When the Lord 1st called me to preach, He gave me a very specific calling. He said to me:
“It’s time for people to Hope again. I want you to tell them……Get your Hope up, and watch what I will do…”
What is the Biblical definition of Hope?
- Hope is described in the original as a Confident Expectation
- We will read this later on, but Hebrews 11:1 shows us that Hope is the blueprint for Faith
- Hope is the form or plan that Faith goes by
When people have talked about hope, they have tended to think of it in the same idea as wishful thinking.
Hope is talked about specifically by name in over 50 verses, and if we’re willing to see it, there are many more verses that have very clear teachings about it even though the word “Hope” itself was not used in that verse.
Lets start by reading Romans 4:16-25
“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Verse 18 says that he Hoped against hope. This shows us that there are 2 different kinds of hope.
Spiritual Hope and natural hope.
- Abraham used Spiritual Hope against natural hope.
- God’s promise to him carried more authority than what he could see in the natural.
Look at Romans 15:13 with me. This is the verse that really states the vision of Wengerd Ministries.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Hope is of God, and it comes to us through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. God’s desire for us is that we “abound in His Confident Expectation…”
I like to think of it this way as Charles Capps used to say:
Hope is the thermostat. Faith is the substance or power. If the heating unit on a building would have no thermostat, the entire building could freeze. It would have all the power necessary, but no way to control or use it effectively.
Hope is also described as the anchor of the soul. This is an inner image that we can rely on.
Look at Hebrews 6:18-20
“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Natural hope is built up through natural education, but that is hope without Faith, and it will never produce anything. It remains still as wishful thinking. Natural hope has no constants to stand on. Abraham considered not his body, nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
He only considered that which was promised. He was FULLY PURSUADED. He SAW himself as God had already declared him. This is the result of being in God’s Word. His inner image was more real than what he could see in the natural.
Maybe I can describe the verses we just read in Hebrews 6 in this way, (and this is talking about how Jesus is our Great High Priest and how our HOPE is tied to Him).
He is in me, and I am in Him, and when that inner image is developed on the inside of me, I don’t have to try to go to the throne room. I don’t have to struggle to go to the Holy of Holies. All I have to do is pronounce the name of Jesus, and that inner image of what my needs are is instantly inside the Holy of Holies of God. There hangs an image of what I need right over Heavenly Mercy Seat. That is the answer to my need, and it is brought forth not ON me but THROUGH the Spirit of God IN me!
1 Corinthians 13:13 says “NOW abides these three…FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. Hope built on the promises of God ALWAYS sees it happening NOW.
Look at Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
He does not say, “sometime in the future Faith”. He says, “NOW FAITH”
This understanding of FAITH FOR RIGHT NOW is one area that I will be developing and digging into later on, but for now……let’s continue talking about HOPE, because HOPE comes before Faith.
“Faith is the substance of things first Hoped for”
There is no such thing as “NO HOPE” in the Spirit.
You either have Hope…….. or you have fear. If you have fear, it is simply having faith in the wrong thing. Put your Hope in the promises of God, and the fear will disappear.
We already read Hebrews 6:18, and it says that we are to LAY HOLD of the Hope set before us. This is our first act of Faith. We need to TAKE it on purpose. We can’t just say “Well…whenever it happens…”
Then verses 19 & 20 said this hope we HAVE…is both sure and steadfast (it works every time!!!)
If it does not manifest in the natural, then we are only dealing with natural hope.
We need to look very closely at whether we are wishing something would happen, or in other words “hoping it happens sometime in the future”….OR if we have a confident expectation that God’s promises are true for us RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW!
Our Spiritual Hope enters into that within the veil, where Jesus went as our forerunner! Our HOPE goes in with Jesus as our high priest forever!
How much of what we think we have been hoping for is actually built on what can be seen in the natural?
What does it mean then to learn how to LAY HOLD? This means that we reach out and take it. We must make the effort to read God’s Word and allow Supernatural Hope to grow within us. This Supernatural Hope will drive out every image of our defeat from our mind. It casts out fear, and plants itself firmly in our hearts!
We started out reading Romans 4, and this is how Abraham is described.
1. “hoped against hope”
2. “Considered not his own body, nor the deadness of Sara’s womb”
3. “Was fully persuaded that what God had said, He was able to perform it”
4. “He spoke of things that are not as though they were”
Why is it so hard to continue speaking of things that are not as though they were?
This is using Supernatural HOPE to work against natural hope.
When you can learn to operate in Supernatural HOPE and speak God’s Word to your mind, and to your spirit, and to your body, it will begin to develop an inner image of your success instead of your failure.
This inner image of success will produce Faith born out of hearing the Word, and that Faith will begin to produce results in the natural coming through your own heart.
Romans 10:17 says “So then, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”
Watching shows on TV, or on your phone, or simply watching the news will fight against that image of your success, and it begins to choke off the Hope, which is your initial doorway to Faith.
Media has been specifically designed to give you fear and despair instead of Hope and Faith. How much of the input that you are giving to your soul is actually allowing Hope and Faith to be planted and to grow in your heart?
We all want to have the Faith of Abraham, but are we willing to put in the time to allow that Confident Expectation to be formed in us? Until we have that unshakable Hope, we simply need to focus on God’s Promises continually.
You have a choice to make. James 1:6-8 says this:
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Most people are not COMPLETELY honest about EVERY area of their heart. It wasn’t until I became willing to clearly address the gray areas in my heart, that God was able to finally make some lasting changes in my daily experience.
Be HONEST, and if you don’t yet have that True Hope or Confident Expectation, grasp a hold of the Word of God and find a promise you can stand on. It doesn’t even matter if you only have HOPE in one small thing.
Be willing to start small until that one thing is seen in the natural. When that happens, you can ask God to build your Hope in another area. As you do this and continue filling your mind and heart with the promises of God, you will find that your Faith and Hope will take root and begin to grow.
Let’s read what Abraham did after his Faith and Hope had grown and matured over many years.
Look with me at Hebrews 11:17-19
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
This “Figure” was an image on the inside that was more real in his mind that the “natural reality in front of him”! Raising someone from the dead was a totally new concept in that culture and time!
Abraham had nothing natural to hold onto or to Hope in, but still he had a “Confident Expectation”.
Abraham had to BELIEVE what God said without any record of God doing something like that in the Earth. Verse 19 describes the image that Abraham had on the inside. He fully intended to kill his son as God had commanded, and was planning to stand there and watch as God raised him back up to life.
These verses start out with By Faith Abraham….
But we must understand that he made many mistakes over the years of getting to a place of full Faith and Assurance. Give yourself Grace and allow the promises of God to take root in your own heart.
Focus on Jesus and allow that image of being one with him to grow in your heart.
You need to take the time to read all of John 15 for yourself, but I’d like to close by reading John 15:7
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
God Bless you!
God wants desperately for His children to receive His Word, and the purpose of His Word is to give His children HOPE. Too many times, the Word of God seems so amazing…but impossible…that people end up thinking that it is only promising God’s goodness to someone else.
I’ve even had Christians warn me about getting others’ hopes up too high. But, the only thing the Bible warns us about is thinking too small, or holding back in fear.
God wants to give us a Word, but then He expects us to BELIEVE it. God’s ability to work in our lives is limited to what we are willing to believe and receive.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.