Hope in God

The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God’s wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for. In the Saviour’s name let us hope and pray. One word from him will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it. At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God. He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then plead it to God. – Matthew Henry

I think we do not ask ourselves enough times why we are feeling depressed or anxious.  When we rehearse the why we usually do not find sufficient reason for being so.  But in case we find that our fears are as bad as they are and maybe as overwhelming as we seem to feel, then, as always, we have to put and then keep our hope in God.  There are many promises we can remind ourselves of including God being faithful and loving – two good reasons for hope.  Our faith will kick in, victory is anticipated as we put our fear into His hands and we wait for Him to rescue us. 

“For yet I know I shall him praise
Who graciously to me,
The health is of my countenance,
Yea, mine own God is he.” – Presbyterian Church of England Hymnal

So our active praise and worship allows us to declare God as God – we will wait for Him! and we will hope in Him!  This is not mindless and is not passive but rather a spiritual confidence that God will participate because He always has. 

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. – Psalm 42:11

Voices of Hope – In God We Trust with Amy Grant

God raised Him from the dead

Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. – 1 Peter 1:21

 

In these simple words, “God raised Him from the dead”, repeated again and again on all possible occasions, was the great truth of Easter first preached to the world. The Resurrection was ‘an eminent act of God’s omnipotency,’ worked before the eyes of all in heaven and earth, and it has been the glory, the comfort, and the hope of the Christian world ever since.

“My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.  Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him.  Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed.  When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead;  and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people.  And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors  he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.’  As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “I will give you the holy promises made to David.’  Therefore he has also said in another psalm, “You will not let your Holy One experience corruption.’  For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption;  but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you;  by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.  Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you:  “Look, you scoffers! Be amazed and perish, for in your days I am doing a work, a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’ ” – Acts 13:26-41

Jeremy Camp – Same Power

Everlasting

Jesus Christ – the same tomorrow as He was yesterday and today.  Our hope for everlasting joy rests on this relationship.

Our promised redemption on oath and absolute certainty, ratified by blood on the cross, and now we place our entire faith and hope on Him.

Unchanging – a Saviour only to sinners – those lost, those farthest away from God and hope – inspiring them through the Holy Spirit.

Our faith and hope and knowledge all ultimately depend on a person who is infinitely worthy of trust – because he is absolutely and eternally unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises. – Grudem

We all experience those moments in life when the only consolation we have is to hold on to that unchanging hand of God.  As much as change can be exciting and maybe even desirable at times, it also can be accompanied by failure, loss of health, death of loved ones, and old age.  The soul of a person can find no better haven of rest than in the unchanging Jesus.  He is the north star in the heavens, shining the brightest in the darkness, an unchanging hope in a world of troubles.

The unchanging character of Jesus also means that everything surrounding Him is also changeless.  The gospel, the plan of redemption, His relationship with the Church – it’s government, doctrine, purpose and hope – all are changeless.  His purposes, great love, assurance of resurrection and eternal life – all the same.

So we give Jesus our total commitment – we place our hope completely on Him and His grace.

Jesus, our unchanging rock, immutable hope, firm foundation – the one whom we place our trust, forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

Brian Doerksen, Everlasting

Wait expectantly

Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting. When we are foolishly making court to lying vanities, God is, in love to us, calling us to seek our own mercies in him. The call is general, Seek ye my face; but we must apply it to ourselves, I will seek it. The word does us no good, when we do not ourselves accept the exhortation: a gracious heart readily answers to the call of a gracious God, being made willing in the day of his power. The psalmist requests the favour of the Lord; the continuance of his presence with him; the benefit of Divine guidance, and the benefit of Divine protection. God’s time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist? That he should see the goodness of the Lord. There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. In the mean time he should be strengthened to bear up under his burdens. Let us look unto the suffering Saviour, and pray in faith, not to be delivered into the hands of our enemies. Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer. – Matthew Henry

The word most often translated “wait” in the sense of waiting on the Lord is the Hebrew qavah. Qavah means (1) “to bind together” (perhaps by twisting strands as in making a rope), (2) “look patiently,” (3) “tarry or wait,” and (4) “hope, expect, look eagerly.”

The second most frequently used word translated “wait” is yachal. Yachalmeans “to wait,” or “hope, wait expectantly,” and is so translated in our English Bibles. The KJV sometimes translates yachal as “trust” as in Isaiah 51:5, but the NASB has “wait expectantly” and the NIV “wait in hope.”

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope – Psalm 130:5

The act of waiting is an act of trust.  The real art to waiting becomes the ability to stop trusting in anyone or anything and rest in Him alone.

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
    for my hope is from him. – Psalm 62:5

If we do not separate ourselves from the things that separate ourselves from God, He sometimes will help us do that.  He does not like to share His glory with something else.

What if my mind is telling me that my hope is only a vain hope – what if I absolutely do not see or feel any possibility at all in my present situation that would expect a special expectation. My spirit responds – it is God getting involved who is the possibility for me to expect great things.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14

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