VOTD: Romans 15.13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

—Romans 15.13 ESV

So many good things in a single sentence! How many things can you note that speak of God and what he does?

#god, #holy-spirit, #hope

Hugh’s News & Views (Hope)

IN HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE

In April of 1829, Alexander Campbell, one of the leading lights in the movement to bring about a restoration of original apostolic Christianity as set forth in the New Testament, met Robert Owen, a Scottish socialist and atheist, in a public debate in Cincinnati, Ohio. In spite of their vast philosophical differences, the two men apparently became friends.

Sometime after the debate, Mr. Owen was a guest in the Campbell home in Bethany, Virginia (now West Virginia). One day the two men were walking in the fields together. Owen turned to Campbell and said, “I have one advantage over the Christian.” “What is that, sir?” Campbell asked. “I am not afraid to die,” replied Owen. “If I had a few business affairs arranged, I could lie down and die without fear.” “Have you any hope in death?” Campbell inquired. “No, sir; I think that death is the end, and I am without hope and fear in death.” “Do you see that ox over there?” asked Mr. Campbell. “It has filled itself with the grass of the meadow, and now stands in the shade of the tree, without fear and without hope in death. Tell me, sir, what does infidelity do to elevate a man above the beasts?”

Hope is one of the great values of a Christian. The apostle Peter wrote:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:3-5).

A brief analysis of this text reveals the following:

1. God has begotten His children to a living hope. He has created/ engendered in them an everlasting hope.

2. He did this motivated by His mercy for mankind and through the instrumentality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

3. This hope is to an inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled, one that is incapable of being corrupted.

4. This hope does not fade away. It endures.

5. This hope is reserved (literally, guarded) in heaven.

6. This hope is for those who are kept by the power of God through faith. Cease believing (being faithful) and the hope vanishes.

7. This hope will be revealed (made known) in the last time (at the end of all things at the second coming of Christ).

It is depressing to live without hope, to believe that things will never be any better. How unutterably sad it is to be among those “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). Hope is what keeps us going. It is what makes life exciting. Hope gives us something to look forward to!

The Bible teaches that there is only one hope (Ephesians 4:4). But for the faithful Christian this one hope has several significant dimensions. It involves our resurrection from the dead. Before the Jewish Sanhedrin council Paul said, “. . . concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged” (Acts 23:6).

This hope of our resurrection, in turn, gives rise to the hope of eternal life. “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,” wrote the apostle Paul (Titus 1:2). Our hope therefore is of heaven where this eternal life will be experienced. “Because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,” said the apostle (Colossians 1:5). “Reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:4).

Finally, this hope consists of becoming as Jesus now is.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (I John 3:2-3).

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body . . .” (Philippians 3:20-21).

What about you? Is your life filled with hope or with despair? Only the person who is Christ and in whom is Christ has any real hope! Paul declared: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Hugh Fulford

March 22, 2016

#hope, #hughfulford

A live dog

“Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion” Ecclesiastes 9:4.

Hope, that anchor for the soul, is in short supply today. I meet people everyday who feel defeated in their lives. Perhaps it’s a change they’ve failed to make in their lives. Maybe it’s circumstances they are currently trapped in. Or, possibly they or someone they love have not obeyed the gospel for salvation. Their declaration is always the same, “It’s hopeless!” Continue reading

#devotional, #hope

3-11-2015 We Are Not In Despair

“But as a mountain falls and crumbles away, And as a rock is moved from its place; As water wears away stones, And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth; So You destroy the hope of man” (Job 14:18-19 NKJV). By the time we read the headlines, see network TV News, watch destructive TV shows or dismal movies, or listen to our dreary “friends,” it’s no wonder that “depression” has enveloped our land. Job voiced the danger of being surrounded by downers!  But if we listen to God: Romans 15:13: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Christians learn to speak like Paul, “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#depression, #despair, #headlines, #hope, #joy, #tv

What does the Bible say about hope?

“That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Psalm 78:7).

“Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:5). Continue reading

#bible, #christian-graces, #hope

Will God answer my distress call?

In the darkest moments, when the Psalmist cries to God for help, his words of despair are permeated with a deeper belief that God is there and that God will answer. He believes, against all appearances, that God will hear him.

Rescue me from the mud! Don’t let me sink!
Deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep water!
Don’t let the current overpower me!
Don’t let the deep swallow me up!
Don’t let the Pit devour me!
Psa 69.14-15 NET

Confusion may reign, the hurt may throw him at the foot of death, circumstances may appear hopeless, but underneath it all lies a bedrock of faith in the benevolent purpose of God.

Many are the reasons why he possesses such a faith, but its essence derives from his knowledge of history, his own and his people’s. God is faithful. He holds to his promises. He has never failed his people.

Israel told the story of her creation and redemption time and again to her children. That story was preserved in Scripture.

Let the church tell, without shame nor revision, the inspired story of the faithfulness of God in Christ. It is this history, contained in the pages of Scripture, that will secure us to the Rock and feed our hope in the darkest hour.

#book-of-psalms, #faith, #faithfulness-of-god, #hope

October 2014 Issue of Christian Worker

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Still the Most Critical Problem (Bill Jackson)
  • Apollos (Sam Willcut)
  • Bless the Congregational Lectureships (Bill Jackson)
  • Religion and Politics (James Boyd)
  • Fighting, but Not Striving (Tom Moore)
  • Shall We Digress into Holy Rollerism? (Curtis Cates)
  • Self-Control (Jerry Moffitt)
  • Strong Churches (Neal Pollard)
  • Jesus Brings Hope Out of Tragedy (Charles Box)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#apollos, #christian-fight, #christian-worker, #contemporary-worship, #elders, #hope, #jesus, #lectureships, #religion-and-politics, #self-control, #strong-churches, #tragedy