A Hope Restored

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

What is Hope?

Hope” is commonly used to mean a wish: its strength is the strength of the person’s desire. But in the Bible, hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.” Online definition

 

Hope begins with a Promise…

Hope in a Christians heart begins with a promise directly communicated from God heart to our heart.

When we believe what the Lord has said and accept the promise as truth, and trust in God to bring the promise to fruition – hope is birthed.

Hope continues as long as we continue to believe God and it is what we ultimately “hang on to” during the time of waiting until the promise comes to pass.

Faith is what is born out of hope, it is the action that validates the hope.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

i.e. God told Noah there would be a flood, and that he and his family would be saved, Noah believed what the Lord promised him and faith moved him to build the ark – hope sustained him as he preached for 100 years with no converts.

Hope also brings great joy, endurance, and patience to wait for the promise of God.

When the Lord calls you unto himself for some purpose… for salvation, for a task or for ministry he usually does it through one of three ways:

1) His word, giving you a scripture or scriptures that speak directly to you and make up the promise.

2) Through anointed men or women of God via preaching, or through spiritual gifts for example prophecy or a word of knowledge.

3) Or the Lord can speak directly to your spirit, and you will develop a deep “knowing” that a promise has been made to you.

We see this throughout the Bible, men and women who heard from God, believed what he said and acted on that belief.

Gen.15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

The book of Hebrews the 11th chapter gives us multiple examples here are just a few- read the whole chapter to see the many promises made:

 

Name Believed a Promise Acted on a Promise Received the Promise Scripture Verse
Noah Warned of a Flood Prepared an ark Saved his Household Heb, 11:7
Abraham Commanded to leave his Father’s House Obeyed and went out He received the inheritance from the Lord – the Land of Israel, the Church Heb.11:8
Sara She would have a child in old age She received the strength to conceive Isaac was born Heb. 11:11

Hope Relies on Trusting God…

Hope is greatly connected to believing God, trusting him and it is built upon his faithfulness as opposed to our goodness or service. The level of your trust in the Lord’s ability to fulfill his promise will directly determine the level of your joy, patience, and endurance.

Hope is trusting God for the who, what, where, when, why and how of a vision, promise or calling.

Psalm 39:7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:24-26 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Note: No hope, no intercessory prayer.

 

Trusting the Lord and believing what he says produces hope, and with-it great joy, endurance, and patience to wait for the promises of God.

 

Hope Looks to the Future…

Hope while giving endurance for the moment also involves looking to the future for the fulfillment of God’s promise.

Hebrews 12:2-3 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Proverbs 23:18 Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We as humans find great joy in planning things in our lives, a new home, a new career, a long-awaited wedding… it is what brings joy and fulfillment to any life; dreaming the dream,  planning the dream, executing the dream , and finally celebrating the accomplishment of the dream.

Jacob was a perfect example of this… his faith that his Uncle would give him Rachel as a wife, gave him the ability to hope, that hope along with his great love for her, helped him to endure.

Gen 29,20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

 

Hope Helps us to Plan for the Future…

The Lord himself has placed his plan for our lives deep within our spirit at conception, our deepest longings and desires can be found wrapped up in discovering what that plan is, dreaming about that plan, executing that plan and celebrating that plan.

A person who diligently seeks to find the will of God in their lives, discovers it and who lives it, is usually one of the most contented people you can meet; even when life presents them with trials, pain, suffering and disappointment, their hope in the plan of God for their lives gives endurance, peace and great joy to that life.

 

Hope Under Attack…

Unfortunately, there are times when our hope can come under great attack by the enemy, or circumstances, or just the trials of life, a Christian whose hope is under attack can lead to dire consequences and great pain in life.

When hope abates or begins to fade, a person’s actions may begin to drift outside the plan or will of God for their lives.

As flesh starts to become desperate to see the promises of God fulfilled, missteps and even outright sin may occur.

We see this in the life of Sarai. Abram and Sarai had received a promise that God would give them a son, for years hope helped them endure waiting for the promise to come to fruition. Sarai, as she aged without conceiving a child, her hope began to wane and in desperation, she presented her handmaid to her husband to create the promised child and Ishmael was the result. However, God’s plan was for Sarai herself to conceive a bare and son, and when the Lord’s promise was fulfilled – Isaac was born.

Life’s circumstances, trials, temptations, and timing are often what attack our hope, if we allow it.

When your hope is attacked ask yourself these questions?

“Will you belief what God has promised?”

“Will you wait patiently until the promise comes to fruition?”

“Will you endure hardships, trials and pain to see the promise come to fruition?”

 

It is the lack of hope that may, if left unchecked, that can lead to deep emotional suffering and depression.

Job us a perfect example of this…

Job suffered an incredible satanic attack that directly affected his wealth and livelihood, his marriage and family even to the death of his children, his health and even his own life, that attack brought Job to the place of hopelessness.

Job19:10 He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.

A lack of hope can have dire consequences leading to fears, doubts, emotional and physical illnesses, and ultimately even various types of death; a death of a vision, a death of a promise, a death of ministry or call, and can even rob you of your endurance, patience and the joy of the Lord which is your strength.

Hopelessness may also rob you of your place within a vision or promise, you might continue to believe in the promise but your own place within the vision or promise is compromised. Again, we see Sarai was an excellent example of this, as the years passed, the reality of her circumstances and age began to dawn on her, she then began to question her place within the plan and promise of God. Her doubts made her take the situation into her own hands, looking for another solution to accomplish the promise that was outside of herself.

Hope can be difficult to sustain when under attack because often the promise or call comes in the form of direct communication with God.

When something is in the written form, we either belief it or not, it is in black and white, something we can point to, it is tangible.

However, when a promise is given from God, it is usually from his heart to our own, and we can be tempted to doubt. This is Satan’s greatest weapon against hope…doubt. Satan doesn’t have to get us to the place that we doubt what God had said, but just the place where we begin doubting ourselves, did we hear him correctly, did we understand what God meant, are we able or do we have the right qualifications to obey the call, and fulfill the promise?

Moses would be an excellent example of this.

At the burning bush, he heard God, he believed God, but it was his own qualifications and personal disabilities that caused him to question his place within God’s call.

Gideon also doubted that he was able to answer the call God placed on his heart to deliver Israel from her enemies.

A lack of hope may lead us to doubt ourselves and our confidence can be greatly shaken or even lost in the negative process of looking at our own life’s circumstances, or timing, or personal abilities or disabilities.

This is where trusting God becomes essential.

The understanding and the interpretation of God’s promise is not the issue, believing him, obeying him, and walking in faithfulness to the call, vison or promise then becomes the lifelong test of our hope.

 

 

Satan’s Ultimate Goal – To Destroy our Hope.

It is so important to recognize the satanic nature of an attack on your hope, if you’re existing without hope, or if your hope has come under attack… Satan’s ultimate goal is not just to destroy your hope, but to destroy you in the process.

Just as the Lord has a goal and plan for our livesm so does Satan. Satan’s goal is to bring you to the place of being ineffective, a place of intense hopelessness and ultimately bring death to your spiritual life, your calling, your ministry, and even death to you physically.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

With that in mind we need to watch our soul for signs of hopelessness.

 

 

Symptoms of Hopelessness

  1. Joy, endurance, and patience seem to be lacking or gone.
  2. Everything becomes harder – harder to get up and do the things for the Lord, you know it’s right, but your physical, emotional, and spiritual strength becomes very weak, you will find you are just going through the motions.
  3. You will tend to resign from positions, i.e. Sunday school teacher, music director etc.
  4. Your thought life takes on an extremely negative outlook or it has become completely silent.
  5. Depression starts to invade – spiritual depression, emotional depression and exhaustion, and finally clinical depression with physical symptoms.
  6. It becomes harder to communicate with God and others.
  7. Prayer time begins to fall away.
  8. Worship is difficult.
  9. You are unable to listen to music or your choice of music becomes very dark
  10. It is hard to discern good from evil and your conscience falls silent.
  11. Doubt creeps in – doubting self, doubting your place in the body of Christ, doubting if God really loves you or if you are worthy of his love.
  12. You see everyone else as doing well but wonder what is wrong with you.
  13. You begin to compare yourself to others, negatively.
  14. You begin missing church, Bible study or fellowship, because of the spiritual and emotional isolation and pain.
  15. You shut down when around people and feel numb.
  16. You find yourself isolated and alone and preferring to be so.
  17. You begin to doubt if you are even redeemable.
  18. You are unable to see your future.
  19. Demonic depression and oppression become visible to others as you believe the lies of the enemy and are taken captive by him.
  20. Your faith may begin to suffer, faith in the Lord, faith in yourself and faith in your call, faith in others.
  21. You begin to severely doubt as hopelessness takes hold… doubting if God really loves you or if you are worthy of his love… you doubt the love of your family and friends, it becomes hard for people to reach you.
  22. In extreme cases, death begins to look good, and suicide becomes an option.

If you find yourself dealing with any of the above symptoms and beginning to feel hopeless – hope must be restored!

Spiritual healing and deliverance from a spirit of hopelessness is available and must be diligently sought after.

 

 

 

 

Restoring Hope…

  • Knowing who you are and trusting Christ and his promises will help you to fight hopelessness.

Knowing who you are in Christ will help fight hopelessness, if the Lord had the faith in you to call you, or give you a ministry or vision, then he believes you can and will do it regardless of sin, sickness, pain, suffering or obstacles.

Trust his instincts when you cannot trust your own.

Trust his love and compassion.

Trust his mercy when you fail or fall.

Trust his judgment, he knows you better than you know yourself.

Is 42:6 NSAB “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations.

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

  • The power of humility will help you to fight hopelessness.

Pride is the absolute killer of all hope.

Pride is the misplaced confidence in your own abilities, talents, and strengths to accomplish a goal independent of the Lord’s strength, plan, or purpose.

Pride is fed and nurtured through the fleshly man and accepts the credit and/or the blame for the outcome of life’s victories and defeats.

We see this demonstrated in King Herod when he takes credit for all he had built – and it quickly brings the judgement of God upon him.

Acts 12:22-23 And they began to shout, “This is the voice of a god, not a man!”  Immediately, because Herod did not give glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

In contrast, humility is the soil needed to grow faith and confidence in God, that he will use you despite your abilities and or disabilities to accomplish his will and bring his promise to fruition.

Humility is fed and nurtured through the spirit of God enabling, teaching, and strengthening, and is completely reliant upon the leading of the Holy Ghost, giving God all the glory for the results in life whether good or bad. Taking neither “fleshly credit nor wallowing in self-pity and blame”.

Humility erases the need to succeed in the eyes of men and destroys the voice of condemnation and fear that comes from a perceived or real-life failure or fall.

Proverb 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

It is hope that causes the righteous to get back up after falling, it is humility that keeps him getting back up time, after time, after time.

Humility recognizes we are but sinners…

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Humility recognizes the deep need of a savior…

Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Humility creates the spiritual ground for the acknowledgement of truth and produces healthy repentance from sin.

 

  • The power of repentance will help you to fight hopelessness.

Acknowledging the deep abiding love of God will lead to proper repentance and the renewal of hope.

David is a perfect example of this when he falls into sin with Bathsheba. Life choices and circumstances led to a fall into grave sin that included a murder though the abuse of power and adultery, judgement and death was the result.

When the prophet Nathan showed David his sin, David quickly acknowledged it and the repentance process began. David was a unique man in that he had cultivated a deep relationship with the Lord and knew him. He knew God loved him deeply and that gave him the confidence to approach the Lord in repentance knowing he would be accepted. David’s deep and powerful repentance along with his fasting and prayer is found in Psalm 51.

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Psalm 51

(2 Samuel 12:1-12)

{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone into Bathsheba.}

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

The outcome – salvation and hope were restored, and Solomon was the comfort and continuation of the promises of God.

 

 

  • Knowledge – The power of the word of God will help you fight hopelessness.

 

 

Long periods of time, severity of life’s circumstances, Satan and even death cannot destroy a promise from God, that knowledge will help you to fight hopelessness.

Our hope takes a beating in the things that come against through life, when we feel we have waited too long for a promise, when it seems like life’s circumstances have all worked together to destroy the dream or vision, when Satan has actively attacked us on every level, through our families, our marriages, our finances, our health, all these things can lead to feelings of intense hopelessness and defeat, but when we turn to the Word of God we see others who have faced the same struggles and had victories, that knowledge restores our hope.

Proverbs 13;12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life

Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally – The Blessed Hope – Jesus’ Return…

Jesus is without a doubt the source of all our hope, we hope in him for salvation, we hope in him for our life, for our strength, for our peace and for our strength, he promises to never leave us or forsake us and even more importantly he promises to return to this earth once again.

He promises to be physically, what we have known him to be spiritually and emotionally.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

Hopelessness begins when we get our eyes off Christ and begin to see circumstances, failures, and life’s problems bigger than the Lord’s ability to answer us and deliver us …the key is to look up… get your eyes off self, get your eyes off situations, get your eyes off people and look unto Jesus…look up…

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

 

Look Up…Look To Jesus

 

Look Now Toward Heaven!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Conclusion

Hope is listed as one of the three most important attributes needed for a victorious Christian life.

I Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Hope then is absolutely necessary for the Christian walk, it brings with it the joy, the endurance and the patience needed to be victorious during times of life’s trials, temptations and satanic attacks.

A restored hope in the promises of God will lead to a renewal of joy, strength, endurance, and patience.

A restored hope will also give a renewed hunger for God and the things of God and renew a powerful time of personal growth and eventually evangelism and the salvation of souls.

 

Begin now to take the steps to restore your hope.

  • Find the original source of the hopelessness and find out what is attacking your hope – is it the thief of time, is it life’s circumstances, is it sin, or it is a direct frontal attack of the enemy, or is it a lack of understanding of not knowing who you are in Christ or not knowing the depths of the love of God?

 

  • Acknowledge that you are compassionately, deeply loved by God and his mercy is yours.

 

  • Begin to take captive every thought and bring in into subjection to the truth and the Word of God.

 

  • Repent of your sins and humble yourself – getting rid of any fleshly pride.

 

  • Resist the devil and rebuke his lies and he will flee.

 

  • Believe once again the promises made to you by the Lord and acknowledge your place within the promise, embrace the promise and allow the renewed hope to transform your actions through faith.

Ephesians 1:18. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

 

Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.