As we continue our week on living for heaven, today we look at the concept of hope. Hope is a necessity in this day, and God wants to restore your sense of hope and give you a fresh dose today. May the hope of eternal life be an anchor for you all of your days.
“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
Living Hope | Phil Wickham
Music video by Phil Wickham performing Living Hope (House Sessions). (C) 2018 Phil Wickham http://vevo.ly/EmCJGC
The world is a fearful and unsatisfying place without the hope of eternal life with Jesus. Apart from the expectation that comes from the hope of heaven, our world is without cause for peace, celebration, or joy. There is life in hope. There is joy in hope. There is purpose in hope. Hope is to be at the foundation of all our decisions, emotions, and pursuits. Hope fills us with joy in the midst of trial and perseverance in the midst of failure. Hope guides us to abundant life.
Romans 8:24-25 says, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” We have the promise of eternal life in perfect, unveiled relationship with our Creator and Sustainer. The King of kings and Lord of lords waits patiently for the final redemption and restoration of all things (Revelation 21:1). He longs for the day when all pain, tears, disappointment, separation, and sin will end for good (Revelation 21:4). And he longs to fill us with the same hope and expectation he has within himself.
Romans 15:13 says, “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.” Our heavenly Father longs to make us a people of hope. He longs for his followers to live a lifestyle that declares to the world, “This life is not all there is.” He longs to fill us with a heavenly perspective that we might throw off pursuits of worldly pleasure and live for eternity with him.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The hope of eternal life with our Father is to be the guiding light set ever before us. Where have you set your hope? Where do the treasures of your heart lie? Placing our hope in heaven secures the treasures of our hearts with our heavenly Father for all of eternity. In contrast, when we treasure the things of the world, that which we accumulate will pass away as quickly as it came.
Take time in guided prayer to allow the Lord to fill you with a fresh hope for the age that is to come. Allow your perspectives to shift in light of the glory of an eternity spent in total communion with the Creator. May the hope of heaven guide you to a lifestyle of storing up your treasures, and therefore your heart, with your heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on the importance of hope. Allow Scripture to shift your perspectives and pursuits to living for heaven.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” Proverbs 10:28
2. Where have you placed your hope in the things of the world? What have you been looking to in order to satisfy your longings that is fleeting and temporary?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
3. Ask the Lord to help you place your hope in heaven alone. Choose to live your life for your heavenly Father instead of seeking worldly success and satisfaction. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you ways in which you can rid yourself of the world and receive the hope of heaven.
“‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
May Romans 5:2-5 be your anthem of hope today:
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.