Your Hope Chest

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Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

 

Hope, that one little word on which we rest our faith, is often misunderstood to be a type of wishful thinking. Many times we hear people say, “I hope this happens”, or “I hope to be able to do such and such”. And yet Biblical hope is much more than wishful thinking. It is defined from the Greek word “elpis” as being “confident expectation based on a solid certainty.” Biblical hope rests on God’s promises as being the “solid certainty”. It is more than wishing something would happen; it is confidently expecting that which God has promised to come into existence.

 

A few years ago I was going to visit my children and while on the way my son called asking when we thought we would arrive. He said my little granddaughter had been standing at the window watching for us for a couple of hours. She knew that Grandma was coming because I had told her I would be there. She wasn’t just hoping I would come, but she based her hope on my word. That’s just a simple earthly example of how we should place our hope in what God has said in His word. His promises to us are more real than our promises to any earthly human being.

 

How many times have you been disappointed when you haven’t seen the manifestation of God’s promises in your life? Proverbs 13:12 says that when our hope is deferred, or not realized or experienced our heart becomes sick, but when it comes into manifestation it is a tree of life. While we are standing firm waiting on God’s promises to come into manifestation if we don’t keep ourselves full of hope we can become discouraged and heartsick over not seeing it happen. We must do something to keep hope alive!

 

I like to think of keeping hoping alive as being like a young woman with a “hope chest”. In my day as a young woman a “hope chest” was used to prepare for that woman’s future expectation of marriage. The “hope chest” would often be cedar lined to preserve material items that might need to be stored for some time and was usually placed in a special area in her bedroom. As time progressed she would fill the “hope chest” with items that she would need to begin her marriage. As she placed the items in the “hope chest” or opened it at times to just look at all that she had in it, she was filled with hope that her desire for a marriage would someday become a reality.

 

Hope is needed to endure until the promises of God are manifested. Abraham is a good example of one who stood strong while waiting for God to bring his promise of a son into existence. Romans 4:19 says that Abraham “contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations”, just as God had promised. Abraham knew that it was totally impossible for him and his wife, Sarah, to become parents in their old age, but God promised that He would give them a son and that Abraham would become the father of many nations, so he continued to hope and believe God until it happened. He did not consider the external road blocks that could hinder that manifestation; he just kept on believing!

 

Romans 4:19-21 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

 

Abraham had to keep his hope alive and through his relationship with God he was able to continue to believe that God would provide what He had promised.

 

How can we keep our hope alive? Well, it’s vitally important to get God’s perspective on what He has promised and to ask Him for scriptures that will further strengthen your hope. God visited Abraham several times during his 25 year waiting period with more assurance that the promise would come at the right time in order to help Abraham keep his hope alive. God will give you scriptures that you can place your faith in to build the hope of whatever it is that He has promised to do in your life. And just as that young woman places items in her hope chest to keep her hope alive so you can put those scriptural promises in your “hope chest” to keep the fire of hope burning brightly.

 

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

God is the God of HOPE! He will give you peace and joy while you are standing in faith waiting for the promise to arrive. He wants you to abound in hope through His Spirit that lives within you. It is as you hope in Him that you will have a renewed vision of what He has promised. Place your trust in the Lord; He will not fail you! Agree with Him that what you are believing Him for will come into manifestation.

 

See yourself experiencing the promise! Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no revelation, or vision, the people cast off restraint. If you cast off restraint you have no focus; nothing to motivate you to believe to receive what God has said He would do. A person without restraint runs to and fro, never focusing on any particular thing or purpose. Having a vision of yourself receiving what God has promised gives the motivation to keep hope alive.

 

Abraham declared the promise before it happened and continued to believe by seeing himself as God had proclaimed, a father even before he became one in the natural. Those things that happen in the spirit realm are much more real than what we see happening around us in the natural. God changed Abraham’s name from Abram, which means “Exalted Father” to Abraham, which means “Father of a Multitude”, before he had ever fathered a child. How could he become the father of a multitude without ever having his own child? Abraham could have resisted that and refused to see himself as God proclaimed and his hope would have died right there. But every time he introduced himself to someone he would hear himself say, “I am Abraham, the father of a multitude” and his hope and faith would be strengthened. Are you proclaiming what God has said about your situation or are you declaring what you see, feel, think or hear in the natural? Agreeing with God and proclaiming the promise will help keep your hope alive!

 

Hope builds on the dream of a future promise! Your “hope chest” should be filled with pictures of what you are believing God will do for you. Those things can be used to build and strengthen your hope and faith until God brings it into manifestation. Just as a young woman builds her hope through seeing and touching those things she places in her “hope chest” so your hope can be strengthened through the pictures and scriptural promises that God gives you of the fulfillment of His dream and promise for you.

 

Habakkuk 2:2-4 NKJV Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

 

God knows the exact time to bring the manifestation of His promises into your life. He is never early nor late, but always right on time. He tells Habakkuk to write the vision down so he who reads it can run. It’s difficult to run your race without a goal in sight. The vision of what God has promised is the goal that we see out front of us to give us the stamina to run, to endure until it happens. He promises that it will come and what we do with our hope determines how strong we stand while waiting.

 

Hebrews 10:35, 36 Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

 

This word “endurance” is the Greek word “hupomone). It means constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.

 

Abraham had to have endurance to overcome all the negative comments that people would have made to him about believing God for the realization of His promise. He had to endure to the end to be able to receive what God had said. It was important for him to keep his confidence in God and your expectation of what God has promised you will also require that you do not cast your confidence away, but that you continue to hope in God’s faithfulness! He will fulfill that which He has promised!

 

Father, I thank You for the promises of God that are “yes and amen” in Christ Jesus to Your glory and honor! I thank You that we are able to receive from You all that You have promised in Your word and that You speak to us about through Your Spirit. Father, I pray this morning for those who may be growing weary as they stand in faith believing to receive that which You have promised. I pray that You will renew their vision of what You have said You would do in their lives. I ask You to strengthened their hope through Your word and by Your Spirit. Father, give them a renewed sense of fulfillment of that promise and fill them with hope. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Today Is The Day!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made

 

Psalm 139:13-16 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

 

Do you know that God is the author of your very existence? That He fashioned and formed you in His mind and then knit you together as a little baby in your mother’s womb? The Word says that you were skillfully brought into existence by God Himself. How awesome you are in that you were fearfully and wonderfully made.

 

Today I celebrate 64 years of life since I was brought forth from FROM my mother’s womb. And each day I know that God has gone before me into it; that He has created me to live successfully and prosperously in it. The Word says in Psalm 139:17, 18:

 

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

 

I have the assurance that even as I grow old God will always be there to carry me through and deliver me unto Himself.

 

Isaiah 46:3, 4 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb; Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

 

I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about the government being my source, because I have a God who loves me, who carries me and delivers me; My God is my Source!!!

I will not worry about tomorrow because I know that My God goes before me into it and will satisfy me with long life and show me His salvation as He has promised to all those who love Him and live in the secret place of the most High God.

 

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because He has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known My name; He shall call upon Me, an I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him, With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

 

Today I celebrate not just my birthday, but My God who gave me life! I celebrate my life in Him; who loves me and called me forth from my mother’s womb to live with Him for eternity through my salvation in Jesus Christ. He created me, gave me life in the natural and then called me to live reborn to a spiritual life in Christ Jesus. Jesus told Nicodemus that a man must be reborn to be able to see the kingdom of God.

 

John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I will say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

 

My physical birthday is today, but my spiritual birthday is October 28th. Both just happen to be in the month of October. How awesome is that!!

 

Have you been born again? If not, I beseech you to accept Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord, because even though you celebrate your natural birth while you are alive, the Word of God says that life continues on after death and that we will each spend eternity in either God’s presence or separated from Him in outer darkness. I have chosen to spend my eternity with God in His presence enjoying the fullness of all that heaven has to offer. I pray that you will make that choice as well.

 

Today is the day! 2 Corinthians 6:2b says “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

 

Father, I thank You for knitting me together in my mother’s womb and for creating me so wonderfully! Thank You for the day of my birth! But more than that, Father, I thank You for giving me a new birth through my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I thank You that not only do I get to live a great life on this earth, but that my life continues on with You after I leave this earthly existence. I thank You that I can live forever in Your very presence enjoying all that You have planned for me in eternity. I pray that those who don’t know You and haven’t experienced that re-birth will give their hearts and lives to You today! I pray that this day of my birth might be the day of their salvation! I ask You to give me the nations for my inheritance, Father, that many may come to salvation through the life that You have placed in me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Get Your “Fight” On!

Lepers at the gate of Syria

2 Kings 7:3-8 NKJV Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? “If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.

Get Your Fight on!

Get your “fight” on! Listen to these leprous men, what they said to each other and how they viewed their situation. They had leprosy; they couldn’t be around people; they were considered unclean, outcasts of society, left to fiend for themselves and ultimately to die in their disease. And yet, they looked at their situation and refused to give up, to give in or to quit! They assessed where they were and decided to make a change, even if it ended in the loss of their lives, they didn’t see that they would be any worse off than if they sat right there in their own misery and died.

 

How many times have you wondered what you should do in your situation? Have you felt that it was hopeless and no way out? As we see from this story of the lepers, God was at work in their situation. He didn’t consider them hopeless or their situation as being impossible. He was at work even while they were sitting there trying to make a decision as to what to do. But they didn’t see Him at work until they got up and made a move. There is an old saying that says, “It’s impossible to steer a parked car”; and it is, really. Have you ever tried to turn the steering wheel of a parked car? It is locked in place; not about to move in either direction. Sometimes we plant our feet where we are and declare that because we don’t see what God is doing in our lives, we’re not about to make a move. But faith looks out into the future with expectation, knowing that God is for us and has a good plan for our future. Faith moves!

 

Let’s look at another instance in the life of someone with a seemingly “impossible situation”.

 

2 Kings 4:1-7 NKJV A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. “And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

 

In this story a widow woman faced an impossible situation. Her sons were getting ready to be taken by the creditors to work off the debt of her husband. The woman sought advice from the man of God. The first thing he said to her was not, “oh, my, what a tragedy”! It wasn’t “there’s nothing you can do ; you’ll just have to let your sons go”. No, God always has a solution to your problem. He always has an answer for you and He will always direct you to the Source that you need for your provision. In this case, the man of God, the one that she turned to that could give her insight from the Lord, asked her what she had in her own house that she could sell. Sometimes the solution to our problem is right under our own noses. It’s right in our own house. Sometimes it means we have to look within to find what God wants us to do to solve our problem. Her solution meant she would have to shut the door on unbelief and trust God to pour out the oil through her own hands. In this story “house” is the Hebrew word “bayit” and it means, house, household, family, clan, temple, building, home. This lady’s provision was to come out of her own home, or within her temple. For a believer in Christ Jesus, the temple of God is within us and it is where the Holy Spirit dwells. The anointing to succeed lies within us. Deuteronomy 8:18 says that God is the one who gives you “power” to get wealth that He may establish or confirm His covenant with us. That word for “power” means strength, substance or ability. God wants you to succeed! Faith dispels the fear and opens the door to the anointing of God in your life!

 

Now, let’s look at one last story of a woman caught in a seemingly impossible situation.

 

1 Kings 17:8-16 NKJV Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying. “Arise, go to Zerephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zerephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. “For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’” So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

 

Another miraculous provision in a situation where it seemed that all hope was lost. This widow woman had exhausted all of her funds. She had nothing left to give or to make for her and her son to sustain their lives. She was at the end of herself! Why would God tell Elijah to go to this widow woman for his provision when she didn’t have any means to provide for her and her own son, much less anyone else? Aw, but God loves to take impossible situations and make them possible!

 

The Hebrew word for widow means desolate, barren, forsaken; someone everyone has given up on. And the word “provide” means to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.

 

Have you ever felt desolate, barren and forsaken and like everyone had given up on you? Well, mankind may see you of no use, but God sees you as worthy of redemption; worthy of giving His best for you. He sees you with potential; a person of value with a reason to live. This woman was ready to eat her last meal and die. And yet God saw His ability within her and sent His servant to her for provision. Zerephath means the place of refining, the place of purging and purifying. Sometimes in our desolate situations we feel like we are being pruned back to where there is nothing of ourselves left. But God works best when we get to that place of brokenness. That’s the place of the anointing. Oil in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the Holy Spirit; the anointing of God upon a person’s life. Both of the last two stories have talked about the oil; the anointing of God’s Spirit in the lives of ordinary people. God’s got your back! He’s waiting to show Himself strong on your behalf. There is nothing to fear because God is always at work. He never sleeps nor slumbers, but is always ready to bring deliverance, healing, hope and forgiveness. This lady was asked to give the first of what she had left to the man of God. She was asked to give out of her poverty. When we give to Him we can be assured that He will take that little bit and bless it, break it, multiply it and give it back to us! You can never out give the Lord! Faith gives!

 

Time and time again we see recorded in God’s Word stories of the impossible being made possible through the power of God. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says that the “eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him….” Is your heart loyal to the Lord? Are you totally committed to Him? If so, you can be assured that God is watching out for you. He is working on your deliverance! He is moving to bring you out of bondage so He can bring you into your promised land.

 

My friend, don’t give up on God. Don’t quit seeking His will for your life and don’t be afraid to step out in faith to meet Him in the place of provision that He has for you. Get your “fight” on! Get angry at the enemy who has come to steal from you! Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Life presents many challenges but God says that nothing can separate you from His presence and that He has made you more than a conqueror through His love.

 

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

There is nothing that can come against you that God has not already faced and conquered! He is for you! You are on the winning team!

 

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

 

He has made provision for your every need because He gave His very best for you. He is not withholding anything from you.

 

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

boxing gloves

Friends, get your “fight” on! God has already made you more than a conqueror in all of life’s situations. Partnered with God you cannot fail! Now, get up and fight!

 

Father, I thank You for Your supernatural provision in the lives of myself, my family and my friends! You have never failed to bring provision when I needed it, right on time, and I thank You for being my Provider. Father, I pray that those who are struggling today with a life challenge, that You will show Yourself strong on their behalf and reveal to them the supernatural provision that You have prepared for them. Give them hope, Father, and faith to rise above the fear that tries to assail them. Father, grant them strength to fight the enemy and win. Give them insight and wisdom and understanding to know how to handle each situation that arises. Father, give them the victory! Thank You, Lord, for making them more than conquerors against all of life’s challenges through Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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