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The Realm of Hope - A Devotion

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Habakkuk 2:1-4 (NLT)
I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.

As I climb up the ladder to the watchtower to stand my guard post again, waiting and watching for the Lord it is with tired arms and weak knees that I travel. I am still waiting on the Lord after more than two years. I am still standing but some days barely. Just when you think it is the end, the finish line is in sight, you are almost there – it is simply a mirage in the distance that evaporates as you draw closer. Where is God? What is He doing? What is taking Him so long? Will I make it until He comes? Everyone who has ever trusted or believed God for anything has probably had such thoughts. I know I do even today standing in the tower my mind drifts far from it. Surely four times is enough to prove God’s Love for us in delivering our son from cancer, yet it seems that we are still fighting for his young life. Now Lord, now? Can I finally climb down and celebrate our victory and experience some rest. Not yet? Why not? I have faithfully watched for you, waited for you, and longed for you even when others have left to pursue other things – we remain true to our position standing firmly on Your Word. Yet all that I can hear is the whistling of the wind, I am warmed by your Spirit but still feel moments of solitude and isolation. I have written down this vision. I am well aware it is for a future time. It describes the end. It is fulfillment. But Lord, it seems so slow in coming. I know I must wait patiently. I am confident it will surely take place. You say that it is not delayed. At this very moment, I may beg to differ but cannot step down or look away from my post and position. I live by faith. Faithfulness allows me to hold this position. Not my faith in you but simply your faithfulness to me.

After two years of uninterrupted insurance coverage has paid for our son’s battle against cancer for two weeks now, the insurance company is now in complete denial. Not one time, but three times it has said that the treatment is unproven, experimental and/or investigational. So we truly have stepped out of the world’s system into the realm of hope as we prepare the final appeal. What is the “realm of hope”? The doctors declared this position about seven months ago as we began our fourth fight against this dreaded disease. But her interpretation of hope and mine are somewhat different. To her hope is that place people go when there is nowhere else to turn. It is a mysterious place where luck finds people changing their circumstances by some random act of fate. But for the believer the realm of hope, I believe, is the very watchtower on which we stand. It is the guard post of those who are confident in His Coming to their rescue now and forevermore. Those who live by faith stand in righteousness which allows them to live surrounded by hope which is the fulfillment and promise for your life as His Child. It is the inheritance of those who believe enough to wait patiently and confidently. The realm of hope is where the impossible is not only possible but highly probable. Lord, help me to remain their even when the wait is long. Help me to remain faithful even when my world is falling apart. Give me the strength to climb back up the ladder of faith to stand in righteousness in that realm of hope that is the watch tower of my soul even when everything is crashing all around me. I will wait patiently on you Lord. I will wait confidently. I will receive the reward just as you promised because I live in the realm of hope.

Luke 12:35-38 (NLT)
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.”

Those who live in the realm of hope will be ready when He comes. Jesus is coming. Yes, He is returning to take us all home. Faith in God now allows hope to reach us before that day comes. It is what makes the Kingdom of God accessible to us today. However, it is achieved by those who remain faithful until He comes. Like servants who are prepared for the arrival of their master, those who are faithful remain prepared even if the wait is long. They stay alert even when the rest of the world has become distracted or fallen asleep. When was the last time you waited patiently and confidently on the Lord? The time when what you hoped for was worth having enough to invest all your time and energy in preparing for it. These who are faithful in waiting on the Lord, preparing for His Arrival, and meeting Him when He comes will be rewarded. They are confident in this because they live daily in the Master’s Provision, Power and Presence. Such confidence allows our faith to become confident hope that keeps us in state of readiness for the Lord to show up in our life. It is a life that constantly prepares for the Lord’s Arrival and all the good things that He has promised to bring. We must live dressed for service which means wearing the clothing of our salvation and being draped in a robe of righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10) We must be washed in the Word. (Ephesians 5:26-27) To live a life without spot or blemish and wrinkle-free. The Light of His Love a passionate flame of fire stirring in our soul and called the Holy Spirit. (2 Timothy 1:6) We have everything we need to wait as long as we have to. God provides all our needs according to His Riches in Glory. (Philippians 4:19) I have enough to stand long and strong waiting for my Master to come. I also have every spiritual gift necessary to wait patiently and confidently on the Lord. (I Corinthians 1:7-8) We live by the Spirit who is the Power of God living on the inside of us prospering our life beginning with our soul. (Galatians 5:5) We are never really alone even when people exit our life or abandon us in our struggle. We receive the Spirit by faith in the Righteousness of God. He comes immediately to aid and assist in this thing called waiting and watching for our Master to serve Him when He comes. Finally, we are citizens of Heaven not of the earth. We should live in the Presence of God which allows us to experience the benefits of being a Child of God. His Spirit is His Guarantee that we are in fact legitimate children. Servants who live in the company of a good master experience the many blessings of His Provision, His Power and His Presence so when called to wait they can do so expectantly, patiently and confidently knowing that when He comes there are good things in store for those who are faithful.

Romans 8:18-21 (NLT)
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

My daughter was struggling with the anticipation of receiving a gift. She was concerned that it would not meet her expectation and she was wondering if she would be disappointed. No need for judgment here because the truth is this is the inner struggle of almost everyone who calls themselves a Christian, will the Lord meet my expectation? Will I be satisfied? Now this particular gift I had had the privilege of seeing before my daughter, and I knew that she would love it because I know my daughter very well. I told her with great confidence and reassurance that she would be completely satisfied and not disappointed at all. Immediate relief flooded her face, as she released her breath she had been holding and whispered, “Good.” She said, “I know I will love it because you know me and I trust you!” I never really thought about her words until now. Although she was still waiting, she could do so patiently because she was confident that her expectation would be met. She trusted my judgment. By the way, she did LOVE it! The realm of hope in which we live is definitely defined by our faith and trust in God. If we do not believe that is willing and able to meet our highest expectation doing more than we could think or ask, then we are not likely going to continue to wait patiently and confidently until He comes. We must believe that we blessed beyond the curse and that His Promise will endure for His Joy to be our strength. Jesus Christ has paid the death penalty for our life. We are free to live in the realm of hope. We open the door by faith and step through the threshold of grace into right standing with God. This is the realm of hope. Those who remain there will be greatly rewarded with the Glory of God overflowing in their life. You will be satisfied. You will find peace, joy and even rest.

Romans 8:22-25 (NLT)
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

The Holy Spirit lives in the heart and soul of every believer. He reveals the future glory that God has reserved for His People. Released from sin and suffering by the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are free to step into the realm of hope, climb the watchtower and stand at the guard post waiting patiently and confidently for the Lord to come. We must understand that once hope comes it is no longer hope at all. Once we see it, we no longer need to hope for it. Ultimately, the Lord has put us on the watchtower and guard post to wait and watch expectantly for His Coming when everyone will be changed. However, most of us would abandon our watch without cause. See the light and momentary struggles of this life bring us down figuratively and literally. God’s Plan and Purpose for our life include a future and hope that is good and well-worth waiting for which should clue us all in to the fact that even when what we think we desire most comes, the Lord will continue to give us things to hope for in order to grow and develop our faith which is spiritual character. There is always more to look forward to when watching for the Lord. He will not disappoint those who choose to live patiently and confidently waiting on His Promise.

Hebrews 4:9-11 (NLT)
So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

The realm of hope becomes a precariously position for those who begin to doubt. Fear will cause faith to crumble leading to a terrible fall. There is a special rest in the watchtower of life born of faith and trust in the Lord. Confident hope will stop us from fidgeting. It keeps us from trying to help Him or rush His Process. We must find this rest by faith for there is no other way to have because it is a direct attribute of God. Living in obedience keeps us in alignment with God’s Will, Way and Word for our life so that we are no longer in opposition with God and then there is no need to fight to maintain our position but we can remain there with great confidence by faith. Faith promotes rest because we listen to God and no longer struggle to stand on His Word. (Hebrews 4:2) It is a simple process of faith claimed in righteousness found in the realm of hope. It goes something like this…“I will certainly bless you and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.” (Hebrews 6:14-15) Or in a more modern translation, “God said it. I believe it. So that settles it!” Will you wait patiently and confidently on God’s Promise for your life today? If you do, you will experience the same kind of rest that the Lord did after He successfully completely the world and everything in it. He called it “good” and rested.

Hebrews 10:34-35 (NLT)
You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!

As I stand on the watchtower called faith and wait for our promise to come, I know that I will not be disappointed. God has never let me down. The world may be calling me down as if I am missing something or acting irrationally, but I will not come down from my guard post. I have been waiting a long time. To throw away my confidence would be to lose it all, so I will wait. I expect the Lord to come. In fact, today I am certain that He is bringing good news that will offer a future and hope for our son. But if He doesn’t come today with the news that I so desperately hope for…I will not be moved. I will stand here patiently and watch for Him. I will remain in confident that He will come. I will accept this season of waiting and count it all joy because He who is coming is faithful. When He does come, I know that I will be satisfied lacking no good thing. He will provide for me now and forevermore. I will have peace that passes all understanding. I will run and not grow weary even when it is to the top of this tower to wait. Hope lives in me and is expressed in my life by faith. Faith makes the impossible possible and living patiently and confidently in the realm of hope allows our promise to come to pass!

Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

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