I'v recently read an article by Walter Bruegemann on the Subject of hope. The name ofthe Article Was "Hope in the face of loss"
Here is what stood out for me:
"People who hope are not people who have a vague sense that things will work out all right. People who hope are those who know the name of God and God's characteristic gifts: love, mercy and faithfullness, the three great qualities that eventuate in the wholeness of shalom.
People who hope have complete confidence in God's coming shalom, a rule of order, peace, security, justice, and abundance. Without denying any present disorder or confusion or distortion, people who hope and watch and wait and pray and expect know that God's shalom is as good as done. People who hope are people who act in the conviction that God's future is reliably present-tense and therefore act upon it before it is fully in hand." - Walter Brueggemann
Hope does not leave as passive...(hoping that maybe something will happen or that God may do something in our lifes). Because of hope we act. It is the fuel in out lives that keep us running and thank God it does not come from ourselves!
Brother in Christ
| 2005/1/27 9:55||Profile|
| Re: Hope|
I've held on to the Blessed Hope since I was a child of seven. That has undoubtedly had an extraordinary impact on my life as I've always been a person without conventional fear. You can't threaten me with Heaven (death), and nothing in this earth is permanent so why should I let it so seriously shake me?
Confidence in Christ and my eventual rapture has made of me a person of confidence and assurety that I certainly would not know otherwise, and I know that most of the world is missing out on.
| 2005/1/27 11:57||Profile|
Oh! I desire more courage, and hope. I feel like such a coward, I pray and plead for more abundant faith and freedom from fear, (fear is of the enemy I know.) I would like to be of strong faith and brave courage- full of hope. I've asked and asked God to help me with this, I thought I was getting stronger- then a scare comes along and I'm reduced to a trembling heap of tears - trying to be brave and strong. Am I letting the Lord down?
| 2005/1/27 17:34||Profile|
No, you aren't letting the Lord down. We all have things that can scare us (I'm assuming, in my case), and cause us to worry. The key is that we don't live under any fear and eventually find victory and peace in Christ over all things. :-)
| 2005/1/27 22:27||Profile|
e. People who hope are people who act in the conviction that God's future is reliably present-tense and therefore act upon it before it is fully in hand." - Walter Brueggemann
I understand hope, in the present tense, as the substance that causes me to be. What is it that I hope for? Is the substance made up of the things of this world, or is it the substance that God gives me through my relationship with my Savior.
Our path creates the evidence of what we hope for.
| 2005/1/28 12:16||Profile|
I have been through this before also. I wanted to stand so strong to show His glory through me. To show that He is enough to keep me strong- yet i failed.
I am still in the learning process with this, but I want you to know that He knows. He knows your pain, He knows you are scared and His heart goes out to you as well. He is not just a commander saying "make Me look good!" Jesus knows our suffering. He will do what it takes to get us where we need to be. I have refused medication for anxiety, i don't know how many times. I hope that this is enough for people in the world to see that He is enough, but still I have to wonder how much of this is pride. That I can be "better" than everyone else. The Lord showed me that also. I have to be willing to fail in people's eyes, if that is what He wants. I have to just learn to trust that He will take me on the road that I need to be on to learn what i need to learn.
In our weakness- he is made strong. we don't have to put on a front that we are strong (even though we think it is through Christ) Until it actually IS Christ- there is no use to pretend or try. He is teaching us, He is shaping us- let Him have His way.
In His love, cahnin
| 2005/1/28 12:36||Profile|
The thing is whenever I think that I am strong enough to conquer any specific thing in my life (sin, circumstances etc.) I fail. Whenever I think that I can resist the temptation...I am about to fall. What is the reason we want to be victorious?...to show how strong we are...?Are we looking for God's glory in victory...not ours.
MAy our hope be in Him.
What are we hoping from?
For God to bring us into freedom ( A Red Sea experience)!
Freedom from our fears.
Freedom from bondages.
Freedom from sin.
to arrived at the place of milk and honey...happiness..fulfillment...satisfaction...contentment.
May we participate in this journey and walk and even face hardships like the Israelites in the desert..to arrive at this place.
Let us walk.
Brother in Christ
| 2005/1/28 14:49||Profile|
| Re: weaknesses|
I am often reminded of these scriptures, when I have thoughts like yourself go through my mind, and the Word of God comforts me:
"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And insignificant things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:
That no flesh should glory in His presence.
But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God became for us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." 1 Cor 1:27-31.
One day we will all stand complete in Him, and this is our Hope, but sometimes we can loose hope, and only too often we think on our circumstances and our condition. I have found this happen to me especially as I am going through a very lengthy trial, that seems as though there is no end in sight.
I have sometimes compared myself to other Christians who seem so strong and that has only made me feel as though something is wrong with me and I look inward, and that is not right.
So I can see Jesus is gradually getting me to submit to Him through this strange trial, and I am talking to Him more and more and wanting to spend more time with Him, for I know only He understands.
I do believe for each one of us, He knows exactly how to get us to Himself, where we love Him above all else and trust Him completely, and it has been my fears and weaknesses that has and is still strengthening my relationship with Christ.
| 2005/1/28 21:03||Profile|
| Re: not hopeless, but helpless|
Hopeless, No. Helpless, Yes!
Do you feel sometimes as though you are hopeless? Well, you are not without hope, you are not hopeless, but helpless. God has put you in a position of helplessness or complete dependency on Him and you are helpless to help yourself. You struggle to gain back some measure of control over your life. But your pride (that you did not even know that you had) is being crushed, and the only thing for you to do is to surrender. You may feel hopeless, but really it is the condition of helplessness that is causing you pain. God wants you completely dependant on Him, and He will keep you a prisoner of hope until you are.
Return to Your Fortress
Your fortress is trusting in a loving God. Trusting Him in spite of all the reasoning of your mind; in spite of the circumstances that surround you. You were content to give God control of your life until He decided to do something with your life you did not like. You were happy to surrender all to Him, until He decided to give your promotion to someone else. You believe in His sovereignty, until His sovereign will conflicts with your will. Then you are sure He has made a mistake. You want to run from Him, but He is your refuge. How do you run from your refuge? How do you run from the only one who really loves you or understands you? The answer is
you don't. So, return, my friend, to your fortress and remain a prisoner until He is done with you; until He decides you are ready for all that He has for you.
What now feels like a prison cell to you, God sees as a fortress. And of course He is right. He loves you and if you give Him control of your life He will guard it for you. Perhaps what feels to you like a prison cell, may really be your place of safety and protection. David did not like being in a cave, but it saved him from King Saul. You may not like the circumstances you are in now, but do not run from it. It maybe what is saving your life!
Double for Your Trouble
The second half of Zechariah 9:12 gives us the answer we are looking for. Why are we going through what we are going through? It says, "Return to your fortress O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you."
God says, "Even now I announce to you that not only will I restore to you all that has been taken from you, but I will give you double for all the trouble you have endured." He says, "Don't stop now
keep trusting me, because I can see your future and it is very blessed. Keep walking with me and keep trusting in me and I will give you rest." -V. B.
| 2005/1/29 9:03||Profile|
| Re: WOW!!!!|
What a wonderful thread of truth. Thanks to you all for preaching and teaching it.
Our hope is based on our faith, and that faith is in the finished work of Jesus. Without faith in His finished work and all the blessings it provides, it is impossible to please God. Furthermore, anything that is not of faith, is sin. So all of our self effort and self esteem needs to be brought to the cross and crucified by faith. Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 1:18 that the cross (the finshed work of Jesus) is foolishness to those who are perishing (in church and out), but unto those who are being saved, it is the power of God. Oh alleluia!!! The power of God to do what we cannot and provide what we cannot.
Our flesh and it's evil desires for infinite wickedness cannot be overcome by will power and religious practice. It can only be overcome by faith in Jesus and Him Crucified. That is why Paul counted all of his life, education, and position as dung for the knowlege of Christ and why he preached only Jesus and Him crucified.
When people ask me where they can find God, I often tell them "at the end of your rope". That's where many find Him, those in and out of church. When we come to the end of ourselves, there we find Him waiting. Aren't you glad? Oh yes, I am too.
| 2005/1/29 13:41|