Podcast: read aloud and commentary:
What is hope? Where should we “rest” our desires, dreams, and mindset about life? Join me as I seek to encourage you with truths about how Jesus is the best gift! All scripture is from the Berean Standard Bible:
The Holy Bible, Berean Standard Bible, BSB
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Join me at anchor page as I will be releasing podcasts this week entitled “Journey of Hope”
Quotes are presented from Got Questions in accordance to Got Questions’ copyright guidelines.
The Candle of Hope–First Advent Candle
What is advent? Click link below for detailed description/explanation
This week’s article is all about hope! Take a moment to reflect on what you are hoping for in your life. Some questions for you to consider:
- What is hope? How do you define the concept of hope? What does it mean to have “hope”?
- Why is hope essential to faith? Why is faith essential to hope?
- Can you explain how hope in God/Christ is different from worldly/secular hope?
- Is the hope in your life evident to others who daily encounter you?
For a practical definition and explanation of hope, please read:
Christ is The Promised Root and Branch! Isaiah 11:1-5
The Root of Jesse
1Then a shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse,
2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and strength,
3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what His eyes see,
4but with righteousness He will judge the poor,
and with equity He will decide for the lowly of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth
5Righteousness will be the belt around His hips,
and faithfulness the sash around His waist.
How does hope and prophecy work together? They go hand in hand! The Gospel writers make a point to connect recorded events of Jesus to promises made in numerous prophecies. The apostle Paul also includes various prophecies in his numerous letters. In the passage above, Isaiah clearly teaches that a new “Root” and “Branch” will come forth from a dead stump. The idea is that even what seems to be dead is actually alive!
Multiple times in the Old Testament the lineage of King David was nearly exterminated! It came down to just one person/one survivor. Ultimately, Joseph (New Testament earthly father of Jesus) was a descendant of King David. Have you ever considered the many things that God set in motion to fulfill prophecy? Here are two events to consider:
First, Caesar (a pagan ruler) decreed a census that required that a late term pregnant Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem so the Messiah would be born there! Second, God sends Joseph and Mary to Egypt to preserve the young Jesus’ life. For more on the significance please take a moment to read this article:
For a more complete list of prophecies:
Christ is our Light Of Hope!
Jesus’ coming to earth is part of God’s redemption plan. Included in this glorious hope is Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, and sending of Holy Spirit to His redeemed people! We can have hope because God redeems us. Christmas is a miraculous “invasion” of hope! Have you ever considered what the angels proclaim when Christ arrives?
Luke 2:9-14 BSB emphasis mine
9Just then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! 12And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying:
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom His favor rests!”
This is the appearance of our hope! God sends His Only Son to redeem and restore what went wrong in the garden of Eden. This is God’s answer to our sins and all that is wrong with the world. God comes Himself through and in His Son to bring redemption!
Consequently, we have hope because He came and will come again! Our hope is alive because Our Savior lives! 1 Peter 1:3-5 emphasis mine:
A Living Hope
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Our Hope and Perseverance Honors Jesus!
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials 7so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
8Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9now that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
This hope enables us to persevere and rejoice! The knowledge that He is saving us and coming back to complete human history makes this journey worthwhile!
The Longing of the Prophets! 1 Peter 1:10-12
10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who foretold the grace to come to you searched and investigated carefully, 11trying to determine the time and setting to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they foretold the things now announced by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the numerous other prophets longed for the coming of the Messiah! Jesus was the fulfillment of many longings and hopes! They lived lives of faith, hope, and trust in God knowing that God would fulfill His promises.
How faith and hope work together
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as:
1Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.
Hope is vital to faith! Got questions explains this:
Biblical hope is built on faith. Hope is the earnest anticipation that comes with believing something good. Hope is a confident expectation that naturally stems from faith. Hope is a peaceful assurance that something that hasn’t happened yet will indeed happen. Hope must involve something that is as yet unseen: (Romans 8:24). Jesus’ return is our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13)—we can’t see Him yet, but we know He’s coming, and we anticipate that event with joy.Got Questions, “What is the difference between faith and hope”
Hope is a form of trust! We believe God’s Word and what He promises! This hope is made possible by faith.
Faith is a complete trust or confidence in something. Faith involves intellectual assent to a set of facts and trust in those facts. . . This means we completely trust Jesus for our eternal destiny.Got Questions, “What is the difference between faith and hope
Faith and hope work together!
Faith and hope are complementary. Faith is grounded in the reality of the past; hope is looking to the reality of the future. Without faith, there is no hope, and without hope there is no true faith. Christians are people of faith and hope. (Titus 1:2).
Conclusion and Prayer for you!
16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him.
18I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength, 20which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
May God increase your hope and faith as you consider His vast mercy and love for us in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord! For His glory and honor and your edification, I write these words!