If Only For This Life We Have Hope…

hopeWhen we think of hope, we normally turn our thoughts to the future. And hope does refer to the future. The Christian thinks of what we called ‘the blessed hope’, which comes from Titus 2:3, referring to the final appearing of Christ to make all things new.

However, hope is not just for the distant future, meaning the next life. Hope is just as much a reality for today, for this life. Not too long ago, I noticed a statement in Scripture about hope beginning in this life. Continue reading

If Only For This Life We Have Hope…

I wanted to share a few thoughts around a particular passage, mainly 1 Cor 15:19. This specific verse is found within a context where Paul gives the Corinthians a summary of the gospel – which is based in the story of Jesus, Israel’s Messiah, and his death and resurrection. Paul then proceeds to lay out some teaching about the resurrection – first of Christ as prototype, then that of all believers.

I’ll post a smidgen of verses here: Continue reading

Abound In Hope

As I have frequently posted as of late, I have recently been stirred with a renewed revelation of the power of God. One of the specific areas of God’s power in which I have been stirred is that of the power of the Spirit, which I share more here and here.

And with such a kindling of God’s power, I have found myself drawn to and reading regularly through the book of Acts. I cannot read enough about the power of God at work through His Spirit. So don’t be surprised if I post little snippets here and there about where I am being stirred in regards to God’s active power.

Recently, after sharing what God did in me some two weeks ago, someone reminded me of this passage:

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

So that by the power of the Spirit you may abound in hope.

This is extremely relevant to me. I am convinced God has given me a message for Belgium, the nation in which I live. As I have expressed before, this is not usual for me, in the sense of receiving something from God on such a large scale. I tend to think big, but I don’t tend to receive such a wide-reaching vision and message for a group of people, especially the people of a whole nation.

The message I believe God has given me for Belgium is this – God Is Alive! (see more here).

Belgians do not believe God is alive. Though there is a rich heritage of Christianity in this land, Belgium has never known a major move of God. And heritage never brings about true transformation. It can be a tool of God to use in the lives of people. But it does not, in and of itself, bring powerful transformation. That is the work of God’s Spirit.

And so, in this typically western, post-Christian world, it is obvious that people do not believe God is alive. Hence, the vision and message that God stirred in me about two weeks ago for Belgium (and beyond into western Europe).

And this is where Romans 15:13 comes in.

When you live in a land that needs to hear a specific message from God, but that land is, as a whole, not interested in that message, well, you can imagine the affect. It hits hard at the hope that this message has truly come from God and that this people truly needs to hear it today and respond to it. As I look around and interact with people, there is no really sense that God is alive.

But, by the power of the Spirit, we are called to abound in hope in such difficult situations. Abounding in hope knowing the promises of God. Abounding in hope knowing the word of the Lord – both in Scripture and in the present. Abounding in hope by the power of the Spirit.

So, here today, in Belgium, a nation that does not know that God is alive, I find much strength and comfort in such a passage as Romans 15:13. These words remind me to keep obediently proclaiming the word of the Lord, knowing He will be faithful to bring about the power transformation that only He can bring to such a hardened and deadened people.

Yes, the passage speaks. But I want it to continue to speak deeper and deeper.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Let Us Not Defer

‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick,’
But sometimes it is not ours to pick.
Too many have awaited their answer,
Even liberation from the oppressor.
So it leaves for humanity many a questions,
And many times lacking one easy solution.
But let that not distort, let that not cause stumble,
For, though queries remain, the call is stay humble.
Think it not foolish, rather see it as wise,
To embrace long-suffering, for there will be a prize.
As one sage claims, ‘Desire fulfilled is life.’
But even the present points to eternity’s cry.
Hence, stay the course, endure with honor,
But do it not alone, even rely on one’s brother.
Keep your heart assured, though all come against,
For we will come through fulfilling hope’s dream in the end.