Friday, 21 December 2018

A Living Hope

Proverbs 13:12 Hope delayed makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

      1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
     We are so fortunate to have a hope that is alive and living within us. This is not a wishing kind of hoping that maybe we might get something a bit better than we have right now. No saints! This is a living hope that lets us know we have an eternal inheritance in heaven and a vibrant love that is working out God's salvation through Christ within us. 1 Pet. 1:4 And we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 
      We are able to live by faith because our hope is real and established in Christ the Lord. Without a living hope alive within us, faith cannot grow or manifest. 1 Thes. 1:3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Inspired hope produces faith. If there is no hope in God, then our faith will wane and become ineffective.
      Without hope alive in our soul that can be seen and lived out, there literally is no hope. When God ministers to our soul, we are filled with hope because His love produces an eternal expectation in our hearts. Lam. 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. However, when hope is removed, then so does the ability to love and walk by faith. 
      We read the effects of lost hope when the reaction of Eli the priest finds out the ark of the Lord was captured by the Philistines.‭‭ Eli hears that his sons have died in battle. 1 Sam. 4:17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. 
      You would have thought there would have been a stunning reaction to the news that his sons had died. But the scripture says that when Eli heard the ark had been captured, his reaction was so shockingly upsetting that he falls off his chair and breaks his neck and dies. 1 Sam. ‭4:18a‬ When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. 
      Was it because the hope for Israel had been taken out of the land? The ark held the very presence of God and a living hope to the people. Eli lost hope in that very second of realization when he got the news the ark of God was gone. 
      This reaction seems to be prevalent because Eli's daughter-in-law went into premature labor and gave birth because of the shock of that same news. She died giving birth, but before she dies she names her son with a hopeless name. 1 Sam. 4:21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. She died in pain while losing hope.
      The moment the presence of God is gone from one's life, the hope that was in God also goes away leaving a person without a working hope. How then can faith work in a life with no hope in it? This is why Jesus is the living hope. The hope of eternal life within us is alive; therefore, we have faith in our Savior. 
      We have hope because we have an inheritance in heaven and in our God. Put your living hope in a living Savior. Jesus is the living hope who gave His life for us so that we would have faith in God and give glory to His name. Psalm 33:20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 
      If we have Jesus we have hope eternal, and that hope lives and moves within our soul. Keep your hope alive and give God the praise and faith due to His name. Amen!

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