From the Pastor’s heart                                   Hope

Heb 6:16For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Heb 6:17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: Heb 6:18That 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: Heb 6:19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Heb 6:20Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

It is interesting to note that in the Old Testament days no man of the flesh could enter into the inner sanctum of God without first of all being of a High Priest calling. Secondly, when this priest was allowed to enter, which was only once a year, he had to perform many rituals and be very careful in his preparations before entering in. Any mistake on his part would mean instant death. So, the hope of anyone entering in on an ad hoc basis was impossible till God Himself made a way through His Son Jesus. Though God had spoken about this forthcoming event, time had left man without hope through the rituals they had to perform year after year. In addition to that, the cost in blood of animals was great. It was imperative that another kind of man had to pay the price of sin that was upon flesh man. This man was to be sinless which could only be God as man. The second Adam was Jesus the re-creation of man. No male, no female.

 

The price for man’s involvement in heaven was the sacrifice of one of its own. Therefore, the coming of Jesus as a sinless man created that sacrifice for us. This is the most noteworthy part of it all. The hope of man was extinct till Jesus came as the second Adam (man). Now, man (male & female) could be accepted in the sight of God once again because of Jesus. This is the hope of man, that he is accepted in the presence of God and is no longer excluded but included.

 

How does this hope translate to daily life for anyone? First and foremost, it brings the hope of salvation. This cannot be discounted in anyway because we know that we live in a world where death is imminent to all flesh. What happens after that is anyone’s guess unless you believe in life after death. However, if there is life after death, what life is that and how is it made sure and what kind of life will it be? All these questions are answered in our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Saviour the hope of salvation. This truth is then revealed to us through the Holy Ghost who unfolds it to us as we journey this life. This brings further hope while we live on this earth. It brings assurance, peace, joy and an abundance of life on earth because our future is secure in Christ.

 

Secondly, this hope translates itself into the forgiveness of sins while we live on earth. Jesus acts as our High Priest forever interceding on our behalf for mercy and grace while we are on earth. Why do we need that? We need it because we are capable of sin even though we believe in Jesus and are forgiven of all past sins. So, we need an intercessor and an Advocate with the Father God who can stand in the gap for us. The fact that Jesus paid the price for all sin past, present and future gives Him the right to intercede on our behalf. This is something incredibly important to know because even though we do not want to sin we do sin. Sometimes, we sin and know that we have sinned and feel incredibly convicted with no hope unless Jesus forgives us. So, in this we find a faithful Saviour who is compassionate and knows our weaknesses and is just to forgive us when we repent. Mind you, this fact is not a license for us to sin wilfully. Finally, when we are deceived by the devil to sin, we still have a faithful Helper in Jesus who not only forgives our sins when we confess them but is able to defeat the devil on our behalf. Wow! This to me is a great hope because the world and the devil is ready to condemn me on every turn.

 

The hope that Jesus provides for all mankind does not stop short of people. His hope is a hope that goes to saving the physical world from destruction. Though it will be ultimately destroyed by God, it will be re-created by Him again and we will get to occupy a new world without the sin and the problems of the old world. This again is a lively hope for all who believe.

 

The hope of a daily life also extends to daily expectations of blessings. Many people hope for a child but can’t have one. Others hope for all sorts of things that seem impossible. Yet, because of Jesus having entered into the presence of God on our behalf, is able to access anything we need from heaven and send it down to earth. This is a lively hope again. Miracles are made out of hope realised through faith. Hope is the window that faith leaps out off. We live in hope and walk by faith. So faith is the substance of things hoped for. Heb 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Can we believe for the impossible? Apparently we can. Many have believed and have received their miracles. All this is possible because of Jesus. He honors faith in Himself and what He achieved for us through His sacrificial death. Now He says that all spiritual blessings are placed in Him and so there is no need for despair. Many have waited in hope but have not received in faith. This is a great tragedy because hope without faith is like trying to hold water in your hand; it slips through.

 

The Biblical accounts of hope that was anchored by faith have produced the impossible. Rom 4:17(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. Rom 4:18  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. Rom 4:19And 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: Rom 4:20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; Rom 4:21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Rom 4:22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Rom 4:23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; Rom 4:24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

What are you hoping for? We see clearly from these verses that there is an exhortation to believe for the impossible that was promised. So, I believe the key to hope and faith is to believe what is promised. However, we can only receive the promise if we ask according to His word. To ask, we must believe in the word and what Jesus did. We must know that God is open to our asking and not harsh or stingy about giving. God seems to honour faith that comes from a humility of asking. Asking must have faith attached to it. You must believe that God cares about you and what you are asking about. Why is that so important?  I believe, because many ask without really believing God hears them. Others think they are not worthy of receiving what they ask for and some ask in arrogance and wasteful expectations to spill their blessings on their lusts. All such things will never receive God’s blessings.

When Abraham asked for an heir, he did not know that what he was asking was actually prophetic in nature. The heir was not only for a natural son to take over his wealth and belongings but an heir for all mankind to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven. Luk 12:32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Wow! This is something unimaginable. A whole Kingdom that was made for mankind is at stake and now we can see why the devil is mad. He thought he would be the one to get everything but lost it because of pride. Humility in hopeless situations brings great reward. Jesus went to the cross out of humility and obedience to pay a price we could not pay. Nothing we ever hope for or get out of faith is free. It was paid for by Jesus. When we value this concept through understanding and not childish demands of God for what we hope for, we will begin to see hope in a totally different light. We will see that there was no way for us to be redeemed let alone receive any blessings till Jesus came.

 

It is God’s grace and mercy that He is being patient with mankind especially with those who do not believe. Furthermore, He has given us His Son Jesus the anchor of hope who is in the presence of God thereby giving us a place with Him in eternity. What a hope for mankind to be among the council of heavenly hosts. Now, we are included in heavenly governance. Rev 4:4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. Let us arise in hope of greater expectations than a mere life in the flesh. You are made for eternity and glory.

 

Lots of love                             

Pastor Noble