Praise the Lord, Grace & Peace great people of our “Great God” …JESUS!
While in South Africa in the month of April 2017 to minister, I experienced the majestic beauty of God from the work of His own hands, but I also experienced those who were surrounded by this same majestic beauty living in impoverished conditions. For those who did not know Jesus Christ appeared to have a countenance of no hope. Hence for this Golden Nugget I would like to render thought provocation concerning the distinguishing principle between “faith and hope,” while remaining cognizant of the fact that they are not mutually exclusive but inclusive to each other, hence we should embrace being Prisoners of Hope. My premise scriptures for this gospel provocation are as follows:
Heb 10:38-39 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man drawback, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Please note saints that there is a marked distinction, and yet an intimate connection, between these two principles. Faith takes what God has given; Hope expects what He has promised. Faith rests in holy tranquility in God’s statements about the past; hope goes forth actively longings after the fulfillment of the promises in the future. Faith is a recipient; hope an expectant. Now, it can be found that, in proportion to our strength of faith, will also be the vigor of our hope. If we are not “fully persuaded that what God has promised, and that He is also able to perform,” we will never know the power that comes from the energy of our hope! If our faith wavers, our hope will be flickering. On the contrary, if our faith is strong, our hope will be strong also; hence my brothers and sisters I believe faith, while it nourishes and strengthens what we are to be persuaded in, will then impart strength and intensity concerning our expectation!…Glory be to God!
I truly believe that when our soul exercises the above principles, it is like a climbing plant that digs it’s root deep into the soil, and sends forth supporting stems (tendrils) along the nearest wall or tree. Saints from this illustration, I believe that the soul finds its root in the eternal word of God, while it sends forth the tendrils of an imperishable hope to grasp tenaciously the faithful promises of God; and, if I may say, the deeper we are rooted in the word of God, the stronger the tendrils will be that nourish our faith support systems…GOLDEN NUGGET!
Saints when we look at the patriarch Abraham, we see he was a happy exemplification of all this; his “faith and hope” were truly “in God.” Circumstances and situations did not overtake him. He had been promised the whole land of Canaan, a place where he had not set his foot on nor surveyed in details, yet he had been promised a seed like the stars of heaven, (Gentiles and Jews… the Church) and the sand seed by the sea shore, (Israel, his natural seed) when he had no child. Therefore, neither his faith nor his hope could have drawn any nutriment from circumstances, for everything within the range of his mortal vision argued against him. But the promise of “the Almighty God” (El Shaddai) was quite enough for this man of faith. With faith he went forth as a pilgrim and a stranger, for “flesh and blood“ could not establish a foundation for his hopes. Abraham recognized that he heard a voice which the children of this world could not hear, the voice of “the God of glory,” calling him forth from the midst of his worldly circumstances to be “a Prisoner of Hope.” The Lord had directed his thoughts upward …He had called him from earth to heaven … from the earthly Babel to the heavenly Jerusalem … from the baseless city of man, to the well-founded city of God not made by the hands of man! For Paul conveyed to the church of Ephesus in Eph. 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
My brothers and sisters, this was the same principle embraced by all the patriarchs and witnesses whose names were honored and recorded by the Holy Spirit for our encouragement, in Hebrews the 11th chapter. “They 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.” They died as they had lived, “Prisoners of Hope.” An unbelieving world might have scoffed and sneered at them, and wondered why they had given up the apparently substantial realities of earth to live and die without anything. But their “faith and hope” were in God, and not in circumstances. Faith enabled them to rest upon the record of God, while hope carried them onward into the future, and propelled their expectations as they walked their present!
Saints, to me the verses Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him; stand out at the head of this Golden Nugget excerpt, and presents to us, the believers, two most interesting aspects, first, as the recipient of grace, and second the expectorants of glory; that being that we are safely lodged in a “stronghold,” but yet as “a Prisoner of Hope” as one to enjoy perfect peace, while also living in the blessed Hope (Jesus) of better things to come…Glory be to God!
My brothers and sisters there is only one thing that can render the soul happy in looking forward into the future, and that is the knowledge of God’s redeeming love in giving His Son to be a perfect sacrifice for sin. Until this is known, the mind will never reach beyond the question of mere individual salvation, which, after all, is but selfishness. Our human comprehension, in the measure of our human conscious will never embrace a bright future without perpetually hoping in Jesus Christ! For the word of God let us know… “It is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment.”
Death and judgment form a gloomy prospect for man to contemplate. Death can draw aside the curtain and reveal a terrible future, it launches the poor soul forth into a boundless ocean of eternity, without anything to sustain or guide it when Christ is not in the picture. But “the one offering of Jesus Christ” brings the willing soul into a new perspective, because it alters the point of view, and removes the clouds from the prospects of gloom and doom. This is why the apostle wrote in Heb. 9:28 “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” The sinner must get to the other side of the cross so that he can happily or peacefully look forward. In other words, the sinner and we can only study, understand, and appreciate the word of God with a purged conscience.
It is when we know, through the Spirit, the value of the sufferings of Christ, that we can joyfully contemplate the glory that is to follow. The unconverted soul, therefore, cannot appreciate the dictates from the Word of God. To them the throne from where Jesus reveals His deep counsels is surrounded with thick clouds and darkness, and sends forth nothing but thundering and lightning. This is why in the book of Revelation we see that the book is sealed with seven seals, and none but the Lamb can open it.
My brothers and sisters this is why we as believers, continue to rest in the atoning efficacy of the blood of Christ, and therefore are privileged to look forward to “the morning without clouds,” not that we may know for the first time, that we are accepted in the Beloved, but that we may enter into all the rich and ineffable fruits of Jesus’ redeeming love. Hence we are Prisoners of Hope. Our faith rest upon the cross of Calvary … our hope feeds upon the rich pastures of God’s precious promises in His word. Our spiritual walk travels over a course of which the cross is the starting-post, and the glory revealed is the goal…and if we continue in HIM we will obtain IT. Glory…GOLDEN NUGGET!
Saints the Word of God conveys a twofold message; it tells of unmitigated judgment to the man or woman who is yet in their sins; and it tells of incorruptibility and eternal life to the man or woman who has believed in the love of God as displayed in the gift of His Son JESUS. Hence, to the former, it must be a most unwelcome messenger; to the latter, the bearer of great tidings: to the former it speaks of the complete shipwreck, to the latter, the glorious consummation of all our hopes.
So my brothers and sisters, we see the vast essentials of being rightly instructed as to the nature of our hope. When we know what we are hoping for, we are able to give an answer; yes, that is answers to life. A man or woman’s life is always influenced by their genuine hope. . If a person be an heir to an estate, their life is influenced by the hope of inheriting it; and if we knew more of the power of the Holy Spirit as “the earnest of our inheritance,” instead of disputing about the time or manner of our Master’s arrival, we should, as “Prisoners of Hope,” be anxiously looking forth from our prison windows for His glorious appearance! My brothers and sisters keep your HOPE ALIVE as we continue to be “PRISONERS OF HOPE” Have a “JESUS Day“