“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
I Peter 1:3
What is lively hope? The humanistic idea of hope is to wish, but without certainty of getting what we desire. We wish for things to be different and for everything to go our way. Scriptural hope is a confident expectation of what we know is sure to come to pass based on the finished works of Jesus Christ. Hope is a gift from God to be experienced. It is not an escape from reality or from problems, rather it is dynamic, active, directive and life sustaining. Hope is a life giving emotion necessary and important to effectively live with a sense of purpose; it keeps us focused, persistent and patient. Without hope, human life may exist, but it will not be alive.
True hope is discipline, a determination to believe in God’s power and what He says in His word, even when the world seems to be crashing down around us. The key to surviving any challenge is hope. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. Take all we ask or think and surrender it to the Lord; He knows how to fulfill His promises told in the Bible and He knows the path for us to take (Psalm 62:5, Proverbs 23:18).
Rejoicing in hope is an attitude; a statement of our innermost being, knowing God is in perfect control and all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). We are to rejoice always, not allowing circumstances to cause rejoicing to cease (I Thessalonians 5:18). Rejoicing helps us to look through challenging times, knowing they are not permanent, but designed for trusting the Lord and for new opportunities to unfold.
Rejoicing in hope is possible when we have the revelation it is by God’s abundant mercy that He causes us to live again by a lively hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:3). Lively-living hope is the choice to believe in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. Lively-living hope is the awareness of the Holy Spirit as our helper; the basis of our expectations to live in hope.
One day I was studying and speaking God’s Word when I went into a trance-like state. I was in the Mount of Olives garden where I could see Jesus. He was kneeling and praying in agony; His sweat was turning to blood. I went over and touched His blood and put it on my forehead. Suddenly, I was in another place where He was being beaten; blood was running down His back. I went over and put my hands in His blood, applying it on my shoulders, arms, hips, legs and feet. A wave of peace flooded over me and I heard in my spirit, “Don’t be afraid. This beating is necessary for you to experience perfect health. By these stripes, health provision is released for you to receive. I have taken away all sickness and evil disease of the world away from you.” (Deuteronomy 7:15).
When I realized Jesus’ provision of perfect health, I stopped believing it is normal to be sick, lack is not real, addictions are not possible in the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is committed to me and to meeting my needs. I often think about this vision. The same power I received from that experience draws the same power into me now in increased form; it keeps me in lively-hope, free from worries and fear.
Lively Hope Released by Jesus’ Resurrection
1. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us and causes our mortal body to live. He fills us with joy and peace according to how we believe. We abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for the Holy Spirit. By You, Holy Spirit, I live in a quickened body. My hope is quickened and Your joy is my life style. Amen.
2. Lively hope is easier when we train our thinking to stay out of the ‘grave yard’. When Jesus died, He paid for Adam’s sin and ours. Forgiveness was released for all who sin under the influence of Adam’s sin; we were made perfect, righteous and holy. Adam’s sin is buried in the grave yard, but if a believer in Christ goes through the door of the grave yard, it comes alive and takes over. We can be a professing Christian, but a practicing atheist. There are several gateways into the graveyard:
• Self pity
• Critical judgments
• Lack of revealed knowledge
• Religious ideas (trying to be close to God by doing things; thinking we serve Jesus instead of living because of Him)
• Asking God to do what He has already done
3. Develop an awareness of continuously living in God’s presence and provision. Our position in Christ is what attracts the mercy, grace and supply of God into our lives. Thank you Lord that my mind is fixed on You and good is crowding me. Amen.