BLESSED HOPE

BLESSED HOPE
In a previous devotion we talked about ‘Longing for God’ (posted on this site January 19, 2009)

We described longing as having a strong desire for something.
Our greatest longing should be for a meaningful relationship with God.
Psalm 42:1
1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

This week we will be talking about hope; specifically our Blessed Hope in Christ. So what is the difference between longing for something and having hope?

As we discussed, longing is to desire something.

The definition of hope is – to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
So hope is not just wanting something, it is counting on something.

A Christian’s definition of hope should be – a bedrock assurance based on the promises of God. A divine certainty.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

So why do you think we used the phrase ‘bedrock assurance’?
Psalm 61:2
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Matthew 7:24-27
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

So our Hope is based in our faith in God. What do you do when your faith waivers?
Mark 9:23-24
23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Our faith in God does not grow like money sitting in the bank earning interest. It grows by experience: witnessing and acknowledging God’s faithfulness to His Word.

So what is our Blessed Hope
Salvation and Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord
John 3:16
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When life gets difficult, when you are hurting physically, emotionally or spiritually, it is so easy to get focused on ourselves.

Remember:

The Goal is not Happiness, it is Holiness!

Holiness is to be set apart for use by God.
Holiness is standing apart form sin and evil

We should not waste our time and energy worrying about the basic necessities of life. If we seek after God and trust Him, He has promised to provide these things.

Matthew 6:33
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Steps of Hope
1. Acknowledge any sense of hopelessness or lack of trust/faith.
2. Ask God for forgiveness and cleansing.
3. Align your heart to God’s will through prayer and Bible study.
4. Let go of your unmet desires. Strive to be Holy.
5. Seek God with all your heart (more prayer and Bible study).
6. Ask God to strengthen you through your journey.
7. Praise God continually. Thank Him for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do.
8. Cling to Christ, our solid rock, in all circumstances.

Prayer

Father, may our hope as Christian be found only in You and the promises in Your Holy Word. Thank You for the faith You give us to believe. Thank You for being faithful to all You have promised. Help me to be holy. Amen.