Hope Abounds

shining_hope

Some people have a natural disposition that allows them to be positive no matter what. Others have a natural disposition that causes them to see the cloud behind every silver lining. We all know people that seem to have a natural bent toward being hopeful, while others are naturally more cynical and therefore not as hopeful. For those of us who lean to being more cynical and negative, there is hope for us to have better attitude.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

Paul says that we can abound in hope through the Holy Spirit. It took me a bit to figure out how the Holy Spirit caused us to abound in hope. Then I started thinking about how the Bible describes what the Holy Spirit is to believers.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV)

When a person believes in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer. It is the Holy Spirit that regenerates us, or causes us to be born again. The Holy Spirit is also a guarantee of our inheritance. The word that is translated as guarantee was a business term that referred to a down payment. This was a down payment to guarantee that you would follow through with the purchase. This is the same idea as earnest money when you buy a house. The idea is that the Holy Spirit is given to us as a guarantee that God will do all the things He’s promised to do.

The idea behind “until the redemption of the purchased possession” is until God takes us home to glory. The work that God began in us when we believed on Jesus will continue until the day we go home to heaven.

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)

God will complete His good work in those He redeems. That’s a pretty hopeful thought. We can have absolute confidence that God will complete the work of redemption that began when we believed. This work is incomplete as long as we are living on this earth. While on this earth we will never be all that we are supposed to be. The ultimate goal in our lives is to be like Jesus. However the corruption in the world and in our nature ensures that we will never fully be like Jesus in this life. That can be a disheartening thought.

However what this teaches us is that as long as we are alive there is work that God will be doing in our lives to help us be more like Jesus. God doesn’t give up on us the way we might give up on others. Then there will come day when this work will be completed. When we go home to be with Jesus this work will be finalized and we will be like Jesus. We will be perfected and live forever with Jesus. We will worship and serve Jesus in complete perfection throughout eternity.

How can we be sure that God won’t give up on us and will complete the work that began when we were saved? This promise and all of the promises of God are sure to come to pass because God has made a down payment that guarantees that He will follow through to the end. The down payment that guarantees these things is the Holy Spirit. Think about how great the inheritance we have and the promises of God are that the Holy Spirit is simply a down payment on it all. This seems to be the main way the Holy Spirit causes hope to abound on us.

Every time the Holy Spirit reveals something new to us from Scripture we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is a promise and down payment of the great things to come and this gives us hope.

Every time the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin we are reminded that we aren’t all that we should be but we are also reminded that God is still working in us and someday will complete this good work in us and this gives us hope.

Anytime the Holy Spirit does anything in our lives, it reminds us of the greatness of God’s promises to us and it gives us hope.

Our hope is built on who God is and what He has said and God has said that hope will abound through the Holy Spirit.

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