This week I’ve been impacted by several events and scenarios that have caused me to think about what it means to live with hope. Between conversations with my wife after her return from a women’s event, a few of my own internal battles and conversations with God, reading a guy with the best name ‘Francis Frangipane’ and thinking upon some portions of the Bible – it has all got me thinking about hope.
I often think about hope but this time it’s a little different – it’s less about trying to figure hope out and more a ‘I want hope to overflow from my life’. I know that without hope exuding from my life this dream of seeing a city and region marked by hope is a ludicrous adventure. Everything God wants to do outside of us always starts inside first, at least that’s how it seems to work with me.
So, what does it take to become a person of hope. First, let me quote a scripture: “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
There’s a couple of things about this that impact me. Number 1 – hope is a person. I know it seems obvious, but this is hitting me in a fresh way. God IS perpetual hope. Every thought that he has about our lives or the world or the situations we face are full of hope. What follows then is that any area of my life that is not marked by hope, has not yet come under his influence and rule. Francis Frangipane (best name ever) says it this way:
“Every area of your thinking that glistens with hope in God is an area which is being liberated by Christ. But any system of thinking that does not have hope, which feels hopeless, is a stronghold (a word for oppressive or evil thought system) which must be pulled down.”
Where in your life right now do you need the God of hope to realign your attitudes and thinking so that they ‘glisten’ with hope in Him. Number 2 – God’s desire for us is that we too would abound in hope. God wants us to be formed increasingly into the image of His Son, Christ. A key part of that looks like overflowing with hope. Number 3 – Hope built into our lives is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. Whilst we are responsible for how we respond and surrender to the Way of Jesus, we cannot produce hope ourselves, we need the Holy Spirit to do that for us.
In part two, I’ll look at how that often works. In the meantime, why don’t you invite the God of all hope to fill you with joy and peace so that you overflow with hope.