Posts Tagged hope

Hope Alive

Romans 5: 5

[A]nd hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I feel real sorrow for the unsaved because they have no hope. I think it a horrible thing to live life without hope. When something bad happens in the life of a believer, we can always turn to our father for help in a time of need, and He is always there to render assistance or even a rescue if necessary. To whom do the unsaved turn? What hope have they?

No matter your problem or difficulty; no matter the challenge, you have a constant helper in the Holy Spirit, who was sent into this earth specifically for that reason. No matter how steep the mountain, the Holy Spirit is here to not only help you scale it, if need be, but also to move that mountain completely out of your way. Whatever you are facing today, let hope well up in your heart because God’s love has been poured out into your heart and His love brings hope. Grasp the fact that you have a way out of your most trying problems. You have a way to win. Then also take a moment to pray for all the lost. Even as you thank God that He has given you hope, ask that He send hope and salvation to the needy. Let the world receive hope through the love that was given to us through the Holy Spirit of God.

God is . . . hopeful

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

Love has an indomitable spirit. Synonyms for indomitable are: invincible, unconquerable, unbeatable, unassailable, invulnerable, unshakable, unsinkable; indefatigable and the list goes on. This is the quality of God’s staying power. Hope never dies in His heart. The flame of hope does not ever even flicker. His hope is unassailable. This hope is so strong that it very closely allies itself with faith. Love, and hence God, trusts. Our Father actually trusts us. He also knows about the effectiveness of His son and His Spirit who are at work in our lives. That alone is enough for Him to never give up hope.

The question is, is that enough for us to never give up hope. One would think it should be. If God will never stop hoping and we are intertwined with Him then maybe we can hold on to our hope even in the dark hours. That hope is really vital to our well-being. It is stronger than a wish. Hope leans forward. It has expectation in its wings. It has confidence in tomorrow, every day. No disappointment rises above hope. We may have to catch our breath at times but hope picks us up even if we fall. Hope always refocuses our eyes on the horizon, not on the ground.

Maybe yesterday was a challenge. Maybe this morning was without sunshine. Not to worry. Our God is right there in the very next breath you take and each subsequent breath. He will renew our hope and encourage us with each breath, if we allow Him. You can turn around your day in a breath. Stop. Breath. Expect God to fill you with hope and encouragement. Remind yourself of His words and wonders. Let the God of hope, the God of love restore you, right now!

Beyond Imagining

1 Corinthians 2: 9                God’s Word Version

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.

A friend reminded me of this verse recently. I had let it slip my mind. What a huge passage this is, what an enormous unveiling of the Father. Our God and Father has already prepared great things for us, things beyond our imagination. The NIV Bible says, “What no human mind has conceived.” God has prepared for us things which no human mind has ever conceived of. Jeremiah 29: 11 tells us God has good plans for us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He has good plans for our future and has already prepared for us the things which will usher in those good plans. We should have hope then.

Today’s verse is a restatement of a verse from Isaiah, “For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him (Isaiah 64: 4). We saw last week what the word “waits” really means. It means to be intertwined with. So, God has prepared these good things, these things which are beyond your wildest imagination for you who wrap yourself around Him, who wrap yourself up in Him. So this is great news, yes? Well, not to the casual Christian it is not. It won’t do much for a pew sitter. However, for those of you who love God, which I know is everyone who bothers to read devotionals, this is the gospel of good news. Eye has not seen, neither ear heard the glorious things God has already prepared for those who love Him.

Yahweh has plans for your year. His plans are beyond what have been seen before, heard before or ever conceived of. Meditate on that. Let your mind ponder what you can have and do this year. If you so choose, this can be your greatest year ever. Bigger, better, farther and higher are the plans God has for you. Your cup is designed to overflow. Receive His abundance.

Intertwined with Jesus

Isaiah 40: 31

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

When you go to our webpage (www.iveyministries.org) you will see this verse on the leading banner. One might question why we have chosen this verse when there are others which seemingly fit the logo better. Of course, one thinks of John 15: 5, “ I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Yes, I love that verse. It is rich, but so is today’s verse.

To really appreciated today’s verse one needs to look a bit deeper. If you stopped reading this and looked at our website, you undoubtedly noticed a difference. Above reads, “those you wait for the Lord.” The website verse reads, “those who hope in the Lord.” That is the NIV reading whereas for the Word of the Day I used the New American Standard Bible. Which is right? Well, they both are. The God’s Word version deals with this verse well. It says, Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.” Certainly that adds clarity between the various readings but still, I have not answered why this verse in any version would be appropriate for Ivey Ministries other than it is just a great verse and inspiration from the Lord. In order to reveal the very essence of this verse we must look in the concordance.

When you look up the word “wait” in Strong’s Concordance (Strong’s no. 6960) you find it is the Hebrew word “qavah”. It is a root word which means to bind together perhaps specifically or particularly by twisting. So let’s look at today’s verse in this light, “Those who are ‘twisted together with the Lord’ will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Now, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Let me restate it, “Those whose lives are twisted together, intertwined, with the Lord, shall have great strength.”  One would expect nothing less. The word qavah also implies a sense of expectation. Truly, if we each had a revelation of being inextricably intertwined with Jesus wouldn’t we have enormous expectations of goodness, power, strength and blessing flowing in and through our lives?

That is what I want for you, a life so full of the indwelling presence of the Lord that when you breath, he breathes; when you speak, he speaks. I want the blessing of the Lord to fill you to overflowing. The overflowing grace of the Lord will bless all people you come in contact with. You have the right to walk in the power of the Lord, yes, but also in his majesty. I want you so full that you have the answers, authority, words and power for every situation. I envision each one of you so full of Jesus that he literally overflows from you. All victory, all glory is yours in Christ and that is what you are entitled to. Do you want to talk about entitlement? This is your inheritance in Christ, full victory and glory of the Father. Everything that Jesus is belongs to you through him. He so desired to give you full access to all the glory of God that he chose to go to the cross. Let us not stop short of everything. Let us not settle for anything less than Jesus’ absolute best. This is the Kingdom of God, that we should be intertwined with the Beloved and behold His face. Glory to God and to His children.

Hope

Romans 15: 13


Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our God is hope. We have an uncommon peace because it is the peace Jesus left for us. It is the peace that comes from having faith in the Holy One; from knowing that He is on your side and is watching over you.

I feel for the people who do not know God. They are without hope. But no matter what our problems; whether sickness, a lost loved one or any of a multitude of things, we have hope because we have God. There are people out in the world who have no hope. They have no expectation that things are going to get better. We can have hope even when we do not see any way for our circumstance to improve because we know God and know Him to be a miracle worker. Maybe you have been in a hopeless situation and seen God deliver you. In Him there is always hope and that is a truly great thing. Our hearts need not be burdened with the worry because we know He is there for us.

I pray, along with Paul, that you will “abound in hope” and be filled to the fullest by the Holy Spirit. Don’t let the problems get you down because where there is God, there is always hope. May you be filled with the joy and peace that comes from believing in Him. May you overflow with gratitude that you always have a hope and a prayer.

Preserved

Psalm 31: 23 – 24

O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.

This verse reminds me of Psalm 23 where it reads, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me.” What an amazing statement. God will sustain you, protect you and preserve you no matter what kind of situation you walk through. He will be with you even in your darkest day. He is not going anywhere without you. So even though you walk through some scary times and places, you can have confidence. You are secure in his care. Be strong, take courage, you are not alone. You have an attentive father who also happens to be the most powerful being in the universe as your right hand guard. Take heart. You are okay.

Hope Is Born

Luke 2: 8 – 14

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

I love the Christmas story and this passage of scripture specifically. In fact, it is one of my most favorite passages in the whole Bible. And yet … sometimes I wonder if I get lost in the poetry and the wonder of the event and miss the deep significance. 

As you may know, I spent the last several weeks caring for a loved one as she made her transition to heaven. So many times, both when she was in the hospital and later at home, I wondered what people who are without Jesus do in times of great trial and challenge. We were so obviously buoyed up by the prayers of friends and the grace of our dear lord. I would not like to try to endure that without the help of my dear Jesus. The other day it dawned on me that more was born on that Christmas morn than just a baby; more even than a Messiah and king. It dawned on me that hope was born on that precious morning. 

Humanity was lost and without a hope. At least the Jews knew there was a promised Messiah but the rest of humankind had no hope, no prayer. And while it sounds a bit crazy, eternal salvation just isn’t the whole gift. In fact, over the last six or so weeks it hasn’t even seemed like the most important gift of that blessed morn. No, to me, Christianity is so much more than my address in eternity. Christianity to me is my precious, beloved Jesus who is with me every minute of every day caring about every single thing in my life; he who cries when I cry, who laughs when I laugh; he who takes joy in some of the simplest things in my life; who will sit with me, ride my bike with me, who forgives me when I lose my temper and brags on me when I do something right. He is more than a brother, he is so much more than a lord, and more even than a Messiah. He is my breath. I appreciate that he paid the price for me to get to spend eternity in the company of God but I needed someone who would breathe for me, who would laugh for me, who gives me joy in the midst of great travail, who gives me strength when I have none of my own. I love him because he has breathed life and hope into this hurting and decayed world. He gives joy where there is sorrow and he is life. I love him because he first loved me and because he loves me unconditionally. He gives us hope of a future, hope of getting through the rough times. I have stood on, relied on, leaned on and believed in that hope. I have seen the love of those he calls his own and how his beauty shines through them like the glory of the Lord must have shone on that Christmas morn. 

When we were lost and without hope our Father sent us hope in the guise of a little baby. Never again is the world without hope, praise God. For all those who don’t know the Lord Jesus personally I pray that they would find him and be wrapped in his love and grace as I have been. For those without hope, I have this Christmas wish, that the personification of hope, Jesus, the Christ, will fill them with all the joyful anticipation of joy in the morning and that they would be filled with the courage and confidence that comes with knowing Jesus personally, not as Lord, nor as Messiah, but as best friend, confidant, loving brother, as hope and glory. This is what Christianity means to me. Take a deep breath, breath in hope and life. Let Jesus fill you heart and your lungs.

May your Christmas be blessed with a deeper revelation of and a more meaningful relationship with the Lord Jesus and may your heart be filled with hope and joy. Merry Christmas and God bless you.

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