer and asked God to show me what He wanted to tell me.

I picked up my Bible, opened it with my eyes closed, took my finger and landed on Psalm 32:8.  Could not have been more personal, could not have been more real, could not have been more perfectly timed – God had spoken.

Hope filled my soul – peace filled my heart – joy was deep and resident — this verse sustained me in years of hell. They were my anchor through the storms and in fact, may I dare say, they turned those years into moments of blessing because I always knew His eye was on me, guiding me, and loving me.

Could not have asked for more.  Today, those memories of hell are not remembered with ill-will.  They are remembered for so many teaching moments, so many moments when God’s love consumed by body and took me out of my hell for moments of incredible experiences with Him. I am today who I am because He instructed me, He taught me and He counselled me – and I put my hope completely in Him and Him alone.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. – Psalm 32:8

His Love Endures Forever – Michael Smith + Lyrics.wmv

Psalm 147:11

THE STABILITY OF HIS STEADFAST LOVE

In His Steadfast Love, God Will Meet Me

The Pleasure of God in Those Who Hope in His Love

Hope in God’s Steadfast Love

HOPE IN HIS STEADFAST LOVE

Steadfast Love

 

Restored

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I have hoped in you, Lord Jehovah; I shall never be disappointed; deliver me in your righteousness! – Psalm 31:1

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In you, Lord Jehovah, I have hope; I shall never be ashamed. – Psalm 71:1

If I am going to need a place of protection and safety, a strong fortress does it for me.  Probably because of my European background and the numerous castles I have visited make this so vivid for me.

In my meditative moments I even become aware that God is protecting me from plots, gossip and lies.  My praise changes as I am overcome with me frailty and just how much He loves me. My hope is only in Him if I am to survive.

It is not a bad thing to want to get away and go to a place of safety when we are under distress.  The only problem would be that my choice would not be God but rather something more destructive.

As safe as the fortress is, it can never be the place of permanent residence, not even for long periods of time.  The world is where we belong and we do not walk in fear but in God’s love.  The fortress is only for a time of recovery and healing. It is where my vision is renewed and my hope is restored.

Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ we come into your presence seeking refuge and protection from a growing hostile environment. While there are those who seek to restrict or even to eradicate our presence in our community we understand that there are those who seek You and Your righteousness.  Give us guidance and lead us in bringing a message of hope to our community.  Amen.

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.  Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.  You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,  take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.  Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. – Psalm 31:1-5

Psalm 31

Hope Restored: Ephesians

Hope springs eternal

God is faithful and loyal to His covenant – He is the One who does not change.  Our hope is in His the unchanging merciful character.

Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortals, in whom there is no help.
 When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
    on that very day their plans perish. Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God – Psalm 146:3-5

It is the favour of God that we want to recognize in our life.  When it is given, it is a covering providing mercy, preservation, security, and assurance of answered prayer.  It how we get the idea that “hope springs eternal” and that things will be better with “the dawn of a new day come.”

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.  O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.  O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.  For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:1-5

Hope Springs Eternal

 

Story of hope

No one looks forward to suffering and when the disciples asked Jesus what the end times would look like, I am pretty sure they went into some sort of denial for His answer was far from their expectations as possible.

For those of us who have suffered and have had the opportunity of passing through and have changed as a result of it – our story of hope is an amazing story to tell.  My story was physical, tangible and literal.

I have read Howard Thurman’s quotes on suffering and they are quite impactful.  He has studied how suffering has changed people.  This one quote –

“Into their faces come a subtle radiance and a settled serenity; into their relationships a vital generosity that opens the sealed doors of the heart in all who are encountered along the way.”

—  would reflect the thoughts of Jesus as He answered and tried to give statements of hope in the midst of all the angst.

“Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!’ and, “The time is near!’ Do not go after them.  “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.  “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.  This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance;  for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.  You will be hated by all because of my name.  But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls. – Luke 21:8-19

 

The dream is the hope

Dreams are powerful tools that God uses in our lives and they serve many purposes.  In the story of Joseph, many recognize the dreams as prophetic and that is unfortunate.  Prophetic means it has purpose in knowing the future – for Joseph it only landed him in ill repute with his family.

No, the dreams were meant only for Joseph.  God knew that to create the leader He needed to keep the Israelite family fed during the famine, that leader being Joseph, He would have to take Joseph through some life challenges that would almost be unbearable.  In order for Joseph to hang on and complete his leadership maturity, he would need something supernatural to hope on and believe in.

His dreams did that for him.  Given twice for emphasis, God placed a hope in Joseph that sustained him and connected him with God throughout his time as a slave and a prisoner.  His attitude was kept safe and sound and he endured well as he rested in his hopes that God would do what He said He would do.

I think God has given all of us that kind of hope.  We might have forgotten the miraculous moment in our lives when He spoke to us or maybe we think we have somehow missed the mark and the call has been lifted from our lives and we are now on the shelf – waiting for nothing, God has chosen someone else.

God does not fail – when He has chosen and called He will finish what He set out to do in your life and in my life.  I think that is why He dislikes suicide so much – us admitting there is no God or us admitting that putting our hope in God is absolutely of no avail.

What has God given you to sustain your hope in Him and His purpose in your life?  I pray that you already know and if you have forgotten, I pray that He will help remind you.

Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.  He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed.  There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.”  His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.  He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?” – Genesis 37:5-10

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.Robert H. Goddard
US physicist & pioneer rocket engineer (1882 – 1945