I want to share something with you today that will help your faith.
Ever since I began living by faith, and I would hear someone say, "I sure hope this thing or that thing," I would get a check in my spirit. "Unbelief!" my heart would scream. Now the Bible is full of hope -- so why is that kind of phrase so empty? Is hope a bad word? Absolutely not. The problem is that most people don't really understand the word.
The way that they use the word hope in everyday speech -- and the Bible meaning of hope are two different things. When they say "I hope so," they simply mean I desire or wish. Real Bible hope is not wishing at all. It is earnest, confident, favorable, intense expectation -- and that's something entirely different!
Colossians 1:23 talks about "the hope of the gospel." Acts 26:6 uses the phrase "hope of the promise" referring to the covenant God made with Abraham. That kind of hope is an earnest, intense expectation that comes from God's promises. There's a vast difference between "I wish something would happen," and "I intensely expect that to happen." In Philippians 1:19 and 20, the Apostle Paul says:
For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Here Paul used two Greek words together, one meaning earnest expectation, and the other, translated hope, meaning the same thing. These words can also be translated like this, "according to my earnest, confident, intense expectation."
Usually when someone is that expectant over something, everyone wants to know why -- especially if that person is expecting something that looks impossible. This is where Hebrews 11:1 comes in. Faith is the substance, the underpinning of things hoped for. And where does faith come from? "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
Even when there is no natural evidence that what I hope for will ever come to pass, I can be expectant because I have faith in God's word. Hope won't work without faith, and faith will not work with out hope.
Hope is always expectant, looking towards the future. Hope is a good goal or destination but you can never actually get your hands around hope. Faith on the other hand, is always now! Without hope, faith has nothing to bring to pass. Without faith, tomorrow never comes. But, put them together and -- kaboom! -- something wonderful takes place in the world of the spirit and then is transferred into this physical, material world, (where the trouble is).
Real Bible hope rejoices. It begins to shout long before anything happens in the natural because it looks into the future and sees you whole. It sees you debt free. It sees you healed. It sees you victorious in Jesus Who is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
By now you are asking, "How do I get that kind of hope?" First of all, remember that you don't have to "get it," you only have to release it. It's already in you because Jesus is in you. Then take these four steps:
1. Since hope comes from the promises, find the promises in God's Word that cover your situation.
2. Lay hold upon the hope that is set before you (Hebrews 6:18). Point your finger at that Bible promise and say out loud, "I believe that! That belongs to me. That is talking about me!"
3. Think about that promise all day long. See yourself with the answer. Second Corinthians 10:3-6 says that this is the way the battle is fought and won. Cast down imaginations. Bring into captivity every thought, not just a few thoughts, every thought that disagrees with your promise from God.
4. Put the promises in your mouth all day, every day. Speak your faith by saying those verses. Say them before the Lord. Say them before the devil -- LOUD. Say them in your own ears -- over and over and over again. Say them until the earnest, intense, favorable, confident expectation begins to rise on the inside of you. That's hope, real Bible hope!
I expect it -- because God promised it!
I believe it is happening for me now -- because God promised it!
As far as I am concerned, it's done.
Why? Because God promised it!
Before I close, I ask you to lay your hands on this letter and pray with us here at TGM. We really have our hands full keeping up with all the Lord is calling us to do. We can do it -- because the greater one lives within us. We see it done!