Hope…Run with Percy! …Revisiting.

The light at the end of the tunnel is not an on-coming train!

Hope:

Towards a Psychology of Hope is a great article. (click link for full article.)
“We all know that hope is a good thing, even an essential thing: there is no life without hope, or so the saying goes. Psychologists believe hope might be the most important feeling, state, or emotion we can experience. Hope is a skill you can acquire. It is active—you can cultivate and nourish it. 

Hope is self-perpetuating—hopeful people tend to be more resilient, more trusting, more open, and more motivated than those less hopeful, so they are likely to receive more from the world, which in turn makes them more hopeful—which is why Hope is so important.”

Now
May the God of all hope
Fill you
With all joy and peace 

in believing
So that
You may abound in Hope
By
The power of The Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13:NASB

Hope Defined.

Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come.
Hope looks forward to a future bright.

Hope believes the best is yet to come.

Jer 29:29 NASB 

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
 

Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Hope is future.

Faith is now.

In hope, we see ahead. In faith, we believe for a hopeful future.

Heb. 11:1 NASB 
Now faith is the assurance / confidence / substance of things
hoped for,
(Faith is) the conviction / evidence of things
not seen.


What are the things currently – not seen – you are believing for?

What are you currently hoping for? Refreshment? Emotional stability? Spiritual connection with Holy Spirit? Experiencing the Fathers love, and the Son’s faithfulness? Debt reduction? Marriage Restoration? Wholeness in body, soul and spirit? Healing? Clarity of Mind?

We fuse hope and believing by:

  • offering thanksgiving and cultivating gratitude.
  • dedicating time to slow down.
  • positioning ourselves to read, worship, and to believe.
  • eating properly.
  • exercising.
  • sleeping enough.
  • serving others less fortunate than ourselves.

Tip: Worship is faith set to music. Let faith-filled music play in your home, car and workplace.

Hope is the center word for purpose.
There is no faith without hope, and there is no love without hope.

Hope is the connector. Hope is the seed bed that creates faith and love.

Faith and love spring from hope.
Hold on to hope long enough until your hope becomes Faith.

It’s important to speak hope, to declare your hope, to believe, and to rest in God’s love.

Ps 62:5 NIV  

Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from Him.

Lamentations 3:24 (NASB)

The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore, I have hope in Him.”

It’s both interesting and encouraging…The eye of the Lord is upon those who hope, and who hope for something tangible, yet supernatural, His loving-kindness.

Ps 33:18 NASB
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who hope for his Loving-kindness.

The biggest questions, “Where do you and I place our hope? Who is your hope?” A more specific question, “In Whom is your hope, your expectation, placed?” 

Hope, by definition: a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon.

Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Feelings? Circumstances? Leaders?

Pattie and I often have to shift our mindsets, our expectations, our focus, and our declarations:

Our Reality.
Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory.
Our hope becomes secure and steadfast as we build our relationship with Him.

“Our hope is only found in you Jesus. We declare ___________ is not our Savior. Where we go, or where we stay will not save us, nor provide for us. In You, and You alone is our hope. All of our hope is found in You. Thank you Jesus, our future is secure. Thank you for providing for us, and for guiding us!”

Heb. 6:18-20 NIV We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strong / encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It (our hope) enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.

Heb 7: 9 NASB
for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 

Heb 7:22 NASB
so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 

“Our trials are turned to gold.” Keith Green.

Trials do one thing well… if we hold on, if we don’t give up, and if we continue… Trials produce a hope that does not disappoint. In hope… we hope.

Romans 5:1-5 NASB

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (hope)

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 

4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 

Running with Percy.

Running with perseverance enables us to keep on keeping on, to lean forward in faith, and to look into our future by hope. 

Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It’s important we faint not, and do not grow weary.

Never give up! Keep getting up!

Trials of life show us what we are made of. Trials reveal our metal. They test our metal.

We can have joy, peace, and we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The connector…Our Faith. Our Believing.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
 

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

He has Eyes of Fire, yet there is mercy found at His Feet.

Last night as we worshiped several spontaneous songs were sung. One song mentioned Jesus having eyes of fire.

I had a dream a few years ago.

In the dream I saw Jesus glorified. I heard a song being sung. He has eyes of fire, yet there is mercy found at His feet.

When I woke up I began to study the Gospels. In every instance, people who fell at Jesus’s feet were either healed, found mercy, or were mentioned for their acts of kindness toward Him.

  • One woman pushed through the crowds just to touch the hem of his clothing. When she touched His clothing she was healed.
  • Four friends were desperate to see their friend healed. They ripped open a roof and lowered their friend to Jesus’s feet. Seeing their faith… their friend was healed.
  • One man threw himself at Jesus’s feet and asked for his daughter to be healed. She was.
  • A crazy man fell at Jesus’s feet. He was delivered, was clothed, and put into his right mind.
  • One woman anointed His feet with fragrance. She is now mentioned in every nation.

He has eyes of fire, yet mercy is found at His feet.
His voice sounds like many waters, yet He often speaks most powerfully in a whisper.
His Spirit is like a flowing river, yet He often touches our lives like the early morning dew or a soft spring rain.
When He walks among us He sees, hears, and knows all things.
He is Holy… yet, He invites us into His presence.

An audience of One.

Often I’ll head into the Big Room, grab my guitar, and worship. Just me, no one looking, no one listening except One. Sometimes new songs bubble up, and sometimes nothing is felt. I know I’m just positioning myself to lean in.

Many times my prayers, my crying out, praying for others, or my heart being exposed are returned to Jesus in song. Sometimes I just play softly saying nothing. Sometimes I sit quietly reading, journaling contemplating. One phrase I’ve found myself singing repeatedly recently … “You are Faithful and True, Your Word speaks of you, This is Who You Are. Who you really are.”

Who Jesus is… is revealed to us through spending time in His Presence, reading who He is in the Bible, and by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Mike Bickel in his book Passion for Jesus wrote, “It takes God to know God.” So I often pray: “Open my eyes to see you, open my ears to hear you, open my mind to perceive you, open my heart to believe you, and open my spirit to receive you.”

Who is Jesus? He is revealed to us by what He does in our lives.
He is our salvation.
He is our redemption.
He is our healing.
He is our provision.
He is our forgiving.
He is our protection.
He is our wisdom.
He is our comfort.
He is our power.  
He is our mercy.
He is our grace.

Most likely all the above began to happen when you first fell at His feet asking for forgiveness and mercy.

He is also the holder together of all things.
He is Jesus, Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is He is who He is, and so much more.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

Through Jesus we have access to the Father’s heart.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB

R.C. Sproul expresses the thought this way:

“The moment Jesus died, the instant the just one died for the unjust, the veil in the temple was torn. The presence of God became accessible to us. We now have access to His grace (*which brings peace) but even more, we have access to Him. (*His presence) Now we can feel welcome in the very presence of a Holy God.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul *my note

This is the good news.. we have access.

My friend Stephen Bell states, “The really good news is that the Father now has access to us!” This truth is most amazing.

His sacrifice for our sins brings peace between the Father and who we are. It’s settled.
His resurrection to Life ensures our confident access into the presence of our loving Father.

To fear and yet to be unafraid is an interesting experience.

R. C. Sproul sums it up:

“But when we come, we must remember two things: (1) who He is; and (2) who we are. For the Christian the holy war is over; the peace has been established. Access to the Father is ours. But we still must tremble before our God. He is still holy.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

Years ago I heard a whisper as I worshiped, “If this was the only thing you did, would it be enough?” My honest answer… “I don’t know. I’m so driven, I strive so much. I have so many insecurities.”

I do know I want to be a worshiper whom the Father seeks. Jesus made it possible. He extends mercy toward me as I fall at His feet.

Resistance? Stand Firm.


Have you ever had spiritual resistance as you pressed in to the Father’s heart?

I have. Mainly the resistance is found in my thought life.

The thoughts usually tell me who I am not, where I fail, have failed, or the droning you never measure up. Sometimes the thoughts are regrets because of my stupidity in certain past failed situations. In response, I own the thought. Pray, and ask forgiveness. A lot of the time I say out loud, “Not my thought! Get out of here!

It’s interesting sometimes, my choice of resistance is spiritual ignoring …refusing to acknowledge the enemy or his taunts by shifting my focus. Alexa, play Upper Room Worship Radio.

Dreamland Troubles

I occasionally have troubling dreams. When I wake up I refuse to say out loud anything to describe the dream. I simply begin to meditate on, or pray out loud, Psalms 23.

On Track

Often resistance is an indication we are on track. It’s why Jude tells us to exercise our faith by, “keeping ourselves in the love of God.” Have you noticed resistance comes from people? This is why we need to keep ourselves in the love of God. Some of my greatest failures were when I focused upon the person, instead of focusing upon the love of My Father, giving Him my hurt and offense. Anger never heals wounds.

Keeping ourselves in His love is something we have to do for ourselves. No one, except you, can keep you, in His love. Your Pastor can’t. Your spouse can’t. Your friends can’t. They can encourage, exhort and comfort, but it’s really up to you and your faith to keep yourself in His love.

Resistance strengthens our Spiritual heart, when you have done all… stand.

Jehoshaphat was told to go stand and see …after they heard the promise …after worshipping together. The next day Jehoshaphat consulted with the people… they decided their best response to the Fathers promise was to give Him worship and praise. As they stood fast and worshiped ….focusing upon… the Father and His promise, their enemy was defeated.

Pause for effect….  They didn’t focus upon their situation, nor upon the enemies threats.

Their decision, in response to the Fathers command “to stand and see” was to worship and praise. Their focus helped them shift their mindsets and to renew their faith in His promises. As they worshipped He brought the victory.

Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said,

“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel.

You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”

Their Response to His Promise.

Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:14-19‬ ‭NASB

The Next Day

“They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said,

“Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets (His Word) and succeed.”

When he had consulted with the people,

(I often wonder what they talked about.

Hey, you’ve heard His promise for today’s battle. We are to go stand and see what He is going to do when He defeats our enemy. What should we do in response to this wonderful promise and in response to our God, Whose lovingkindness is new every morning?

The people’s response…Let’s worship and give praise! Hey, let’s also dress for the occasion.

Jehoshaphat’s response… sounds good to me!)

Side note: Good leaders trust and include people in the midst of a battle. He didn’t have to consult with the people. He could have given a directive. Jehoshaphat knew he needed to be inclusive in this major life threatening situation.

he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:20-22‬ ‭NASB

Tip: Notice where your focus turns when you are in a battle. If you are like me …you will have to consciously shift your mindset and heart. Shift by worshiping, declaring, reading, journaling, and resting in His presence.

Here is a song I sing most days.

You are Faithful and True,

All of your promises speak of You,

You are Faithful and True… O God.

It’s Who You are,

It’s  Who You are.

Key phrases:

1. Having done all, Stand.

2. Direct worship toward the Father…as you are standing firm, and as you are responding to His nature and to His promises.


Speak / Declare

I also speak out loud as I put on Eph 6 armor and as I stand against.

“Finally, I am strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
I Put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

For my struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, I take up the full armor of God, so that I will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

I will Stand firm …therefore…

Usually as I close my ‘stand firm’ worship times… I sing the names of my family, my relatives, the people and leaders within my sphere of influence.

Having done all, Stand Firm! His promises are true!

The power to be…

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 
1 Cor 4:7NLT


Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 2 Tim 1:14 NAS

The greatest treasure: His Presence within us, upon us and with us.

We are who we are. When we are fully who we are in Christ, and secure in whose we are, we shine bright and give God glory. 

We all have a treasure within us. Gifts, talents, abilities, thoughts, personalities, emotions and skill sets have all been entrusted to us. All of us are different. No two people are alike. You are uniquely you, wonderfully created.


My wife is a triplet. Even though the sisters look similar. They are very different. Each has different personalities, emotional makeup and talents. They are each beautifully unique. 

What you have within you is a treasure. This treasure within you is so valuable it needs to be guarded, protected. The gifts, talents, and abilities are treasures that are entrusted to your care, are given to you for the sake of others. We receive so that we can give what we have received.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Prov 4:23 NIV

Acts 1:8 states when the Holy Spirit comes upon you He will give you the power to Be…pause for effect… His witnesses. Notice what comes first… the power to Be… comes before doing.

Pause and think about this for a moment. When He, the Holy Spirit comes upon you, He will empower you to Be. 

His power upon you gives you the ability to be fully who you were created to Be… uniquely you.

When His empowerment comes upon you, and when you begin to allow the treasure within to flow out to others, you cannot help but be His witness. 
Steve Bowen

Be not do…

Note: Peter didn’t say we would “do witnessing” but we would be His witnesses. 

Being fully you, empowered, with all your gifts talents and abilities 
confidently flowing is when you are a most powerful witness.


As believers, we have access to the power of the Holy Spirit. The impartation of His supernatural power within you, upon you, and with you changes everything. His power enables us to be the very witnesses He created us to be.

In my book Go. Sow. I ask…How much power to do we need?

“How much power do we need? I’m all for more power of the Spirit and pray most days to be empowered. However, I have been around long enough to know I have to be willing to begin to take risks now, in this present time, in order to enter into the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned I often have to be faithful in the small tasks and the small steps before the greater is realized. Beginning in the natural often helps me to move toward releasing the supernatural.  

The true power of being enables heaven to bring to our earth(our lives) the power we need to reach out to people of our earth—our sphere of influence. 


His power often flows from me when I’m out in the community, face great need, and sense my lack. It is the very awareness of my lack that propels me, in that moment, to reach out for more of His power, in order to meet a need. If I feel weak and small, I still step out in my weakness and smallness. I still serve, and I still pray. Often I sense no feeling of noticeable power when I pray for people yet, amazing things happen. 

One lady recently came up to our group and said, “When Steve prayed for me, I received not one job, but two jobs. I was so grateful that he took the time, and listened to me, and prayed for me. I just wanted to thank you all for being out here caring and serving us.” 

I wanted to say, “Woman, I who am speaking to you am he.” 

Bowen, Steve (2014-04-23). Go. Sow. A simple practical guide into the arena of outreach. (pp. 178-179).  . Kindle Edition.

Note she stated, “I was so grateful that he took the time, and listened to me and prayed for me.” 

What she noticed was not my power, but my being. Who I am. His love for her was expressed through my actions, and by my attitude. I had no physical sense of power. No awareness of, Boy I’m bringing it today!  I simply released the treasure I knew was within me by faith, and Her need was wonderfully met.

Step into being who you are.

Often I have to step into who I am… in order to be

 I have to remember whose I am, and who I am, then act accordingly.

At my core I know I am wired as an encourager. So, in order to be the encourager I am, I have to stir up the gift that has been entrusted to me and step into being the encourager I am. Sometimes, I literally declare as I step out of my car, or walk into a meeting, “I now step into my gift, and into my calling as an encourager.” 

When I remember who I am, I can then be who I am.
 It’s all about knowing and being.

The stepping into principle happens when I consciously step into being a husband, a friend, a worker, or a leader

Our identity is our foundation for all things. Our identity flows from His Presence.
Such we are, sons and daughters.

1 John 3:1 NASB See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are

This is who we are, sons and daughters. We are adopted, heirs, given full rights as sons and daughters.

We are loved by Him. When we treasure the treasure within us we discover a whole new level of security. We are called to be. Knowing whose we are and who we are… brings security into our calling. 

We receive, we give.

Jesus knew whose He was. Before any public ministry, Jesus knew whose He was. He was the Beloved Son in Whom the Father was well pleased.

It’s also interesting, Jesus had a custom. He often slipped away to the Mt. of Olives to be… in the Presence of His Father. Life flowed from the overflow. He didn’t meet with the Father for the overflow. He met with the Father simply to be…His Son, to enjoy His relationship with the Father. Everything flowed from His sense of being the Father‘s Son.

He lived out of His empowered Being. He was secure. He was humble. He was loving. 

John 13:3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 

Jesus modeled the principle. We follow. When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, lives within us and is with us, He empowers us to Be.