Hope: A Reason for Rejoicing

Hope: A Reason for Rejoicing

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    Resilience—it’s a great quality to develop in our lives. When we are resilient, we have the ability to bounce back, to recover from and adjust to adversity or change. I saw this quality in motion while watching our daughters play in the ocean for the first time. Our girls took a beach ball and tried to hold it under water, but no matter how many times they pushed it down into the water, it bounced right back on top. That’s what rejoicing in the Hope does for us. It gives us the power to bounce back and come out on top in life. We read about this fundamental ingredient to enjoying a life of power and abundance in Romans 12.
Romans 12:12:
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.

    In our lifetime we all encounter difficulties. Philippians 4:4 states, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” There are many days when it’s easy to rejoice, but what about those days when we are being bombarded by negatives? How do we rejoice when we are challenged to the maximum? We’ll see from the Scriptures how God Almighty provides us with the spiritual knowledge, strength, and skill to surmount any negative or obstacle. Every day our loving heavenly Father provides us with multiple reasons to rejoice, and one important reason is the hope of Christ’s return. We’ll see that rejoicing in the Hope gives us resilience and strength for today.
    To rejoice in anything, we must first have a knowledge of it. So how does the Bible define hope?
Romans 8:24 and 25:
…hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not,
then do we with patience wait for it.
    I used to use the words “hope” and “believe” interchangeably, but since I’ve been taught the Biblical definitions of each of these words and how they are used distinctly, I strive to use them accurately. Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille, our Founding President, clearly explained these distinctions in his book God’s Magnified Word.
    He wrote, “Hope is always used in the Bible regarding something that is not available at the present time. Hope always pertains to something in the future; believing pertains to those things which can be had immediately. We have the hope of Christ’s return today because we cannot have it right now. But if one of us needs to be born again, then that person can believe right now and receive salvation. That is the way the words ‘hope’ and ‘believing’ are used in the Bible.”
    Even in the Old Testament, believers rejoiced in hope—they focused on the hope of Christ’s first coming. David is one unforgettable example of this. David, like many of the men and women we see throughout the Scriptures, had a great concern and love for God. Like us, he had to work through challenges, hurts, and disappointments.
    I Samuel 17, for instance, records that as a teenager, David encountered a lion and a bear while watching his father’s sheep, and he faced the Philistine’s great warrior, Goliath. Later on he escaped several attacks on his life from King Saul; his army was on the verge of mutiny when they found their families and possessions were captured and stolen by the enemy; his own son plotted to kill him; he was challenged by grief with the death of his firstborn child with Bath-sheba, as well as the loss of other dear friends and family.
    David’s life was not always easy, but he could rejoice in his God each day because of the hope set before him.
Psalms 16:8-11:
I have set the Lord always before me: because
he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence
is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
    David set the Lord before his face by putting the Word at the center of his heart, especially the hope of Christ’s first coming. This lifelong determination to set his thinking on the Word resulted in a solid stand where circumstances could not move him off of the truth. David was resilient. He was fully convinced that God would send the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He also believed God would not allow Jesus Christ or himself to stay in the grave. As David rejoiced in hope, he experienced great rest and fullness of joy.
    The Psalms are filled with practical keys on how to be strong and resilient, how to stay on top in life by rejoicing in hope. Let’s look at a few.
Psalms 31:23 and 24:
O love the Lord, all ye his saints:
for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

    Psalms 31:24 addresses “all ye that hope in the Lord,” and it declares: “Be of good courage.” The Hebrew word for “Be of good courage” here means to be strong, to prevail. When we act upon the Word, God is faithful to supply: “and he shall strengthen your heart.”…

This is an excerpt from the May/June 2010 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2010 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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