The Gift of Hope

Lesson One

The word of the Lord coming to VFCC is profound and necessary. God has spoken clearly that we are called to be a Center that inflames the hope of Godís people. Hope is the divine word being etched by the Holy Spirit into the life of this body. This series of lessons are dedicated to the goal of understanding the revelation being granted to us.

Hope (Websterís Dictionary) \'hop\ vb hoped ; hoping [ME, fr. OE hopian; akin to MHG hoffen to hope] vi (bef. 12c) 1 : to cherish a desire with anticipation <~ s for a promotion> 2 archaic : trust ~ vt 1 : to desire with expectation of obtainment 2 : to expect with confidence : trust syn see expect _ hoper n _ hope against hope : to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment

2 hope n (bef. 12c) 1 archaic : trust, reliance 2 a : desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment <came in ~ s of seeing you>; also : expectation of fulfillment or success <no ~ of a cure> b : someone or something on which hopes are centered <our only ~ for victory> c : something hoped for

Websterís Dictionary provides an interesting application of the English word "Hope", but is this definition thorough enough. The common application of Hope is to see this characteristic in the light of "Wishful Thinking". The question before us now is this very thing. Does the Bible teach that Hope is humanistic wishful thinking? Lets seek to find an answer.

In the Old and New Testaments 12 different Hebrew and Greek words are used to translate the English word "Hope". Throughout this study I will utilize these words in order to clarify the spiritual principle of Hope.

The Eternal Three

1 Cor 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (KJV)

(Reference Scriptures: Rom 12:3, 6 Eph 2:8 2Th 2:16 Titus 3:7 1Pet 1:13)

In this verse is presented the famous three spiritual gifts. We have faith, hope, and love, but the greatest gift is love. Hope at this point is a member of the godly triad. We accept that faith and love are by-products of the Holy Spirit in our lives, but the common human thought is to associate hope with the wishful thinking of our desires.

 

This perception of hope is not scripturally and spiritually accurate. Since hope is associated with faith and love we must assume that it comes from the same source. The Bible teaches us that faith is the by-product of Grace. Consider with me this possibility. Faith, hope and love are all by-products of Grace (Rom 5:2). Now the question we should consider is this. What is Grace? What influence does Grace have on our lives. These are difficult questions to answer, but let me provide a brief observation.

Divine Grace

Grace - charis (xa/ri$- khar'-ece/5485); from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): KJV-- acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

charis- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) grace: what affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favor; used of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favors), a recompense, a reward

Grace is Godís divine influence upon our hearts, and its reflection in our lives. Simply stated, Grace is the Holy Spirit and His operation in our lives and hearts. Paul realized that faith, hope, and love are all expressions of the dynamic of grace working in us. Hope is as much of a spiritual attribute as faith and love. In fact, we will discover that hope is the root of faith, and faith is the doorway to Godís love.

Divine Godhead

Lets consider another possibility. The Bible teaches that God (the Father) is love.

I Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (KJV)

I Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (KJV)

(Reference Scriptures: 1Jh 2:15; 3:1)

The Bible also teaches that faith is the working and expression of Jesus Christ in our lives. He is the author and finisher of our faith.

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV)

(Reference Scriptures: Rom 3:22; Rom 5:1 Gal 2:16; 3:26 Eph 6:23 Phil 1:5)

The Bible associates the blessed hope of God with the Holy Spirit. Its interesting to note that Peter taught that hope is the key to the revelation of Jesus Christ (1Pet 1:13). According to the Bible the mission of the Holy Spirit (comforter) is to reveal the person of Jesus (Eph 1:17; Jn 14:26; 15:26).

Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (KJV)

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (KJV)

1 Pet 1:13 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; (KJV)

(Reference Scriptures: II Th 2:16; 1 Tim 1:1 Titus 2:13; 1 Pet 1:3)

Consider with me this possibility. When Paul made reference to Faith, Hope and Love he made a spiritual connection with the eternal Godhead. These three attributes are descriptive of character and personality of the Godhead. Each attribute describes one member of the Godhead, and each quality is separate in function but united in purpose and essence. The Holy Spirit must open our hearts to the power of hope in order for Him to reveal the person of Jesus. We must allow our faith and revelation in Jesus to grow and mature in order for true divine love to sprout , grow and be fruitful. Faith, Hope and Love form a circle. One attribute is connected to another; all three function together forming us into the image of Christ.

Now it should be evident that hope is not wishful positive thinking. Hope is the operation and ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Now lets turn our attention to the object of our hope.

Hope in the Lord

tiqvah (.hw`q=T!-tik-vaw'/8615); from 6960; literally, a cord (as an attachment [compare 6961]); figuratively, expectancy: KJV-- expectation ([-ted]), hope, live, thing that I long for.

tiqvah- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon) 1) a cord 2) hope, expectation a) hope b) the ground of hope c) things hoped for, an outcome

The first Hebrew word we will consider has the application of an expectation of things to come. The question that we should ask is this. Where does this expectation come from?

Ps 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. (KJV)

Ps 62:5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (NIV)

Itís interesting to note that King David realized that his expectation, his hope comes from God. It doesnít come from positive wishful thinking, nor does it come from latest vogue therapy technique. Our hope only comes from one source; it comes from God not human reason or thought. David realized that his hope came from God. Now that we understand that hope is a divine attribute of the Godhead this would be logical.

Cord of Hope

Itís also interesting to note that the Hebrew word "Tiqvah" has the literal application of a "Cord".

Eccl 4:9-12 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. (10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. (11) Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? (12) And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (KJV)

When we read in Ecclesiastes that two are better than one, and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken, we have the application of divine hope. Consider with me this possibility. Our hope is to be the Cord that binds us to the will of God, and our hope is to be the Cord that establishes our spiritual boundaries.

What do I mean by this statement? Hope is the essence of grace that inspires us to do the will of God. People who lack hope lack divine direction also. The Bible teaches us that the nations of this world who do not have Christ have no hope (Eph 2:12). Remember, hope is not wishful thinking itís a divine attribute of the eternal Godhead. Without Christ we have no access to this attribute. Hope is the cord that binds us to the will of God. Faith is the door that allows God to move in us, and love is the fruit of this divine interaction.

Hearts Fixed

Now that we understand that the source of all divine hope is God, we must realize that the mission of this hope is to fix our hearts on the Lord in Godly expectation and trust.

Ps 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

We hope only in the Lord. He is the person who alone is worthy of hope and trust. All human flesh may fail us, but Jesus Christ is our eternal High Priest and Mediator

Ps 38:15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. (KJV)

Ps 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. (KJV)

1 Tim 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; (KJV)

Heb 6:18-20 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: (19) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; (20) Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV)

The author of Hebrews paints a vivid picture of divine hope in action. He realized that Jesus Christ was the anchor of his soul, and only through Him he had access within the veil of Godís divine Holy of Holies.

Godís Attributes

We understand that hope is the ministry and function of the Holy Spirit, and our hope must be fixed in the Lord. What other divine attributes will we find in the center of divine hope.

Ps 33:18, 22 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; (22 ) Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. (KJV)

Ps 130:7-8 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. (8) And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (KJV)

Ps 147:11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. (KJV)

The first and most important operation of hope is to open the new convert to the divine mercy found in the heart of God. Our faith and trust in the mercy of God must come from the divine influence of hope. Should we frustrate the divine influence of hope, our perception of Godís mercy will be distorted. God does not stop being a merciful God, but our perception is distorted. Hope inspires us to rest in the mercy of God.

II Th 2:16-17 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, (17) Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. (KJV)

We also understand that the hope of God can only come through grace. Remember, grace is Godís divine influence upon our hearts. The holy agent of grace is the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul fathomed that hope is the divine influence of grace that comforts our hearts (Holy Spirit Ė Comforter), and establishes us in the good word and work of God. Again we see that hope is our divine cord that binds us to the will and work of God.

Spiritual Benefits

As hope matures in our lives there must be spiritual benefits that will manifest as a result of our interaction with God through hope? Lets consider these gifts.

Gift of Peace

Ps 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (KJV)

Rom 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. (KJV)

The gift of peace is a tremendous benefit. Our soul finds rest in the hope of God. We are filled with all joy and peace, when we abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gift of Strength

batach (baw-takh'/982); a primitive root; properly, to hie for refuge [but not so precipitately as 2620]; figuratively, to trust, be confident or sure: KJV-- be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

batach- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

1) to trust

a) (Qal) 1) to trust, to trust in 2) to have confidence, to be confident 3) to be bold 4) to be secure

b) (Hiphil) to cause to trust, to make secure

2) Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament: to feel safe, to be careless

chacah (khaw-saw'/2620); a primitive root; to flee for protection [compare 982]; figuratively, to confide in: KJV-- have hope, make refuge, (put) trust.

chacah- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

(Qal)

to seek refuge, to flee for protection; to put trust in (God), to confide or to hope in (God) (figurative)

Ps 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (KJV)

Another benefit that hope produces in our lives is a divine feeling of security. In God we feel safe, because we put our trust in Him. All who hope in the Lord will experience Godís divine strength. Spiritual boldness is the result of our strength and security in the Lord.

Gift of Salvation

elpis (el-pece'/1680); from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence: KJV-- faith, hope.

elpis- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) expectation of evil, fear

2) expectation of good, hope;

in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation

3) on hope, in hope, having hope a) the author of hope, or he who is its foundation b) the thing hoped for

elpizo (el-pid'-zo/1679); from 1680; to expect or confide: KJV-- (have, thing) hope (-d) (for), trust.

elpizo- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) to hope; in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence

2) hopefully to trust in

Lam 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. (KJV)

Rom 8:24-25 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? (25) But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (KJV)

Eph 2:12-13 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (KJV)

The Apostle Paul taught that we are saved by hope. Wishful thinking cannot save us. Only an interaction between the Holy Spirit and us can we discover the power of salvation. Another benefit of divine hope is the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Consider with me this possibility. We are saved by hope, therefore hope must be a function of the Holy Spirit who has the power to convict of sin (Jh 16:7-8).

Once we understand the concept of the Cord of hope, then the Holy Spirit using hope to convict of sin would be logical. Hope follows the narrow path of grace. We are saved by hope because hope inspires us to trust the Lord for our salvation. Since this is the case, then hope also must reveal to us our constant need of salvation and our fallen sinful condition.

Gift of Resurrection

Acts 24:15-16 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. (16) And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. (KJV)

1 Cor 15:19-20 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (KJV)

Col 1:3-6 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, (4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, (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; (6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: (KJV)

We are seated with Christ in heavenly places now. This promise is for today not just a blessing we have in heaven. The hope we have in God is not a futuristic, heavenly experience, itís available now to us. An intimate experience with Jesus Christ is the only avenue we have to draw from our heavenly account. (Eph 1:3, 20)

1 Pet 1:3-5 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, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (KJV)

Hope deeply implants in us a faith in the power of a future resurrection with Christ. What confidence and peace of mind we have when we rest in the hope of our resurrection with Jesus Christ. Our greatest enemy is death, but in Jesus we have hope in our eventual day of resurrection.

Great is the hope we have in our eventual resurrection with Jesus. We must not limit the power of resurrection to that holy day. The Bible teaches that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies. We can drink from the wells of resurrection power now, but we must allow the Spirit that raised Jesus to reveal this mystery to us. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the Holy Spirit, our great Comforter. We already have identified the Holy Spirit with the attribute of divine hope. Would it not be logical that this same Spirit would fill us with hope in the resurrection?

(Reference Scriptures: Jh 5:28-29; Rom 6:5, 8:11; Phil 3:10)

Gift of Godís Presence

betach (beh'takh/983); from 982; properly, a place of refuge; abstract, safety, both the fact (security) and the feeling (trust); often (adverb with or without preposition) safely: KJV-- assurance, boldly, (without) care (-less), confidence, hope, safe (-ly, -ty), secure, surely.

betach- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

1) security, safety as an adverb: 2) securely

1Thes 2:19-20 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (20) For ye are our glory and joy.

Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. (KJV)

Another gift of hope is the confidence we have in the holy presence of Jesus. To walk in Godís presence; what a great experience. If we have Godís presence we are most blessed. In the presence of the Lord we find security, peace, joy and love. Hope is the key to the manifest presence of God. Hope inspires us and fills us with love. Hope causes a deep yearning in us for an intimate experience with Jesus Christ.

Gift of Eternal Life

Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (2) In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (KJV)

Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (KJV)

Titus taught us that we are heirs of God according to the hope of eternal life. When we consider this verse, remember, hope is not wishful thinking. In this context divine hope would be a sure expectation and trust in the power and essence of eternal life. The Holy Spirit through the power of divine hope reveals to us the purpose and mission of eternal life.

This concept opens to us another avenue of thinking. The common Christian doctrine associates eternal life with our placement in heaven. This application is a limited concept of eternal life. True, heaven is the prime benefit of the ZOE life of God. As we mature in God, the Holy Spirit of hope will reveal to us that ZOE life has a mission and purpose in our lives now.

We are taught that eternal life is the essence and substance of God. By and through the Zoe life of God we might know Him. Jesus taught in John 17:3 that eternal life is designed to reveal the Godhead to us. The only way we may walk in intimate relationship with God is through the power of eternal life.

We are taught in the book of Hebrews that Jesus was made a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec because of the power of an endless life. Eternal life established the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ. Now consider this concept. We are instructed that we are a holy, royal priesthood whose primary ministry is to offer praise to God. We also are priests forever after the order of Melchisedec because of the power of an endless life.

(Reference Scriptures: John 17:3 Heb 7:15-171 Pet 2:5, 9 Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6)

Our Response

The next concept we will consider is the responses we should have to the operation of divine hope in us.

Our Trust

yachal (.yT!l=j*y - yaw-chal'/3176); a primitive root; to wait; by implication, to be patient, hope: KJV-- (cause to, have, make to) hope, be pained, stay, tarry, trust, wait.

yachal- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

to wait, to hope, to expect

a) (Niphal) to wait

b) (Piel) 1) to wait, to await, to tarry 2) to wait for, to hope for

c) (Hiphil) to wait, to tarry, to wait for, to hope for

Ps 71:5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth. (KJV)

Our first response when we interact with divine hope is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to trust in the Lord. Trust is a great attribute but it is only developed in the fires of trials and storms. We learn to trust the Lord when we see his deliverance. Hope and trust are the same natural and spiritual qualities.

(Reference Scriptures: 2 Sam 22:3, 31 Ps 7:1 Ps 18:2 Ps 18:30)

Our Praise

kecel (<l*s=K - keh'-sel/3689); from 3688; properly, fatness, i.e. by implication (literally) the loin (as the seat of the leaf fat) or (generally) the viscera; also (figuratively) silliness or (in a good sense) trust: KJV-- confidence, flank, folly, hope, loin.

kecel- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

1) loins, the flank 2) stupidity, folly 3) confidence, hope

chuwl (lyj!y`w - khool/2342); or chiyl (kheel); a primitive root; properly, to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), i.e. (specifically) to dance, to writhe in pain (especially of parturition) or fear; figuratively, to wait, to pervert: KJV-- bear, (make to) bring forth, (make to) calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously (with pain), fear, form, great, grieve, (be) grievous, hope, look, make, be in pain, be much (sore) pained, rest, shake, shapen, (be) sorrow (-ful), stay, tarry, travail (with pain), tremble, trust, wait carefully (patiently), be wounded.

chuwl or chiyl- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

to twist, to whirl, to dance, to writhe, to fear, to tremble, to travail, to be in anguish, to be pained

a) (Qal) 1) to dance 2) to twist, to writhe 3) to whirl, to whirl about

b) (Polel) 1) to dance 2) to writhe (in travail with), to bear, to bring forth 3) to wait anxiously

c) (Pulal) 1) to be made to writhe, to be made to bear 2) to be brought forth

d) (Hophal) to be born

e) (Hithpolel) 1) whirling (participle) 2) writhing, suffering torture (participle) 3) to wait longingly

f) (Hithpalpel) to be distressed

apelpizo (a)pelpi/zonte$: - ap-el-pid'-zo/560); from 575 and 1679; to hope out, i.e. fully expect: KJV-- hope for again.

apelpizo- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) nothing despairing 2) despairing of no one 3) causing no one to despair

Ps 71:14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. (KJV)

Our second response will be a natural by-product of divine hope having the freedom to operate in our lives. Our hope will erupt into praise, dance, and worship. Our responsibility is to allow hope the freedom to develop the deeper expressions of praise.

Our Faith

Rom 4:18-22 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. (19) And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: (20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (22) And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. (KJV)

Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (KJV)

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (KJV)

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

There is a strong connect between hope and faith. We understand that faith is the strong assurance generated by hope. Hope is the operation of the Holy Spirit who inspires us to trust the Lord. That trust is a living, growing conviction that nurtures the divine attribute of faith. Remember, faith, hope, and love form the divine circle of Godly expression.

The greatest operation of faith in us is the progressive revelation of Christ dwelling in our hearts. Hope works with faith to produce an awareness of Christís divine glory resident in our inner man.

Our Ministry

miqveh (hw}q=m - mik-veh'/4723); or miqveh (1 Kings 10:28) (mik-vay'); or miqve' (2 Chron. 1:16) (mik-vay'); from 6960; something waited for, i.e. confidence (objective or subjective); also a collection, i.e. (of water) a pond, or (of men and horses) a caravan or drove: KJV-- abiding, gathering together, hope, linen yarn, plenty [of water], pool.

miqveh or miqveh (1 Kings 10:28) or miqve' (2 Chron. 1:16)- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon) 1) hope a) hope b) ground of hope c) things hoped for, outcome

2) collection, collected mass as a proper noun, masculine: (CLBL)

Eph 1:16-18 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; (17) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: (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, (KJV)

Notice that the operation of divine hope is to enlighten our spiritual under-standing to Godís Calling. We must remember that divine hope is a key element of the Holy Spirit, and itís the ministry of the Holy Spirit to place us in the body of Christ. Its Godís calling, but we must respond to his unction with hope and faith.

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (KJV)

Phil 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (KJV)

The body of Christ is formed on the premise that every joint supplies to the overall operation of the body (Eph 4:16). Itís the function of hope to place us in spiritual ministry. The greatest enemy of this placement is the cancer of individualism. We frustrate the working of divine hope when we refuse to participate in spiritual ministry.

Since building the body is the function of divine hope, then we can assume that the Holy Spirit will teach us how to abide in Christ. We can only learn to abide in Christ when we allow divine hope to develop in us the heart of a servant (1Jh 2:27).

Our Patience

sabar (yt!yc!u - saw-bar'/7663); erroneously shabar (Nehemiah 2:13, 15) (shaw-bar'); a primitive root; to scrutinize; by implication (of watching) to expect (with hope and patience): KJV-- hope, tarry, view, wait.

sabar (erroneously) shabar (Neh. 2:13,15)- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

to inspect, to examine, to wait, to hope, to wait upon

a) (Qal) examined (participle) b) (Piel) 1) to wait (for), to wait upon 2) to hope (for)

1Thes 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; (KJV)

Divine hope requires of us patience. We must learn to wait upon the Lord. The Hebrew word "Sabar" clearly implies a hope and patience working together. The word also has the application of spiritual watching. The Bible teaches that true spiritual watching is associated with intense prayer. Its it possible that prayer stimulates patience?

(Reference Scriptures: Neh 4:9 Matt 26:41 Mark 13:33, 14:38 Luke 21:36 Col 4:2 1 Pet 4:7)

 

Our Armor

1Thes 5:8-9 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. (9) For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)

Divine hope is also part of our spiritual armor, but its our responsibility to put on the whole armor of God. Hope is a tremendous defensive weapon we have in spiritual warfare. When the fiery darts of the enemy wing their way toward us the Helmet of Hope protects our mind while the Shield of Faith quenches these darts. Its interesting to note that Faith and Hope (two parts of the divine triad) are considered essential elements of our spiritual armor (Eph 6:11-17 2Cor 6:7 Rom 13:12).

 

Lesson Two

The Curse of Hopelessness

In lesson one we studied the concept of the divine gift of hope. We identified this gift with the operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Hope is the by-product of our interaction with the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished by allowing Him free access in and through our lives.

In lesson two we will consider another question. We know now that hope is not wishful thinking. Divine hope is the expectation, the trust, and the divine influence upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Since this is the case, then what is hopelessness? How do we describe this human condition? There is no challenge to the fact that hopelessness is a rampant disease in the body of Christ. A large portion of the body of Christ is searching for any local congregation that can offer them a renewing of hope. Lets commence with our study on the curse of hopelessness.

Grieving the Holy Spirit

Consider with me this possibility. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to enflame us with the passion of divine hope. Is it possible that hopeless-ness is the frustration of this ministry in our lives. We might think that hopelessness is the absence of the Holy Spirit, but that is not the case. Hopelessness is the frustration of the Holy Spirit working in us.

Gal 2:20-21 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (KJV)

To the degree we frustrate the working of Grace, is to the same degree we discourage ourselves with frustrated hope. Paul identified one essential action we must endure in order not to frustrate the Holy Spirit. We must consider ourselves Crucified with Christ, and we must yield to the working of His cross in us.

Eph 4:22-30 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (25) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (27) Neither give place to the devil. (28) Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (KJV)

Paul also taught that itís possible to grieve the Holy Spirit. We must not be ignorant concerning this matter. Should we grieve the Holy Spirit we will reap the sour crop of a frustrated hope. In these verses, Paul listed several activities we must refrain from should we desire not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Let me list these activities.

Take the time to scan this list. It should be obvious that our refusal to allow the Holy Spirit to prune our former corrupt lives only frustrates and grieves His operation in us. The greatest source of grief to the Holy Spirit is caused by carnal Christians who consider their faith in Jesus Christ to be only the religion they claim. Jesus never came to give us a religion, He came to give us a relationship.

Forgetting Godís Word

Ps 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: (KJV)

Ps 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. (KJV)

Ps 119:81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. (KJV)

Ps 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (KJV)

 

King David realized the important association between the operation of hope and the Word of God. Consider with me the possibility that the food source for hope is the Word of God. Should our hope be waning from the lack of spiritual strength we might consider the possibility that our spiritual starvation is caused by a lack of the Word of God. A person caught in the demonic trap of hopelessness only reflects a deeper problem. That problem is a frustrated Holy Spirit caused by a famine of the Word of God.

Frustrated Hope

Prov 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. (KJV)

We read that hope deferred makes the heart sick. What does this mean? The Hebrew word "Mashak" is used to translate the English word "deferred" in this verse. Mashak is defined as such: To draw, to drag, to seize; to be drawn out, to be postponed or deferred.

What could cause our hope to be deferred? Its true, trials and tribulations could delay the result of our hope, but these ordeals cannot frustrate the operation of our hope. Only one thing can deferred (seize) our hope, and that is to frustrate and grieve the Holy Spirit by our unbelieving, carnal attitudes and thought processes.

Jer 17:5-8 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. (6) For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (7) Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (8) For 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. (KJV)

We read in this verse that the man (or woman) who commits his trust and protection to man is cursed by God. We are warned that this type of person will be like the deer in the desert seeking for water. Cooling oasisí are few and far between in the desert. When we look to human flesh to solve our problems we cross the boundary of divine provision and enter the desert of frustrated hope. The government will solve our problems with more welfare. The Church will solve our problems with intense therapeutic counseling. The folly of humanism is based on the false premise that human thinking and human government can solve all human problems. The chaos of world politics only reveals the folly of human reason and the curse of trusting man.

Jeremiah also exhorted his readers that those who put their hope in the Lord will be like a tree planted by a great river of water. When we put our faith in human flesh to solve our problems we frustrate the operation of divine hope. The Holy Spirit uses hope to inspire faith, but when we use our faith in a humanistic fashion we grieve the Holy Spirit through our adulterated faith.

Heb 3:6-8 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (7) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, (8) Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: (KJV)

Heb 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: (12) That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (KJV)

The Bible also teaches that we must hold fast to our hope unto the end. Should we loose hope because of the passage of time we frustrate our relationship with Jesus Christ. We are taught in Hebrews 11:6 that we must believe that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Having No Hope is the normal condition of lost humanity. Should we go through this life with frustrated hope we present ourselves to the world as unchanged men and women who only confess a typical Christian religion (Eph 2:12-13 1Thes 4:13-14)

Hypocriteís Hope

Job 8:13-14 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish: (14) Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web. (KJV)

Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? (KJV)

hypocrite - chaneph ([n}j* - khaw-nafe'/2611); from 2610; soiled (i.e. with sin), impious: KJV-- hypocrite (-ical).

chaneph- (Brown-Driver-Biggs) hypocritical, godless, profane, hypocrite, irreligious

Websterís Dictionary - hypocrite \'hi-pe-,krit\ n [ME ypocrite, fr. OF, fr. LL hypocrita, fr. Gk hypokrites actor, hypocrite, fr. hypokrinesthai ] (13c) : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion: hypocrite adj

Job, in his discourse with his friends, made a very provocative statement. He proclaimed a very profound truth; "the hypocriteís hope shall perish Ė so are the paths of all that forget God." Lets address a common confusion concerning the application of a hypocrite. I often hear people consider themselves hypocrites because of their spiritual failures. A person is not a hypocrite because they feel and sense they human frailty.

Matt 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (KJV)

(Reference Scriptures: Prov 11:9 Matt 6:2 ,5, 16)

Jesus taught that a hypocrite is the person who does not practice what he or she judges not preach. The Pharisees and religious leaders were hypocrites because of their harsh judgments of the common person. They rebuked the common man for his thefts, but they also stole with their religious manipulations. Let me reiterate! A hypocrite is a person who does not practice what he or she judges not preach. Jesus taught that before we seek to correct our brothers for their failures, we first must judge our own lives. To do otherwise is to risk being a hypocrite.

Job taught that the hope of the hypocrite shall perish. A brief review of the Hebrew word used in this verse for "perish" will provide interesting insight into the fading hypocriteís hope.

perish - 'abad (aw-bad'/6); a primitive root; properly, to wander away, i.e. lose oneself; by implication to perish (causative, destroy): KJV-- break, destroy (-uction), + not escape, fail, lose, (cause to, make) perish, spend, X and surely, take, be undone, X utterly, be void of, have no way to flee.

'abad- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)

to perish, to vanish, to go astray, to be destroyed

  1. (in the Qal)

  1. to perish, to die, to be exterminated
  2. to perish, to vanish (figuratively)
  3. to be lost, to stray

  1. (in the Piel)

  1. to destroy, to kill, to cause to perish, to give up (as lost), to exterminate
  2. to blot out, to do away with, to cause to vanish, (figuratively)
  3. to cause to stray, to lose

  1. (in the Hiphil)

  1. to destroy, to put to death (sometimes of divine judgment)
  2. an object name of kings (figuratively)

Notice that this Hebrew word has the application of an item that is allowed to stray or be lost. Our hope is anchored in Jesus. When the hypocrite harshly judges his neighbor he no longer is using Christ as the example, but is using his own self-centered image as the proper Christian example. Also notice that the word has the figurative usage of "blowing out" a candle or flame. When we allow our relationship with Jesus Christ to drift into the arena of being a lifeless religion we allow our hope to stray from the narrow path. When this occurs we frustrate the operation of divine hope an quench the fiery influence of the Holy Spirit.

Prov 10:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. (KJV)

Prov 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. (KJV)

(Reference Scriptures: Prov 26:12; 29:20)

Notice that the hope of the wicked and unjust man shall perish. Its interesting to note that the same Hebrew word is used in this verse for "perish" as is used in Job. It is interesting to note that the word "Abad" is the root word for Abaddon, the king of the bottomless pit (Rev 9:11).

We think that a wicked man is a person seething with horrid evil. In the total spectrum of wickedness this would be the end of the road. But, the Bible also teaches that wickedness can be as simple as treating the things of God with slothfulness and indifference. Wickedness is not the final state of the spiritually lost. Its an attitude of heart that slowly erodes our faith and vision of God. Wickedness is in the Church because of our attitudes of slothfulness and indifference.

We read in the Bible that the just shall live by faith. The unjust man is the person who lives by their faith in human flesh. Is it possible for the average Church member to frustrate Godís divine hope through being unjust? The answer to this question is an emphatic yes. Consider with me the possibility that our divine hope is drifting away because we respond to God in a slothful and indifferent manner. Our faith and trust is in human institutions to solve our problems not Christ.

(Reference Scriptures: Hab 2:4 Rom 1:17 Gal 3:11 Heb 10:38)

Isa 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. (KJV) Ė (Giving place to the devil)

Isaiah made an obvious statement in this verse. When people die they cannot hope for the truth. Itís a simple statement, but it has an interesting figurative usage. We are taught in the Bible that Lucifer/Satan is king over the bottomless pit. When we speak of a pit - either physical or spiritual Ė reference is made to the kingdom of darkness. Is it possible for us to frustrate our hope by giving place to the devil (Eph 4:27)? The answer to this question is an emphatic "Yes". Should we give place to the devil our hope can slip away into the pit of despair.

(Reference Scriptures: Isa 14:12-15 Rev 9:11)

Jer 18:12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. (KJV)

Jeremiah taught that when people loose hope they will turn to their own ways and act out the iniquity in their hearts. We think Christians are immune from this indictment, but not so. When Christians allow their divine hope to stray away from the narrow path of intimate relationship with Christ, they turn to the vain religious imaginations of their own hearts. We think an evil heart is filled with murder and every evil sin. This may by so when an evil heart reaches the fullness of human expression, but a heart filled with sloth and indifference has the same evil seed.

 

Lesson Three

The Resurrection of Hope

In lesson two we studied the difficult topic of the curse of hopelessness. We concluded that hopelessness is the fruit of a grieved and frustrated Holy Spirit. The resurrection of hope follows on the heels of repentance. Why is repentance necessary for hope to develop? Remember, in lesson one, we learned that true divine hope is not wishful thinking. True hope is the divine influence upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit through grace. Hope is the tool used by the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the person of Jesus Christ. Itís the mission of Jesus to mature our faith Ė from faith to faith Ė revelation to revelation (Rom 1:17, 2Cor 3:18).

We loose hope when we frustrate the Holy Spirit when we resist the working of the cross of Christ in our lives. We also grieve the Holy Spirit when we return to our former, fallen human nature (old man nature) and its corrupting sin. The greatest source of grief to the Holy Spirit is caused by carnal Christians who consider their faith in Jesus Christ to be only the religion they claim. When we consider these facts it should be apparent that the first step we must take in order to nurture the resurrection of hope is to repent for the attitudes that frustrated hope in the first place. (Gal 2:20-21 Eph 4:22-30)

Repentant Attitude

Repentance is not a one time occurrence that we embrace when we accept the salvation of Jesus. The Bible teaches that repentance is a continual attitude the follower of Jesus must embrace.

2 Tim 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (KJV)

We are taught in these verses that the mission of the servant of Christ is to instruct those who resist and fight themselves (resist the working of the cross), and who are captive to the snares of the devil. The mission of the servant of Christ is to stimulate their repentant attitude. Should we desire to enjoy the resurrection of hope then we must acknowledge the truth to ourselves that we are snared by the devil, and in need of repentance. Repentance is the first step we must take in order to heal our relationship with a grieving Holy Spirit.

(Reference Scriptures: Matt 4:17 Mark 1:15 Acts 3:19-21)

Maturing Hope

I do not want to give the implication that divine hope prevents trials and tribulations. This is not the case; the Bible does not teach this concept. In fact, the opposite is true. Lets read Romans 5:2-5

Rom 5:2-5 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (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. (KJV)

The Apostle Paul taught that trials and tribulations are the fertile ground of hope. Tribulations exercise the spiritual virtue of patience. Patience develops experience, and experience nurtures and matures divine hope in our lives. The true power of hope is not realized in the midst of peace and harmony. Its refined and purified in the flames of trials, persecutions, and tribulations. Its vital to our spiritual success that we understand this principle. Gold and silver are refined in the flames of divine interaction, not in the cool waters of peace. When trials and tribulations come upon us we must realize that these events are the refinerís fire of our divine hope. The folly of human thinking frustrates the refining process of hope. Often Christians, during trials and tribulations, loose their divine direction, because they turn away from the anchor of their soul (Jesus). During these seasons of trial (spiritual winter), God prunes our lives of vain and foolish thoughts and attitudes. Remember, a vine is never pruned in the midst of a summer season. The principle holds true; our hope is refined and pruned in the midst of trials and tribulations.

Notice the interesting progression. By faith we have access to the grace of God. Grace is the divine influence upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Grace is the avenue used by the Holy Spirit to release hope. Faith allows grace to work, and out of the tribulations of our lives divine hope arises. Hope is the open door for the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Donít these facts put an interesting light on the divine triad identified in 1Corithians 13:13.

Instant in Prayer

Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; (KJV)

The attitude of heart we must have we are surrounded with tribulation is to continue instant in prayer. Honest, sincere prayer stimulates the root of divine hope, and causes the heart to rejoice.

Comfort of the Scriptures

Rom 15:4-6 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (5) Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (6) That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)

Paul taught also of the comfort we might find in the scriptures. He associated patience and the comfort of the scriptures with nurturing hope.

Abounding in Hope

Rom 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. (KJV)

2 Cor 10:15-16 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, (16) To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. (KJV)

We understand that faith is the substance of things hoped for (Heb 11:1). From these two scriptures we see that faith is the fruit of hope. Faith is the fruit that causes hope to abound in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Discipline of Hope

Heb 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: (12) That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (KJV)

Its important we realize that we must maintain the full assurance of hope unto the end. Because, through faith Ė the fruit of hope Ė and patience will we inherit the promises of God. The author of Hebrews also warned us that slothful Christian attitudes will only frustrate the operation of hope.

Returning to His Word

Ps 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (KJV)

Ps 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (KJV)

King David understood that it was vital to his spiritual success for him to hope in the Holy Scriptures. We must not loose sight of the fact that the spiritual nourishment of hope is the holy Word of God.

(Reference Scriptures: Ps 119:49, 74, 166 Col 1:23)

Help of Godís Countenance

Ps 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. (KJV)

There is a truth we must learn, and that truth is the fact that hope emanates from the countenance of the Lord. Should we want to resurrect our lost and dying hope then we must seek the face of Jesus. Only in the light of His countenance will we find the resurrection we are looking for. How can we find the face of Jesus? There is only one way that I know of and that way is through diligent and sincere prayer. Now it should be apparent why we must continue instant in prayer.

Ps 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (KJV)

We are also taught that strength of heart and hope can be found in the Lord. The only access we have to these benefits is found in intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ps 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: (KJV)

When we set ourselves to the task of resurrecting our hope we must understand that we must set our hope in the Lord. Also we must remember Godís holy works in our lives. Its important that we stop occasionally and ponder the works of God in us, also we should consider our obedience to his work for us. Its possible that our hope is being frustrated by our continued stubbornness in regards to our placement in the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

1 Pet 1:13-16 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; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (KJV)

Grace and hope are the same expressions of the Holy Spirit. We must maintain a discipline of hope to the end. The Holy Spirit desires to multiply our grace (2Pet 1:2), but that only can occur with a personal revelation of Jesus Christ. Again we see that the countenance of Jesus resurrects grace and hope in us.

(Reference Scriptures: Ps 16:9 Titus 2:13-14 Heb 6:18-20)

Revive Our Trust

Jer 17:5-8 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. (6) For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. (7) Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (8) For 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. (KJV)

In order to resurrect hope we must also revive our trust. Notice in these verses that the man who trusts in the Lord is blessed, but the person who trusts in human thought and emotion has departed from the Lord. Its possible that our hope withered with thirst as a result of departing from the Lord, and putting our trust in human flesh. Its also possible that our hope was frustrated by our personal self pity and pride. All human flesh have trials and tribulations, but we choose our responses to these situations. Its our choice to put our trust in the Lord, and allow our tribulation to mature our hope. We may also choose to trust our own human thought and emotion, trust the arm of human flesh, and frustrate the operation of divine hope.

Acts 2:26-28 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: (27) Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (28) Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. (KJV)

We read in these verses that our flesh shall find spiritual rest in the divine hope of God. Our joy is made full when we stand in the light of Godís countenance.

Rom 4:18-22 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. (19) And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: (20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (22) And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. (KJV)

Abraham provided us with a vivid example of the interaction of faith and hope. Our hope is not conditioned on external circumstances. It must be built on the personal revelation of God.

Purifying Hope

1 Pet 1:21-22 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. (22) Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (KJV)

I Jn 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The operation of divine hope has a clear fingerprint. Every person who embraces the divine hope of God, and who look for His appearing, will purify themselves even as God is pure. The fingerprint of divine hope having freedom of operation is a life being changed into the image of Jesus Christ. Purifying our souls in obeying the truth of God with a pure heart is the prime function of the Holy Spirit in us. Hope is one of His active agents.

Lets conclude these lessons on hope. We have learned that hope is part of the divine triad, and itís an expression of the Holy Spirit. Hope and grace are spiritual brothers, they each have a divine influence upon our hearts. One thing that must be made clear; hope is not humanistic wishful thinking, itís Godís influence transforming us into the image of Christ.

Hopelessness is not the absence of the Holy Spirit, but it is the grieving of the Holy Spirit through spiritual frustration. Hopelessness is not a cursed prison cell in the kingdom of darkness, itís a gradual surrender to our own humanistic thoughts, emotions, lusts, and appetites.

The resurrection of hope can only occur when we acknowledge our sin and humanistic through that frustrated and grieved the Holy Spirit. We must repent and dedicate ourselves to a intimate relationship with Jesus. Intense prayer and trust in Godís word is the medicine of a wounded hope. Hope is resurrected when we reaffirm our trust in God. There are no easy answers, no magical prayer formulas, or properly orchestrated Bible teachings on cassette tapes that can resurrect divine hope. Only a repentant heart turning in faith to God will discover the light of divine truth in the light of the face of Jesus.