Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From Prisoner to Present in Hope

In the Bible, "Hope" is identified as a confident expectation of good. Unlike the world's concept of hope, which is infused with uncertainty:

"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: 5)

God is love and lives in us through His Holy Spirit. Hope, therefore something that has not yet existed, but instead something waiting to be materialized:

"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)

Hope is something living, not dead:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1: 3)

In fact, "Hope" is a Person:

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1: 27)

In the Old Testament, the prophet Zechariah declared:

"Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; " (Zechariah 9: 12)

Hope is a strong hold, one that we return to, as the original word "shub" also refers to the turning of the captivity of Job and the Israelites who returned from bondage in Babylon.

David the Great King gives a more specific reason for his hope:

"I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope." (Psalm 16: 8-9)

Here, "Hope" is "betach" which speaks of confidence, not just a wavering feeling that maybe something good will come to pass.

Peter quoted this passage on Pentecost. Notice the differences in the passage as quoted by the apostle prompted by the indwelling Holy Spirit:

"For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

"Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope" (Acts 2: 25-26)

Paul calls us to set our eyes on things above, Jesus Christ our Lord, our Savior, and our life (Colossians 3: 1-3). In the Psalms and in Acts, the passage referring to David's resting in hope would seem to imply that "Hope" is a place that he finds. In fact, both passages rely on the word "to tabernacle" i.e. David rests in a tabernacle of hope, one which covers him. In Peter's sermon, he declares that David "thoroughly, completely tabernacles" in Hope.

Because of Christ Jesus, our hope who covers us with goodness, we can expect good things to come to us, regardless of what we do or where we are.

Today, receive by  faith that Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, intercedes on your behalf, and by him you are not just forever protected and covered from evil -- a prisoner of hope; but with the expectation of wonderful things to pass in your life -- forever lodged and at rest in His hope!

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