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Hope Realized - A Devotion

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Romans 4:16-18 (AMP)
Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants—not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all.
As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed. [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, so [numberless] shall your descendants be.

Inheriting the Promises of God is the outcome of faith that is secure and hope that is realized. The outcome of our faith depends on one’s ability to believe. If you believe, you will receive everything that the Lord has promised you as an inheritance. It is an act of grace releasing the unmerited yet highly coveted Favor of God. God made Abraham such an inheritor based solely on the fact that He believed by faith maintaining hope in the Lord. Abraham believed that God was the giver of life and that so this man spoke “the nonexistent things” into existence based on the Word of God. Humanly speaking, Abraham was a dead man and well past his years of reproduction. But by the Spirit, He was flourishing in faith so Abraham dared to believe when it was beyond human comprehension. Abraham received the promise of God and became the father of many nations. When human hope is gone, true hope is realized.

Each and every time I think I have reached the end of faith leaning on the parameter of hope, God pulls out all the stops to get my attention. Just about the time that I think I get it or right before I give up, the Lord allows my faith to be stretched and hope to be drilled deeper into the source of life and power – Jesus Christ. Abraham believed in God by faith in the fact that He could operate well beyond human ability and comprehension. He believed that if God said it, then that settles it. I wish faith was always that easy for me. But truthfully there are days that I stand at the base of the mountain shouting for it to move failing to do so, I am perplexed at the notion of faith and premise of this thing called hope. How did Abraham do it? I had come to terms with the fact that in our journey to full restoration by God that my son would have to go up the mountain, but I never imagined the enemy would try to keep us from the mountain. But that is exactly what he did by placing barricades around the mountain forbidding us access. Fear keeps those obstacles in place but faith tears them apart so that we can easily step over them. Doubt fortifies the barriers in our life but faith melts them like wax in the midst of a flame. God is calling us to the mountain today.

Mark 11:23-24 (AMP)
Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

Let me ask you a question, do you really think the mountain is going to move in your life? When you pray do you fully expect the obstacle or oppression that you are facing to be removed? Do you doubt that God’s Spirit lives in you as a guarantee that God’s Power will prevail in your midst? I can honestly say that there have been times that I was praying the right things, hoping for them with all my heart, but did not believe that God would do it. We pray words. But words that are not backed by a faith-filled heart are just empty requests. True faith is evidenced by agreement between what we believe in our heart and the confession of our mouth. (Romans 10:8-10) If your heart truly believes, then the words that you speak will relay the message. But if you do not believe, it will tell the truth about your heart’s view of God’s Power and Purpose for our life. It is one thing to say we believe in God, it is another to say that we have faith in God, but it is entirely another to confess with our mouth nonexistent things as though they are a reality. True confession is to say what God is telling you that He will do in your life before He does it with total faith that He will make it come to pass. I believe therefore I have spoken. (2 Corinthians 4:13-14) It used to chafe me when people would say or even worse pray, “Lord if it is your Will heal this person.” Of course it is God’s Will to heal you or He would not have allowed His Son to be beaten savagely to provide it for His People. Yet how many times have I prayed for the Lord to heal me or my family without confessing it over their life because I really didn’t believe that He would do it? Whatever you ask in prayer AND believe with trust and confidence that He will do is granted to you and you will get it. There does not seem to be a lack of confidence on God’s Part so what about you? Hope is realized when we not only profess our faith but express our belief through the confession of our mouth. It’s okay! Put God out there. He doesn’t mind doing what His Word says that He will do. In fact, that was His Plan all along. He is just waiting for your faith to become belief which releases His Promise to you!

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (AMP)
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

We should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Do make alliances, partnerships and friendships with those of unequal faith. This is not talking about relationships in general. But when it comes to the promotion of one’s faith and realizing the Promises and Plan of God, it will require relationships with those who believe the same way that you do. We are to live in partnership with Jesus Christ. We go where He goes and He is with us always even to the ends of the earth. He invites us to take His Yoke. A yoke couples two animals together to complete a task on a farm. Jesus Christ wants to partner with us to fulfill His Plan and Purpose for our life. Those who accept this invitation live by faith and trust solely and completely in the Power of God. Jesus promises that the burden will be light for those who do this. He says that you will find rest, relief, ease and refreshment. (Matthew 11:29-30) So why are you struggling? The Holy Spirit lives in all believers. If you decide to partner with fellow believers, it will stir up the Spirit within each of you. Such people will encourage you and confirm the promises of God for your life. (Luke 1:35-48) Like Mary and Elizabeth, the Spirit will leap within you when it encounters another who lives by the Spirit worshipping the Lord in Spirit and Truth. Such people will provoke you to more faith, the relationship will produce confident hope as you build one another up in holiness, obedience, righteousness and truth. God will place other people in your path to fortify your position of faith in right standing as you put all your faith and trust in the Lord. This will produce confident hope that will be an anchor for your soul. His Spirit lives in you longing to connect with the Power of God in others. His Spirit is God’s Guarantee that we are set to inherit the Kingdom and Unmerited Favor of God through Jesus Christ! (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Galatians 3:22 (AMP)
But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him].

The Word of God is our promise book. It used be our death sentence before Jesus Christ paid the price of our debt in full. Now we are set to inherit every blessing set forth in it. Faith in Jesus Christ makes it all possible for those who believe it enough to receive it. So why are Christians not flourishing in faith and confident hope living on the blessings of God? They do not know the Word. The Book of Instruction set forth with purpose that we could claim our inheritance is a forgotten treasure. For five years now, I have spent countless hours in the Word of God studying, searching and saturating my life in it only to find that each day I discover something knew that I did not know, understand or see before and I am not convinced that at the end of my life, I will have full understanding. So rather than become a Bible scholar of any sort, I am seeking to intensify my relationship with Jesus Christ, promote faith and confident hope in God and prosper my belief. I want to know Him more so I will trust Him more. It is impossible to know the Character of God and not know His Word. The Spirit will tell us about God but until we decide to allow Him in our life as the Bread and sustenance of our existence we will never be satisfied.

Hebrews 6:11-14 (AMP)
But we do [strongly and earnestly] desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity [all the way through] in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development of [your] hope until the end, In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises. For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.

Faith is nothing more than leaning our entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His Power, Wisdom and Goodness. This is indeed a lofty pursuit. God has complete authority. His Power is supreme. My belief does not empower God or Jesus but it strengthens me with His Power. My faithfulness does not affect His Faithfulness in the slightest. (2 Timothy 12:13) His Plan was in place long before I was born. It is by choice that I align my life with God’s Plan which is my freedom again granted by God. Jesus Christ remains the same. Faith changes me and my position. Just a soldier goes through basic training, so it is in a believer’s life. We must be conditioned and reconditioned to align our heart, mind and body with our soul in pursuit of God through Jesus Christ. We practice our faith by patient endurance and waiting while fully expecting God’s Power and Presence to permeate our life. Faith calls out in affliction for relief that seems elusive but knowing full well that the Lord is faithful to rescue us from the pits in life and restore us from His Riches in Heaven. (Psalm 116:4-10) It is in trials and hardships that we learn to trust and rely on our faith in God more and respect His Authority in our insufficiency to save ourselves. The centurion understood authority. It dictated his life as a soldier so it was natural for him to extend it to the Lord of his life. (Matthew 8:5-10) Faith respects the power and authority of God inviting it to come closer humbly respecting its awesomeness at the same time and humbled by its attention to a lesser one. Righteousness recognizes God’s Authority and worships in that place. (Galatians 3:4-6) Belief in God by faith puts confident hope in God’s Authority and Power as supreme over our situation and praises Him before He comes knowing that with just His Word – all things are accomplished. When my words align with God’s Word – they are backed by His Power and Authority if I will only believe!

John 20:26-29 (AMP)
Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you! Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe! Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.

How long have you been waiting? Thomas waited eight days. I have been waiting almost two and a half years. Those who live by faith in the wait will see the Power of God. In fact, the Word of God tells us that those who have faith yet have never seen the Lord yet believed, trusted and relied on Him are blessed, happy and to be envied. I want that kind of faith. The kind of faith that knows He is coming long before He arrives. I want to prepare my life with praise so that when He comes He will know that I trust His Power and Authority for all things in my life. I want the blessings of God. I believe they are for me. Now I will open my mouth and call those things into existence confidently by faith now that I have realized my hope is in the Lord. I want to believe Him before He comes. I want to have faith before the outcome. This is to realize one’s hope and remain confident in it. Life before the outcome delineates our faith. The Favor of God is the reward of such faith. I want the Presence and Power of God in full operation in my life. (Philippians 3:10-11)

I John 4:15-17 (AMP)
Anyone who confesses (acknowledges, owns) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (lives, makes His home) in him and he [abides, lives, makes his home] in God. And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.

Why? Why does God want His Favor to reach me? The answer is simple – God loves me! Believing God loves me is impossible without faith in Jesus Christ because I will remain subject to judgment outside of salvation. But once I accept God’s Grace and step into right standing aligning my life with the Lord once more, His Love is overwhelming. When my faith cooperatives with God’s Power, His Authority takes over the outcomes in my life. (James 2:18-22) Hope is realized. His Name is Jesus.

I John 5:4-6 (AMP)
For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]? This is He Who came by (with) water and blood [His baptism and His death], Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—not by (in) the water only, but by (in) the water and the blood. And it is the [Holy] Spirit Who bears witness, because the [Holy] Spirit is the Truth.

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