Posts Tagged ‘Romans 8:24-25’

Great Expectations: More than a novel

November 4, 2016

great-expectations

Once again, we look at the Quote of the Day for November 4, 2016:

“Sharpen your expectancy, so when you ask, expect to receive it.”

In thinking about the word “expectancy,” I recall a definition of “hope,” a related concept: Hope is the expectation of a future good.

As Christian believers, we go to the Word of God where we find out that God is our hope, and our hope is in God with whom we have great expectations, which is more than the title of a novel by Charles Dickens.  Hope is a joyful and confident expectation.

The Psalmist offers this marvelous reminder:

Psalm 71:5

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Romans 8:24-25 [New Living Translation] also encourages 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 Book of Acts records not just the “acts of the apostles” but provides numerous accounts of the “acts of the Holy Spirit,” as the Church was established and made in its life-transforming global impact, beginning “in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” One such account occurred in Acts Chapter 3 where we find an illustration where great expectations yielded exceedingly great results. I recall this statement by Pastor Rod Parsley: “The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.” This quotation provides the introduction to the lyrics of a song that depicts the account rendered in Acts 3:1-10 and relates it to the Body of Christ today:

The Atmosphere of Expectancy Is the Breeding Ground for Miracles

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

Here in this hallowed place you can sense the presence of the Lord.

Here is where the will of heaven reaches to touch the earth.

In the purifying presence of God’s mercy, love and grace,

In this sacred atmosphere mighty miracles take place.

For more than forty years they carried the crippled man

To the place called Beautiful, outside the Temple gate

To beg of those who came to worship and to pray.

Like all other times, it seemed an ordinary day.

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

But at that appointed time, two men of God were passing by;

He sat there asking alms, for he had such great need.

More than wealth, he begged for health, for he had never walked.

They fixed their eyes on him and told him, “Look on us!”

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

“We have no gold but Jesus Christ can surely make you whole.

This we give and in his name rise up and start to walk.”

He heard their words and in his heart he gave them heed.

He looked on them and believed, expecting to receive.

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

The crippled man received great strength and then stood up to walk.

He entered the Temple, walking, leaping and praising God.

All the people marveled at this mighty sign they saw,

As Peter told them of the saving power of Jesus Christ.

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

Just like the crippled man, begging outside the Temple gate,

We were watching and waiting, expecting to receive,

Then we gave heed to the Word and by faith we believed.

Now we’re walking in the fullness of the power of Christ.

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

 

The atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.

Here in this hallowed place you can sense the presence of the Lord.

Here is where the will of heaven reaches to touch the earth.

In the purifying presence of God’s mercy, love and grace,

In this sacred atmosphere mighty miracles take place.

This account is depicted in this video:

Though we are confronted with great challenges on every hand, even in the face of death itself, we still have  “Great Expectations.”

Hope does not disappoint

September 23, 2016

romans-5-3-5

Verse of the Day for September 23, 2016 comes from Romans 5:3-5 in the Message Bible:

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

The passage is rendered this way in the New Living Translation:

Romans 5:3-5:

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

This particular passage from Romans lead us to hope, a topic of considerable importance today. Here is a revised excerpt from a previous blog entry “Hope: the antidote for despair”:

In the midst of tumultuous times that flood our souls, it is easy to see how persistent discouragement can lead to despair which is defined as the complete loss or absence of hope; to despair means to lose or be without hope. Once despair sets in, this mental state is perpetuated by prevailing unbelief. The downward spiral plummets into the depths of despair, a living hell with the welcome banner: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

To overcome a toxic emotion such as despair, we must move in the opposite spirit or in the opposite direction.  We find that “hope” is the antidote for despair. Hope is the expectation of a future good. Again as Christian believers go to the Word of God, they will find out that God is our hope

The Psalmist offers this marvelous reminder:

Psalm 71:5

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Hope counteracts thoughts of despondency, when we recognize that hope is a joyful and confident expectation. Though we are confronted with challenges on every hand, even in the face of death itself, we still have hope:

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally. In thinking about our eternal hope, I remember lines from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems that describes hope in a particularly intriguing way, and the opening lines serve as the title and epigraph for this poem:

“Hope is the thing with feathers. . .”

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul

And sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”

Emily Dickinson

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.)

Romans 8:24-25 (New Living Translation)

 

As a rare exotic bird, arrayed in brilliant plumes,

Hope rises as a phoenix, a many-feathered thing:

As a lark ascending at sunrise sings on the wing

A melody that fades but then suddenly resumes,

So Hope conveys a message without a single word.

This glorious song of Hope will take us to the place where

Golden notes provide escape from any fowler’s snare:

The tune lingers to remind us that we, too, have heard

Heavenly harmonies in our innermost ear.

Perched in the depths of our soul, Hope has found a new home.

The songbird prepares our heart to receive what is to come.

While we wait in patience, God’s presence is ever near.

In these times of darkness and despair we will recall

And listen to hear Hope’s song that never stops at all.

 

We close our blog entry with Missi Hale offering a musical rendition of Romans 5:5; 8:24-25 (NKJV):

“Hope Does Not Disappoint.”

That you may overflow with hope

March 18, 2016

Romans 15--13

The Scriptures remind believers that we are in what some say are “these last and evil days.” As 1st Thessalonians also speaks of “perilous times” or “times difficult to deal with” that shall come. Indeed, these dark and difficult days are here. As we confront the darkness and overwhelming despair, we must position ourselves to move in the opposite spirit or go in the opposite direction. To counter the toxic effects of the deadly element of despair, we must take a double dose of our antidote which is hope. The Verse of the Day for March 18, 2016 reiterates this message:

Romans 15:13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God, our Father, who is the God of hope, not only fills our lives with joy and peace, but He fills us to overflowing with hope, reminiscent of the words of the Psalmist who declares our cups overflow with goodness and mercy. Without question, we have been given us “a lively hope” which is rendered as “a living hope” in other translations, while the New Living Translation states that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, “Now we live with great expectation.” Indeed, “the expectation of a future good” is one definition of hope. As Christian believers we go to the Word of God where we discover what else God says about hope.

The Psalmist offers this marvelous reminder:

Psalm 71:5

For you are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Hope counteracts thoughts of despondency, when we recognize that hope is a joyful and confident expectation. Though we are confronted with challenges on every hand, even in the face of death itself, we still have hope:

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally. In thinking about our eternal hope, I remember lines from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems that described hope in a particularly intriguing way, and the opening lines serve as the title and epigraph for this poem:

“Hope is the thing with feathers. . .”

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”

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.)

Romans 8:24-25 [New Living Translation]

As a rare exotic bird, arrayed in brilliant plumes,
Hope rises as a phoenix, a many-feathered thing:
As a lark ascending at sunrise sings on the wing
A melody that fades but then suddenly resumes,
So Hope conveys a message without a single word.
This glorious song of Hope will take us to the place where
Golden notes provide escape from any fowler’s snare:
The tune lingers to remind us that we, too, have heard
Heavenly harmonies in our innermost ear.
Perched in the depths of our soul, Hope has found a new home.
The songbird prepares our heart to receive what is to come.
While we wait in patience, God’s presence is ever near.
In these times of darkness and despair we will recall
And listen to hear Hope’s song that never stops at all.

In actuality the Verse of Day is part of the benediction that closes the Book of Romans. In a similar way, we close our blog entry with Cheri Keaggy offering a musical rendition of Romans 15:13 (Benediction Song):