Hope – Part 1
The Lord has ministered to me that covenant keepers need encouragement, and He impressed upon me to share with you about hope. Since beginning to stand for our marriages, we have all had someone say to us, at one time or another, “Don’t get your hopes up,” or “You don’t get anything by hoping.”
God’s Word encourages just the opposite; He wants us to get our hopes up. In fact, the Word puts prime importance on hope. Hope is the first step in marriage healing. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Without hope, we have nothing to use with our faith, and without faith, the things hoped for will never become reality. Hope must be combined with faith for us to inherit God’s promises for the healing of our marriages.
Hope is a partner to faith. According to Hebrews 6:18-19, hope is to the soul what faith is to the spirit. “He has given us both His promise and His oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to Him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that He will give them the salvation He has promised them. This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven….” Our soul is composed of our mind, will and emotions. Hope stabilizes the soul just as faith stabilizes the spirit. Faith and hope are vital, an unbeatable combination.
Faith produces results, and we must develop faith if our marriages are to be healed. Hope functions as the container for faith. Hope keeps us from fainting in our minds. (See Hebrews 12:3.)
Some of you may think, “Marilyn, we know this. We have had lessons on hope, and we are past the hoping stage and into the faith phase. We have stands of substance. We have faith.”
I am aware of this, but God has given me more insight into the subject of hope. Many have become discouraged—very discouraged! You have not been able to rise above that discouragement, and you are unsure why that is so.
HOPE IS NECESSARY
While I read the Word and prayed one morning, God spoke and showed me that many of you have lost your hope—not your faith. You have not fainted, you have just lost hope.
Hope is not something we must have only in the beginning in order to obtain faith. Hope is necessary throughout the entire time of our stand!
Hebrews 3:6: “…but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm UNTIL THE END.”
Hebrews 6:11: “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope UNTIL THE END.”
Many of you have let go of your hope and that is why you are discouraged. As I stated earlier, hope keeps us from fainting in our minds. Hebrews 12:3 tells us, “…so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.” You can faint in your mind without fainting in your spirit. However, fainting in your mind can eventually cause you to faint in your spirit.
Hope is a goal setter. It is like the thermostat on your heating or cooling system. In your house, a thermostat is designed to control the temperature. Your furnace or air conditioner will maintain whatever temperature (goal) you dial into the unit (the goal setter).
When the temperature is 100 outside, you may set the thermostat on 70 to make it more comfortable inside. The thermostat works day and night to maintain that 70 degree temperature. It will not wash your clothes, cook your dinner or clean your house; it was not designed to do these things. But it was designed to achieve exactly what you dialed into it.
SPEAK YOUR HOPE
The heart (spirit) of man is like the thermostat of your heating/cooling system. It is designed by God to produce the very thing you plant in it. You plant or set the goal by speaking it. As you speak God’s Word, your mind is renewed, and faith begins to rise in your spirit. Hope is a goal setter. Always speak your hope, based on the Word of God.
Here is how the dictionary defines hope: 1) trust, reliance; 2) desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; someone or something on which hopes are centered. Hope is confident expectation!
Remember, hope is to the mind what faith is to the spirit. Unbelief in your mind will not become unbelief in your spirit if it is not spoken out of your mouth! Quit speaking the circumstances—speak the Word.
Stay tuned Tuesday for the remainder of this article.