Precious sisters in Christ,
This is my prayer for each of you as we begin the advent season, that the God of hope would fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you might overflow with the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It sounds nice, doesn’t it? But do you really believe it is possible to overflow with hope when everything around us seems so uncertain? Evil abounds. More and more the norms of society seem to be everything that goes counter to the Word of God.
How is your hope? Are you holding on by a thread or overflowing with hope? As I pray for you this morning, may I also encourage you to meditate on these words until they sink into your spirit?
The key to living a life filled with hope is to first know the God of hope. How well do you know Him? Do you know how to know Him better? He loves us so much! And He wants us to know Him more and more. We do that by meeting with Him every day in the Word and in prayer. I am not talking about checking off your “I had my 5-minute devotion with Jesus box.” There’s nothing wrong with a 5-minute devotional in the morning. It’s just that that is not enough time to really get to know someone.
Have you ever been in love? You wanted to spend every possible moment with that person. You wanted to know everything about them. If you married that person, you also know that over time the desire to spend every available minute with them disappears. Life settles into a routine and we lose the passion for knowing all about them. We don’t plan for that to happen it just does. And just like we must be intentional in keeping the passion in our marriage, we need to be intentional about our relationship with the Lord.
Do you know how much He delights to spend time with you? He does (Isaiah 62:4). He loves to share His secret treasures with those who love Him (Jeremiah 33:3). When we come to the Lord in the Word and in prayer with a desire to know Him better, He is eager to reveal Himself to us. If your hope is not overflowing, it may be because your relationship with the God of Hope needs to be more intentional.
Something else I’ve discovered about hope is that is directly connected to how much I am able to trust the Lord. A quick glance at Hebrews chapter 11 will show you what I mean. Faith is believing the Word of God. The degree that we are able to believe what the Lord has told us through His Word, the more vibrant our faith will be.
Just in case you are starting to feel like you don’t measure up or guilty for not having more faith, I want you to know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 12:1). The only reason I feel confident about writing these words is that God has very patiently spent years teaching me to lay aside my doubts and insecurities and learn to stand upon His Word. He has taught me that my faith has less to do with my ability to trust Him than His faithfulness. Because He is faithful. I choose to trust Him. I didn’t wake up one morning with more faith, it happened slowly over time as I began to take Him at His Word.
God loves it when His kids believe what He says! To know what He says, you have to spend time in the Word, not just reading it but meditating on it and practicing it with the help of the Holy Spirit.
That brings me to my next point. The Holy Spirit. Do you know that the Trinity includes the Holy Spirit? When Jesus died on the Cross and then rose again three days later, He told His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, but He told them to wait until they had received the Holy Spirit. It happened at Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts just as He had said. Sadly, the body of Christ is often lacking because we don’t know the Holy Spirit very well. We know He is in us, but we really have no idea how to access the resurrection power that the Bible talks about. The enemy has lied to us and kept us at arm’s length with the Holy Spirit because he knows it is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to live the life we have been called to live. Without Him, there is no way to do it no matter how hard we try. Want to experience more of the joy and peace that bring us hope? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand Him better. Study what the Word says about Him. (John 14-16; Acts 2; Romans 6-8, Galatians 5:22-23)
I wish there was a fairy wand that I could touch you with to cause some instant hope to fill your heart. The truth is we can have hope that overflows from our lives, but it is more like a seed that we nurture until it grows into a mature fruit-bearing tree than a touch from your fairy godmother. Nothing worthwhile comes to us in an instant. Overflowing hope is definitely worthwhile. It is also quite possible. The Word tells us so. Do you believe the Word? Do you believe the Lord? Do you want to trust Him more, so that you can experience overflowing hope, not to mention joy and peace?
Don’t wait another moment! Take a few moments right now to ask Him to teach you how to walk in the hope He has for you. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your hope, peace, and joy for another moment.
Lord, we want to live in the hope, joy, and peace that You have for us. Help us to seek You more so that we can know you better. Help us to learn to know You, to believe Your Word, and to trust You in all things because You are faithful. Everything You say you will do, we know that you will do. Please fill us to overflowing with hope, Lord, so that we can share it with those around us who don’t know You yet. In Jesus’ mighty Name.