Monthly Archives: April 2016

Abounding Hope

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)

Recently I found myself praying in a new way. I spent time pleading with God to bless me with abounding hope. I wanted and needed him to appear to me as he did after his resurrection to his twelve disciples, to more than 500 followers at one time and even to Paul who described himself as the least of all the apostles (1Corinthians 15:6-9). I felt a little like Jacob who said in the midst of wrestling with God, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 33:26b). I needed to trust that God had equipped me for the ministry ahead. As I prayed for my hope to abound, I recalled Paul’s blessing to the church in Rome.

I am not the source of hope, God is. Because of this deep, abiding truth, I confidently trust that by the power of the Holy Spirit I will dwell in the midst of the God of all hope each new day. My desire is to overflow with joy and peace, and ultimately with a radiant hope that resides in the belief that Christ has risen indeed!

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy,
fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives,
filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit,
will brim over with hope!
~Romans 15:13 (MSG)

Our Living Hope

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid;
I am the first and the last, and the living one.
I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever;
and I have the keys of Death and of Hades.
~Revelation 1:17-18

Since Easter I have reflected on the risen hope we have in and through Jesus Christ. This first vision in Revelation does not provide information or describe a phenomenon, but it does provide a glimpse of a person, the living one. And so it is with a living hope that you and I worship, pray, receive blessing and exchange all the other gods of in lives for the one true God who is alive forever and ever. The exchange involves, letting go of the past in order to live in the present with the Lord, who is the first and the last.

In his book The Homing Spirit: A Pilgrimage of the Mind, of the Heart, of the Spirit,  John S. Dunne captures the essence of this living hope on pages 15 and 16:

In order to pass through death to life you have to let go of everyone and everything, not only what you have but also what you do not have, but letting go of what you do not have is like dying without having lived — to do it you have to trust in God giving everyone and everything back to you again in a new life, in a new relationship. You have to believe, without knowing how that you will live.  A “Yes!” and a “Thanks!,” a hope that transfigures memory — that is what it means to believe that you will live.

May our days be filled with a living hope in Jesus who passed through death to life for you and for me. Yes, Lord and Thank you, Jesus!!!