Colossians 1:25-29 – “Of this church, I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is,  the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”  NASB

As we addressed yesterday, Hope is rooted in ‘eager desire’ for what God has said and promised.  It is filled with ‘persistent expectation’ that His promises are present realities in our lives.  It is anchored in confidence that no matter what happens or how things look the expectation will become reality. 

It is the heart saying, “I know it is going to happen!”  That is biblical Hope!  It means that we can get up every morning with the tingle of excitement in our hearts.  It is calm confidence that we will experience the Promises in fullness.  We look ahead to all our tomorrows and all our unlived futures and proclaim, “This is the day the Lord has made…”  It is a quiet confidence that in His timing and in His way, He is going to bring it to pass in my life.  That is Hope!

As I said yesterday, Hope is deeply connected to Faith and in a sense, it is faith.  Someone said, “Hope is faith shielding its eyes against the sunlight of adversity and saying, “I can see it!  I can see it!”  In life, we must operate in Hope and Faith.  The farmer operates in biblical hope.  They take that seed, that may look nothing like the finished product and plant it in the ground in hope and expectation.  They hope that seed will germinate and produce the plant that will produce the fruit desired. 

When you first came to Jesus, you discovered the promise of the Bible that your God-given destiny was to become conformed to the image of Christ.  You read it in the Bible, but you did may not see it in your life.  You have flaws, kinks, warts, blemishes, and more.  You refuse to let what you see determine your confidence in God and His Word, so you Hope!  It is “Christ IN us…” that produces the Hope of Glory.  You live in a state of eager anticipation for what God has said you are and what you hope to become.  You believe that one day, that Promise will be a reality in your life, so you Hope!

Remember in Genesis 3, God declared that one day the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.  Through the generations from the time of Adam to the New Testament and Christ’s appearing on earth that seemed far-fetched because of the condition of man’s heart.  But Paul and the disciples Hoped. 

Remember God’s Promise and covenant with Abraham?  God said that from Abraham would become one who would bless all the families of the earth.  David, the prophets all looked forward to the coming of Christ and His Promised Work and Provision.  Generation after generation lived reading about the Promises and Hoping.  The Bible even says that they died in faith.  They did not see it become reality during their earthly sojourn, but they kept looking forward in Hope and Faith.  Their declaration was, “I know He is coming.  I am absolutely certain that He is coming!”  They died telling their children, “Don’t forget, He is Coming!”

The beauty is that Jesus is not a figure of history but a present reality living inside each of us!  He is our Hope of Glory.  We live in Hope!  We live in Hope that everything we have hoped for will be realized before we die, or Jesus comes.  Let the eye of your heart see it and Hope!  Jesus has come!  What they Hoped for is here!  Tragically, too many believers live without Hope and some live in despair.  Why?  Because too often we live in a vacuum.  What do I mean by that?

Many believers only see the reality that we have been Pardoned.  We readily believe that we have been Forgiven.  Some have even entered, into a vital relationship with the Holy Spirit.  They attempt to freeze that experience and proclaim, “I’ve Got It!”  The thought is, “I am saved, and spirit-filled, so I’ve got it.  I have arrived at all God has for me on earth.  Now I must just endure the struggle.”  Then, each year we move farther and farther away from IT because that experience is relegated to our history rather than being our present.

I heard a very humorous but applicable story that I will share.  There was a man who decided to write down what had happened to him, and he called it is “Blessed Experience.”  He kept it in a box hidden away in the attic.  Anytime he had a visitor he brought out that box and read his Blessed Experience to them.  He would say, “This is what happened to me.”  One day a visitor came, and he sent his daughter to retrieve his Blessed Experience so he could read it to the visitor.  Sadly, she came back and reported that the rats had eaten his Blessed Experience.”  It was not reality but history and that is boring producing not growth development or fruit. We need to have Hope in Christ who is In Us!

I want to venture into this just a bit further so I will pause here and pick up next time with more on HOPE.  God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!

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