We define Hope as trusting Jesus for all the things He says are going to happen. Hope is a powerful thing. It is trusting Jesus in the midst of your circumstances, even if the circumstances don’t look promising. But just when you don’t think you can hope anymore. Jesus shows up. Jesus is always on time. We need to recognize that Jesus is bringing us hope in the situation, and that only Jesus can get us out of whatever situation we are in.
There are three things you need to know about hope: Hope needs an object. In this case, the object of our hope is Jesus. The second characteristic of hope is relationship. We hope in Jesus because we know Him. The third characteristic of hope is patience. We need to trust that Jesus is going to provide for us no matter how long we have to wait.
James 1:4 (KJV) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. The word “perfect” here is from the Greek “Telios”, which, in this context, the word-perfect means complete. Hope without patience is incomplete. And Hope without Jesus is misdirected.
Some of the people in the bible who embodied patience were a man called Simeon, and a prophetess named Anna. (Luke2: 25–38) And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
Jesus is so eloquent, He showed up at the temple. Can you imagine the patience of these two people who recognized who this baby was, and they recognized that they needed Jesus to solve sin. They understood what their problem was. Their problem was not sacrifice; nor ceremony, nor ritual. Their problem was sin, and the only solution was Jesus.
The second definition you need is the definition of Salvation. Salvation is defined as the solution for your situation that can only come from God Himself. There is a principle here. When you begin to recognize what the problem, and you begin to share what the problem is, most people around you won’t get it. Sometimes God puts us out there on that limb. We will have to recognize that we need Him.
Looking at Simeon; God had revealed to Him that He would see Jesus. I can imagine that after God revealed this, that days passed, and months passed, and maybe even decades passed. Can you imagine the circumstances, and the patience, and the disappointment he had to go through every day? Yet he held on to the promise until it was fulfilled. There is a lesson here for us as well. We need to set our expectations that God has the solutions to our problems and we are going to trust Him. Hope is defined as all the things God says is going to happen in the situation. And Despair is when we let the circumstances talk to us about what is going to happen.
We need to keep believing in God even when the people around you quit believing in you. When we stop believing, we give in to the cycle of disappointment, that’s when we: (1) focus on the problem, (2) focus on the blame culture, and (3) Loose perspective. There is too much at stake. We can’t afford to get distracted. Let us look at our situations through the eyes of hope.
With much love,
Willie and Rochelle McIntosh
Pastors, HeartVision Church
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