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I know that word hope is easily misunderstood because of the many ways it is used in English. But the word for hope, used in the Bible means means confident expectation based on the person and promises of GOD.

When we talk of the GOD of hope, we look back to the patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. These were not perfect men for sure. But they trusted in this GOD. Think of Abraham who left everything he knew and went to a place he knew nothing about. He didn’t even know where he was going! He just knew he was following GOD. The One true GOD who had promised him he would have a son and from that son would come so many people that they wouldn’t be able to be counted!

Imagine the discouragement as time went on and no child came…and Sarah didn’t get pregnant!  Eventually, GOD promised that she would have a child during the next year. The idea that it would be possible was so ludicrous that Sarah laughed! She was 90. I’m sure others laughed too when they heard the news. But sure enough, Isaac was born…long after the time women would have babies. Cf. Genesis 18:9-15

Abraham and Sarah weren’t the last of this group to have fertility issues. There were many sprinkled through the generations of the Patriarchs.

As each of those men married, his wife faced fertility issues. First Rebekah until she and Isaac had  the twins, Esau and Jacob. Then Rachel, who watched her fertile sister Leah produce child after child. Eventually, Rachel had Joseph, then Benjamin. But she died giving birth to Benjamin. Until Jacob, there was no sign that there would be many in the family line!

But GOD came through on His promises to that family and eventually, the promised Messiah was born in Bethlehem. Through Jesus came payment for our sin, redemption and new life for us.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 ESV

Finally, He will come to take us to heaven to spend eternity with Jesus, our Redeemer forever!

During my lifetime, I have heard more talk of heaven than I have in recent years. Titus talks about our blessed hope. What is it? That time when Jesus will return in glory to take His people to heaven. It will be the end of this period when creation and people are broken and the beginning of the new heavens and earth when we will no longer have to deal with brokenness. We will be perfect and there will be no tears anymore. Creation will be the way it once was in the Garden of Eden. All will be put back in order and we will glorify GOD together! It will be awesome in the sense that we will truly be awed!

We will praise Jesus for redeeming us from sin and corruption…for all eternity.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions,
and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and
to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV

We have true Biblical hope for eternity in heaven. It is not a pipe dream.

Why?

  • Because GOD talks about heaven in the Bible, Jesus spoke about it when He was here on earth.
  • Because GOD is known for keeping his promises since way back in the Old Testament. He kept His first promise given to Adam and Eve In Genesis 3:15 and continued through the Patriarchs by keeping His promises to them. He also kept His promises over time to His chosen people Israel…both the promises for when they obeyed and disobeyed.
  • Finally, we see His full praise fulfilled in Jesus’ birth, life and ministry in the Gospels. In the end, the death and resurrection of Christ told the complete story of His purpose here on earth..to provide redemption for His people, no matter their race, throughout all generations.
  • Acts completed the story with the provision of the Holy Spirit, whose purpose (among others) was to point us to Jesus, reminding us of what Jesus did and why Jesus came to earth. (see below) It was also to convict us of sin so we could turn to Jesus to repent and receive forgiveness.
  • Most of the rest of the New Testament was given to teach us more about who GOD is from the perspective of the cross and the resurrection and what His people are like now that they have a whole new heart and soul.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 14:26 ESV

I keep slipping off into the Holy Spirit when I planned to talk more on heaven. It is good for us to talk about the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity. I guess I’ll have to wait to talk more about heaven tomorrow except to say that since Jesus promised heaven, we know it is true because He has kept all His other promises so far! So we, and all other true Believers throughout history wait with hope for the day we will go to be with Jesus. Imagine, being in His actual presence! It is hard to imagine. Being with Him. Forever. and ever. and ever. No more good-byes. Ever!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:11 ESV

Tomorrow, we will talk about what heaven will be like. At least what it is going to be like according to some of the clues we have been given from the Bible. Join me for some of that good news.

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