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“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” (Ro. 15:13).
Jeremiah Burroughs said, “Hope is the daughter of faith.” God’s very title in this verse is “hope.” Is your God the one in whom you hope? Are you hoping to inherit God Himself? Is God the zenith of all your hopes?
Saintly hopes are on a higher plane than worldly hopes. A godly man does not hope for what comes easily. Your hope is that your earthly body (an instrument of sin) will become like the body of Christ (I Jn. 3:2).
Hopes are proportioned to the objects desired. The higher the object, the less base the hope. Never allow yourself to desire or settle for the lesser hope, and fear all that may hinder your highest hope. You hope for a heavenly kingdom, everlasting glory, perfect immortality and eternal communion with the Trinity.
Does your Bible provide you with a checklist for your dearest hopes or do you take your cue from the world? Scriptural hopes are purging hopes because biblical hopes purge you of worldly hopes. You can know if your hopes are worldly because worldly hopes nourish sin, whereas biblical hopes mortify sin.
Those hoping in the matters of this world are cursed with an artificial intelligence. They regard Christianity as slight because they will have no part in eternal Christianity – Christianity is not a part of their nature. But Abraham was seeking a city having everlasting foundations because he knew that nothing in this world has foundations eternal in the heavens.
When God gifts you with an eternal hope, He enlarges your heart so the things of the world become progressively smaller, less interesting and less desirable. Contrast desirers of the eternal nature with those not possessing enlarged souls whose end is the curse of the serpent: “On your belly you shall go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:14). Every ungraced heart experiences Satan’s curse.
Worldly men will only receive worldly benefits. Satan could show Christ all the worldly glories in a moment, but to see the glories of heaven requires an eternity (and that is the inheritance of all saints!). The saints receive the portion fit for the spouse of the Son of God. Your portion complements an eternal heir of the New Jerusalem.
You can determine if your hope is in Christ, because the one who hopes in Christ is a purifier of himself (I Jn. 3:3). Love for God is the quintessential identifier and purifier of Christianity. Hoping in Christ forces present-day purification by making saints jealous of anything that might contradict their hope in Christ, for they are not reserving their godliness merely for the world to come.
Hope is an inflammable moving in the spirit of a man to love God seraphically. You are investing your life “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Tit. 2:13). Though worldly men do not know the excellencies of their own souls, you do.
Your life should model to others a man journeying to another land where the foundations are eternal – a man refusing to settle for the charms of this world. “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (I Pe. 3:15).