A Handle on Hope

“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.” Romans 15:13 (KJV)
 
On July 19,1988, Jessie Jackson gave a soul-stirring speech to the Democratic National Congress that reached the hearts of every spectrum of humanity regardless of education, socioeconomic position or privilege. He closed his address with what I believe to be an anthem that will anchor the soul to be resolute in any unfavorable, oppressive and challenging situation: “Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! On tomorrow night and beyond, keep hope alive!”
 
Usually the word “hope” is best understood when it is applied in the correct context. You see, the word “hope” is more than the name of a city in Arkansas or the name of a girl. A good number of people process the word hope as wishful thinking, as in "I hope she says yes when I ask her to marry me,” “I hope we win the game” and in too many cases “I hope I will go to Heaven.” But this is not what the Bible means by hope. The Holy Spirit’s definition of hope as spelled out in His book (The Bible) is "confident expectation."  Hope is a holy, hands-on assurance with respect to things that are not clear or incomprehensible.
 
“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? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:24-25 (KJV)
 
Hope is also a consistent characteristic and component of a Christian who is centered in Christ’s righteousness.
 
“For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18 (KJV)
 
In addition, those who trust and put their hope in God will be taken care of (Psalm 28:7). Christian hope is formatted in faith in the divine salvation through Jesus Christ.  As our opening text points out, the hope of Christians is made a reality through the presence and the promise of the Holy Spirit.
 
Oftentimes, hope is produced by a hot oven of hardships which, in turn, bakes the bread of endurance that we eat in suffering.
 
“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: 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.” Romans 5:2-5 (KJV)
 
I close our time on hope with four characteristics that I believe to be consistent with the soul that has captured hope by the power of the Holy Spirit:
 
Heaven is in our hearts and heads
Obedience is in our hearts and heads
Peace is in our hearts and heads
Eternal life is in our hearts and heads

For the Glory of God,
 
PBKSR