Hope for the future

 

2016-05-08 16.24.24

In a season of uncertainty and when all the UK Referendum campaigners seem to be promoting fear, is there some hope?

I believe that God gives tangible direction with hope, based on purpose and His commitment to the path ahead – whether the way is stony or smooth.

An example of this from my life makes the point.  At the end of 1993, after much prayer, I knew that in the year ahead (1994) God wanted me to get a new job and develop into new things. I started the year with this knowledge and I was hopeful about it!  A few weeks into the year God spoke to me in a hotel room in Barcelona while I was on a business trip. He emphasized the words of Isaiah 43:19, “ See I am doing a new thing, see it now springs up.” I knew for certain that God was letting me know that he was shortly about to do a new thing. I understood that it would follow very soon after that night. Two days later when I returned to my office in England, I was called in to see my manager. He informed me that it was necessary to make my job redundant (that means to be “fired” to the Yankees).

In that moment my head spun and my heart leapt!  I knew the hope of what God had already said. I was able to respond in that moment from a position of hope and deal with the situation in faith.  I still had to deal with the uncomfortable emotional aspects of not being wanted by my company and of facing the prospect of not having a job. I was however, able to live with confident assurance in front of my work colleagues and to reassure and lead my family with positive and real faith. The whole transition in our lives was a testimony of faith and an example to friends and family both believers and non-believers.

A few weeks later I was delighted to walk into a better job with better pay and prospects. Even more importantly than the material results of the situation, my wife and I were ready to be released to the next level of faith and living in the Kingdom of God. We moved on to the next stage of pursuing the hope and vision that God had given us several years before regarding our long-term calling and ministry.  The hope that was planted and strong in my heart on the morning that I was made redundant was real and made a definite and actual difference in the situation and the outcome.

My favorite passage in the Bible on the subject of hope is in the book of Romans: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought to the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:18-25).

This passage is wonderfully self-explanatory, speaking of the glorious ultimate hope of our calling as sons of God. This is a hope that strengthens us through any manner of present trials or sufferings – if we will only look to, and by faith, draw from, the hope that God is holding out in front of us. This is not a small thing – this passage in Romans speaks of the whole of creation! It speaks of us as coming into son-ship; the whole of creation being liberated from decay and the final and complete freedom. The vastness and comprehensiveness of this hope is then focused down to the walk of faith as, “we wait for it patiently.”

God is calling out to the Church to understand the hope that He is offering. We are not walking in the dark and hoping that we will not trip over the furniture. We are walking in the light. As it says in Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

Let God flood your heart and life with light. It’s not just a feeling of well-being. He wants you to see and understand, and that is what hope brings. Jesus is coming back. His return is the great hope for the world. Our resurrection in Him is our eternal hope. His completeness is the full light of day. Until then the light is shining ever brighter.

Ask God for real and definite hope. Learn from the Bible what he intends for believers to be and do. Let Him show you what the church and the Kingdom of God are all about. Allow Him to give you revelation to illuminate your personal path that He has prepared for you. Know for certain what He has called you to be and to do. Let Him speak the future into your life. Receive hope!

~~ ~~

This post is a part re-publishing of the chapter written by John D Manwell: “Hope that makes a real difference” which was first published in the book “HOPE – when everything seems hopeless” by Thomas P. Dooley, Mall Publishing Co. ISBN 1-934165-20-4

(C) Thomas P. Dooley 2008.  Used with permission

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