Archive for the ‘Comfort’ Category

Everyday we should see God in His creation: in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the friendships we enjoy, and the love and pleasure family brings. We should thank God for all of life’s joys, large and small, and allow them to draw us to Him.

I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

“ABOUND IN HOPE”

(Romans 15:7-14)

Romans 15:13 – “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

We can abound in hope because we have trust in a risen Savior. We can abound in hope because we have the Holy Ghost within us. We can abound in hope because we have a merciful and gracious God that will enable us to abound in the Hope only He can provide.

INTRODUCTION: Christians are to live a life abounding in Hope. Are you abounding in Hope right now? Do you have the hope of God living in you right now? Have you accepted the only source of this true hope as your personal Savior?

Notice in verse 13 “Now the God of Hope” – God is the foundation on which our hope is built; and He is the Builder of that hope. God is both the object of our hope and the Author of it.

Now man can have earthly hope of things to come. A child can hope to get a certain present, a young man can hope to get his driver’s license or a car; an adult can hope to get a nice house; but this kind of hope is man based, man centered, and man built. Hoping for all these things is not wrong necessarily; but Christians should also have a heavenly minded hope, this heavenly minded hope should be the predominant hope of our life. We should not worship at the altar of earthly things but we should be worshipping at the altar of the Author of our eternal hope – Christ Jesus! Psalm 39:7 says “And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

Is your hope in the Lord tonight? Or is it in your ability? Or is it in your plans? Or is it in your dreams? Or is your hope where it should be, in the Lord?

To help get a better understanding of what Biblical hope is and how we get it, how it is defined, how it is described in the Bible, how we develop it in our lives, how we demonstrate it, and how we act in out in our lives, I am going to ask a series of questions about hope and try to answer them as we go along.

 WHAT IS HOPE? – It is joy and peace and not sorrow and stress! (Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.)

  • What is hope? – Hope is anticipating or trusting in something to come to pass that we can’t yet see. (Romans 8:23-25 – And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.)
  • What is hope? – It is something worth defending; it is something we should be prepared to defend. (I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:)
  • What is hope? – Trusting in God to always work out for the good the events that transpire in our life. (Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)

HOW DO WE GET HOPE?

  • By believing patiently and without wavering in God. (Hebrews 6:11-12 – And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.)
  • By the Word of God. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)
  • By the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13b – …that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.)
  • By being a Christian. By making sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. (Romans 15:13a – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,…) – You need to make sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith in order to have access to true Biblical peace and hope.

HOW IS HOPE DEFINEDThe Greek word translated as hope in Romans 15 is “el-pece” which means to anticipate with pleasure, an expectation either concrete or abstract, or a confident faith or expectation. It has the meaning of dealing with the unseen or the future.

  • Hope as found in the Scriptures is not just a wish for something but a strong confidence that is placed in God.
  • According to its proper Biblical meaning in is inseparable from faith. (I Peter 1:21 – Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.)

HOW IS HOPE DESCRIBED – what are some descriptions of true Biblical hope?

  • We have The Hope of Righteousness – Paul writes of the hope of righteousness in Galatians 5:5 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
  • The context of this verse involves justification. Galatians 5:4 says “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
  • Justified” and “Righteousness” in these verses come from the same root Greek word which means to render just or innocent, free and righteous.
  • Paul is talking about the hope of being made righteous or being made not guilty of sin.
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of being declared guiltless before God. Amen!
  • We have The Hope of Revelation.
  • The revelation or the appearing of Jesus when He returns. (I Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:)
  • The Hope of revelation in which we will receive praise, honor, glory and joy. (I Peter 1:7 & 13 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; & 4:13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.)
  • The Hope of revelation whereby we too are revealed the sons of God. (Romans 8:19 – For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.)
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of Jesus’ revealing and ours as well.
  • We have The Hope of Resurrection. (Acts 23:6 – But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. & Acts 24:15 – And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.) – You need to make sure you are part of the resurrection of the Just and not the unjust. You need to make your salvation sure if it is not.
  • The resurrection of our mortal bodies and the putting on immortality. (I Corinthians 15:42-44 – So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. & 50-54 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.)
  • The hope of resurrection is made possible by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20-21 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.)
  • This hope, spoken of here, is a strong desire and expectation of being raised from the dead to eternal life!

HOW IS HOPE DEVELOPED – How do we develop our hope? How do we develop hope in our life?

  • We develop it Through Grace – it is God that loved us and gives us good hope by His grace. (II Thessalonians 2:16 – Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,)
  • We develop it Through the Word
  • The Old Testament provided hope. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)
  • The Gospel of Christ provides hope. (Colossians 1:5 – For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;)
  • The Apostles wrote that we might know the hope of God’s calling. (Ephesians 1:18 – The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,)
  • We develop it Through Experience – Experience involves tribulations. Experience involves trials, experience involve unpleasant circumstances, experience involves things not going the way we would like them to go, experience involves problems. (Romans 5:3-4 – And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:)
  • Experience can produce perseverance in the Christian and this can lead to confidence. (James 1:2-4 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.)
  • Our hope strengthens the longer we live for Christ.
  • We develop it Through the Spirit – We through the Spirit eagerly wait for our hope. (Galatians 5:5 – For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.)
  • Heavenly pointed hope does not disappoint. Because it is the consequence of God’s love poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.)
  • Because of this we can abound in hope. Our hope is strengthened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Look at Romans 15:13 again “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

HOW IS HOPE DEMONSTRATED – How is hope demonstrated by the Christian? How is hope demonstrated in your life?

  • By Christians who are eagerly awaiting for the coming of Jesus. (I Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:) – A vibrant hope is one with a strong desire for what is to come! – How is your hope level? – Is it strong or is it weak? – Are you looking forward to the coming of Christ?
  • By Christians who are patiently working for Christ. (I Thessalonians 1:3 – Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;) – A vibrant hope is one in which work is being done for Christ. – I ask again, how is your hope level? – Are you demonstrating a good hope level by your patient and consistent working for Christ?
  • By Christians who are rejoicing in their current state. (I Peter 4:13 – But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. & Philippians 4:11 -Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. ) – A vibrant hope is one filled with joy. – Again how is your hope level? – Do you rejoice in your circumstances whatever they are?

HOW IS HOPE ACTED OUT – How does a Christian act out the living Hope that is within us? (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

  • We as Christians have hope and Paul exhorts us to act like we do. He says to not act as if we have no hope, but act out what we say we believe. Act out our hope in Heaven, act out our Hope in the resurrection, act out our hope of seeing loved ones again who have fallen asleep in Jesus. Act out our belief in God’s Word! And in so doing we will comfort those around us.
  • Act as if we have hope; because if you truly are a Christian you truly do have the greatest hope of hopes. You have a living hope. You have the hope of living eternally with Christ and all of your saved loves ones in heaven. – Now that is some Hope!!!
  • That is some hope we want to possess that is some hope we want to have and this is some hope we should be sharing with those around us.

IN CONCLUSION:

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation of…

  • The righteousness found only in Christ
  • The revelation of Jesus and our glory with Him when He comes
  • The anticipation of spending eternity with Jesus and our loves ones in Heaven

So what is the hope of a Christian? – it is the Desire and expectation made possible by…

  • The grace of God
  • The Word of God
  • The experience of Christian service
  • The empowerment of the Holy Ghost

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is the Desire and expectation manifested by…

  • Our eagerly waiting
  • Our patiently working
  • Our rejoicing all the while

So what is the hope of a Christian? – It is truly the helmet of our salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8 – But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.)

Hope is the anchor of our soul. (Hebrews 6:19 – Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;) – For which we should praise God.

If you are born again in Christ you are a partaker of a lively hope, a living hope, and an eternal hope through the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:3-7 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ;)

Are you a possessor of this true Biblical hope? – Have you ever admitted you are a sinner, in need of a Savior? Have you ever accepted the gift of salvation and eternal life from Jesus Christ? Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

If you have not accepted this gift of salvation why don’t you accept it today?

Are you abounding in hope?

If you need to renew your eager anticipation, if you need to refresh your hope in Christ why don’t you do that today?

If you need to ask God to give you peace and hope to face your current circumstances make sure and do that today too.

If you are feeling convicted because your life does not always demonstrate the hope you should have as a Christian why don’t you get that right today?

 

 

 

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

“HOLD MY HAND, LORD…”

Walk me through the loneliness

and the valley of my sorrow…

Hold onto me when I’m too afraid

to think about tomorrow…

Let me lean on You, Lord,

when I’m too weary to go on…

Hold my hand, Lord,

through the night until I see

the light of dawn…

written by – B.J. Hoff

 The word translated as “nigh” in Psalm 34:18 has the meaning of being near, allied with, at hand, a near family relation and eager to help comfort. When we are going through the tremendous sorrow of a broken heart, keep in mind the Bible promises us at this time the Lord is as near to us as possible. He is allied with us; that is He is not going to let us go through this despair alone. He is always at hand, He is not going to let even one moment pass by without being there for us in that trial. The Bible says He is a near family relation; or in other words He is there for us as a loving Father wrapping us up in His loving arms of support and love. He is eager to help us, He desires to and will give us the strength we need moment by moment. We may not realize it at the time; but looking back on certain moments we have been through in our life, we know it is only but for the Lord helping us through that moment that we made it through.

Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

David went through a lot of trials and trouble in his life. He faced the giant none other was willing to face and he killed Goliath – with God’s help and guidance. What giants are you facing right now? What obstacle has presented itself in your life? Perhaps it is a financial giant, a problem relationship giant, a trial at work or school giant, a health concern giant or perhaps it is the giant of guilt or the giant of losing someone in your life that was dear and beloved to you. (John 16:33 – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.)

David went on to be hunted by Saul for doing nothing wrong but willing to live his life according to God’s plan and purpose. David lived in caves in the wilderness; but David kept his faith. What trials are you going through that are no fault of your own? – give those cares and give those concerns over to God; and don’t lose your faith in Him. Just like David did, though under heavy persecution and facing many trials he kept his faith in God. Don’t lose your hope or faith, with the Lord there is always hope for a better tomorrow. (Lamentations 3:22-24 -t is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.)

David later went over to the Philistines, he continued to suffer many things. Many times he did not have anything to eat. – Why? Have you ever asked why? Why must I go through this trial, this tribulation, this hardship or this loss? The Bible tells us God does everything for a purpose – why didn’t God make David’s circumstances easier for him? Because God was training David to be a king! What could God be training you for with the circumstances you are currently facing? What could you learn from that trial? How could God use you in the future as a result of that tribulation? What could that loss you are facing lead you to in the future? We do not know the answers to these questions. We must though, however difficult in can be at the moment, we must, like David did, keep our faith in God. Trust in Him, rely on Him and continue to look for how what you are going through can be used for His honor and Glory. (I Peter 1:6-9 – Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)

In Acts 13 verse 22 the Bible says “he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. How is your heart lining up with God’s? Are you willing to fulfill His will in your life? David in his life made many mistakes, caused many of his own problems when he strayed from God and God’s will for his life. Do not allow yourself to make those same mistakes of straying from God in your time of trial, don’t try to do it alone, do not allow yourself to become bitter at the situation. As hard as it is to hear, as hard as it may be to think, as hard as it may be to believe – but God does work everything out for the good to those who are called according to His purpose and those who confess Him as their Savior. God is our safe haven, He is our strength in time of weakness and trouble. (Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. & Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)

 

Sometimes things seem impossible; impossible to do, impossible to overcome, impossible to endure or impossible to handle. But the Bible tells us all things, even the things that seem impossible to us and impossible to us, even for God to do, are possible (Luke 18:27 – And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.) Life is often exhausting to us physically, mentally and spiritually – events in life can be too much for you to bear, too much for you to mentally accept, too much for you to comprehend, too hurtful, too sorrowful – but Jesus offers rest for our weary and burden souls (Matthew 11:28-30Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.)

Often you can be afraid of things in your life, you can be afraid of the reality you find yourself in, afraid of the circumstances you are facing, afraid of the events that are transpiring in your life – but God will strengthen and help us as we face these situations. You do not need to have the strength or ability to go through these times in your life. God will give you the strength and grace that you need moment by moment (Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.) When you are worried or anxious, God cares for us, cast your cares on Him (I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.) Sometimes we may feel all alone, that we are going through something those around us do not understand, we may feel lonely and neglected, we may even feel distant from God; but the Lord promises to never leave us or forsake us. We may not seek Him out sometimes, and try to do something on our own; but He is with us through it in spite of us not seeking Him at those moments (Hebrews 13:5 – … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.)