Hope Maketh Not Ashamed
What is your personal definition or perspective of what hope is? Do we really understand spiritual hope, the necessity for hope, and the operation of hope? Many think that hope is just the random wishing for something on our part, which can be a flesh or lust based desire. Our hope must be “in” to be effective. Psalm 43:5 and 78:7 encourage us to hope in God: what better place to have hope than to trust in the one who created it all, and never faileth! Let us find the beginnings of spiritual hope, and then take a greater, deeper look at the working of that hope.
Please consider the phrase “By whom” in the verse below. We know that Jesus was delivered for our offences, but scripture tells us that our justification was provided by His resurrection (Romans 4:25). We are told that by faith, we have peace; and this grace wherein we stand; and we may then have hope;
Romans 5:1 – 2 THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Know from these scriptures that we must activate our belief in Jesus to activate our receiving: we have peace … through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom we have access … into this grace. Since we know that grace came by Jesus (John 1:17), does this access give you a greater understanding of Jesus as the way? You have no ability to receive any of these things without belief, and then these will allow you to rejoice in hope. That initial hope is in His coming;
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
His death atoned for all repented sin; the price was paid for us whether we ever believe or not: but His resurrection provided for our justification. We have no means or ability of our own to gain this reconciliation or keeping grace, but can only receive that justification by faith, believing in Him, and by that faith we have access to the grace that enables us to stand! We can then rejoice in hope of the glory of God, the salvation of our souls: look for that blessed hope, His glorious appearing! Let us continue this first look at hope operating in our salvation, but then know and receive that there is also a far exceeding and greater working of hope in our walk;
Romans 8:24, 25 For we are saved by hope: but 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.
But we are also saved by grace, and through faith (Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.) But since we know from Hebrews 11:1 below that … faith is the substance of things hoped for, then we know that hope is also present. Hope is initially an essential part of our salvation, and gives us patience to wait for it. Why is having this patience important to us?
Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
If you have no hope, there will be nothing to wait for, or continue for. The hope of, and for, that thing that we see not brings us faith to wait for the promise. There is a confidence and assurance, a faith, of our salvation; yet it is hope that provides the patience to wait for it. Hope then becomes part of our protection, or armor;
I Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith, and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
The helmet, the protection of your head and mind, is in your hope of salvation: can you see how that brings you to more patience: yet patience is one of the things that bring you to greater hope? Please also note that faith, hope, and love are all in the last verse, and look for their relationships as we progress in this study. Let us move on with this hope to the walk of sanctification: after we are told to rejoice in hope in Romans 5, we are then told that we glory in tribulations also, and then … tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts … (Romans 5:3 – 5). We need our hope increased, and then our love will be increased by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. If you are not tried you will not have sufficient patience to wait for the promise: if you cannot then be patient and wait for it, you will never experience the promise of God. Only if you experience it will you learn to hope for the promise. By faith we believe for the promise, but by hope we anticipate, expect, and are confident for the promise! By faith we know that He can, but by hope we know, that we know, that He will! Faith is then the substance of our hope;
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Consider the opposite or alternative of this verse; if we have no hope, we have no substance to our faith. Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, speaks of each one of those in the hall of faith as acting by faith, by faith, by faith. And we of course know faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). But without hope, an expectation and knowing of (and standing on) the promise, there was no active faith or substance: each one saw the promise of God afar off, not seen in the natural yet, and believed for it. Faith is not the substance of things wished for, but those things hoped for, those promises that you have tarried and learned and walked in a path for, and that God then brings you to that expectation and that hope of. Faith is then the substance of those things hoped for, those things that are not seen, but hope and faith are distinctly different things. When we make bread, we make it out of flour, but must add some yeast to activate the rising of the bread. The flour is dormant until we begin to make the recipe, but with the activation of the yeast, and the multiplying of that yeast, the flour then becomes bread. Similarly, unless or until we have that activation of hope we have no substance or rising to our faith, our faith can remain dormant. Hope is the unseen activation or leavening, of our faith! So as you find tribulation in your life know, as Romans 5:3 – 5 said above, that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; truly learn to glory in the increase of your hope! We must not only believe by faith that He can, but hope is the expectation and confidence and assurance that He will! Those in the “hall of faith” had believed for the unseen promises and were assured they would come, and thus received them! May we understand that He is the God of hope, and look to and seek Him to increase our hope;
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
We also saw the peace of God in Romans 5:1 above, and if we will allow it, and walk in that peace, it will allow us to abide the trials we face without loss of faith. Do you see the cause and effect: if you are filled with joy and peace in believing, then you may abound in hope? The joy and peace of God will keep us and allow us to increase in our faith, that we may abound in hope, but the fullness of that hope is also through the power of the Holy Ghost. All of this promise is from the God of hope, and is a work of God. Is greater hope what is added to faith by the Spirit, to give the spiritual gift of faith to some? That hope, assurance, confidence, and expectation that He not only can but will, may then bring forth the fullness of faith by the Spirit. Realize then that there is a purpose and need for spiritual hope;
I Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
We cannot miss the hope that fits between faith and charity, or love! We must have all three for each of them to properly abide in and through us. Faith believes that He can, hope is the expectation and confidence that He will, and then love works that faith! It is much like an engine that can work, but must have fuel, and a spark, and then it will produce the end purpose! Faith is fueled by love, but it does not matter how full your tank is if the ignition is not turned on. The expectation of hope is the spark that ignites the love, which then powers the engine of faith! However, it does not matter how big or how powerful your engine of faith is, or how many cranking amps your ignition of hope has, because the fuel of love is the greatest and most necessary! You cannot operate an engine on an empty tank. There also must be a proper mix of fuel and air: that is why the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. If it is in our control or means we could have the engine flooded, or we could have a lack of fuel, both by inordinate affection. It has also been noted and questioned previously that faith and love had not been the topics of many writings early on, but the path of the gift of grace and righteousness unto holiness was truly necessary: in our vehicles there is always a filter on the fuel system, since condensated water or contaminated fuel will not ignite effectively. The filtering always comes before the igniting process (our hope). We cannot have lust, sin, or iniquity, the dirt or sewage of life, contaminating or preventing our love from being activated. We also cannot have our engine of faith trying to operate with broken or inoperable parts. Sanctification is the path of repairing, filtering, and purity that the gifts of God may operate perfectly. If all these things are in perfect order, and the spiritual engine is hitting on all cylinders, it has great power. Consider for a moment the Lord Jesus with the woman with the issue of blood;
Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
The word translated virtue in this scripture is the Greek word dunamis, G1411 in the Strong’s Concordance. It is translated 77 times as power in the King James Bible, and only 3 times as virtue. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power … (Acts 10:38): consider that the word power here is the same Greek word. Recognize that the Greek word has more meaning than our English, and relate both power and virtue to it, the purity of the fuel of love! Jesus had great power in Him, and could perceive that it had gone out! Jesus love was so operating His faith that He did not even have to know of the need that the woman had for it to work! But it was the woman’s actions in hope that provided the spark for her own faith and activated that power; If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (Matthew 9:21) Can you understand that first the hope, or thought, of touching His garment preceded and precipitated the action or faith of touching His garment? Without the thought the action would not have occurred. Can you now better recognize the interworking of faith, hope, and love? Jesus was not exclusive to this power going out, for we see later that the shadow of Peter was sought to heal some (Acts 5:15). Consider that there was a hope from those that laid the lame in the street, not from Peter. Handkerchiefs that were taken from Paul provided special miracles or healing (Acts 19:11, 12), but the hope was in those that sought for, believed, and in faith carried the handkerchiefs to their purpose.
Can you now recognize that faith and love are absolutely necessary, but that there is also a need for your hope to be that action, or spark, necessary to ignite? Believing that He can does not avail unless there is an acting in hope that he will. Consider that the plowing and threshing in the below require action;
I Corinthians 9:9, 10 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
There would be no purpose for the plowing or threshing were it not for the hope of partaking of what is produced: hope causes the action. Let us continue, however, with this look at sanctification and hope: we have seen in Romans 5 above how we acquire hope, and also the necessity for patience;
Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
There is a sanctification process by and through the Spirit after our justification, and we see that we wait for the hope of righteousness. Righteousness is not just given, but we have to look for and anticipate it by the Spirit! We know from Galatians 5:6 that faith worketh by love, but this immediately preceding verse includes the hope and righteousness that are also a part! Hope will call you to this sanctification process;
I John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Just as hope brings you to look forward to the promises, it will bring you in this hope to seek to purify your self. What is this hope? The prior verse provides that information;
I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The Spirit and this hope will keep you and bring you forward in this calling and sanctification process, that you might be like him; for we shall see him as he is: you must yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (Romans 6:19) to be like Him. To see the antithesis of this consider the following verses;
Jeremiah 2:25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
Jeremiah 18:12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
If there is no hope, you will not have a desire for righteousness or purity. Consider then this hope in relation to the sanctification process that was working in the Apostle Paul that he mentioned in Romans 7, and the fulfillment of this walk, that then in Chapter 8 leads up to the hope mentioned in Romans 8:24, 25 above. In relation to this sanctification process being necessary, have you considered that Abraham did not receive the promise of the land from God until he became obedient? Abraham was called out of thy country … from thy kindred … from thy father’s house. He left country but went with kindred and his father: after his father passed he still went with kindred, Lot. When Lot was finally separated from Abram he received: And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. (Genesis 13:14, 15) This was only the beginning of the hope given to Abram, for God later changed his name, promised him a son, and promised him blessing and multiplying as he succeeded in the walk of sanctification! Let your hope bring you forward in this walk of sanctification! We often do not recognize that our failure to seek the fulness of sanctification is what has prevented our receiving in hope, love, and faith!
Scripture further tells us hope is given by God through grace;
II Thessalonians 2:16, 17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
Again realize that the grace extended of God must be received for you to have everlasting consolation and good hope, and these may then bring you to every good word and work. Let us consider this further in Hebrews 6;
Hebrews 6:9, 10 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
If better things have not accompanied your salvation, then you should check your salvation: some of those better things are the work and labour of love and the ministering of verse 10: and these things bless and multiply God! This diligence will then bring you to greater hope;
Hebrews 6:11, 12 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Can you understand that these things are all part of the sanctification process, and that your work and labour of love and that ye have ministered … and do minister all accompany salvation and bless and multiply God, and give the full assurance of hope? Verse 12 then mentions that we inherit the promises. Our inheritance comes from the Father! Verse 13 then starts with For, which refers back, and basically says because or since;
Hebrews 6:13 – 15 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
The promise to Abraham, the truths of the blessing and multiplying of Almighty God given to him in Hebrews 6:13 – 15, required obedience and patient endurance (hope) on the part of Abraham: he obtained the promise. God then continues this look at inheritance, and notes that the heirs of promise may then receive this consolation and hope that may then be our refuge, and an anchor for our soul through the two immutable things;
Hebrews 6: 16, 17 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
We know from this verse that God is still speaking through the writer of the promise made to Abraham, since he attributes its continuance to the heirs of promise. He first introduces through the writer the immutability or unchangeability of His counsel. Counsel is Number G1012 in the Strong’s Concordance, and is defined as: βουλή boulḗ, boo-lay’; from G1014; volition, i.e. (objectively) advice, or (by implication) purpose:—+ advise, counsel, will. What God advises, counsels, or wills (in another word promises) is unchangeable, but is also future tense. We do not hope looking back at a promise, but it is something unseen, not received yet. In this verse God also confirmed it by an oath, so again we are obviously still referring back to the promise and oath made to Abraham in the preceding verses, but we are looking forward in hope.
There are many who look at verse 18 and believe that what is unchangeable is that God cannot lie, but where then is the second immutable thing? That God cannot lie is a fact, not a promise: the sentence of Verses 18 through 20 is a continuation of verse 17: it is the prior promises to Abraham here that are still the topic. Before time began God could not lie: it has always remained the same, and always will be. Know then that the two unchangeable things are the promises that were made to Abraham and that are inherited: that if you bless then you will be blessed by God, and if you multiply then you will be multiplied: Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. (Hebrews 6:14) We then have that consolation, refuge and hope if we will stand on, and in hope of, the promises;
Hebrews 6:18 – 20 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hope is not something that we just have, but God has given or extended to us hope. It is set before us; consider the receiving actions necessary in the verses … fled for refuge, and lay hold upon, and entereth into that within the veil. What must we flee from for our refuge? We must flee from our unrighteousness; to lay hold upon the hope we must get on this path of sanctification: The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe. Your access, your safety, your refuge, your anchor, yes your very hope is only found in righteousness. As the priests could not enter into the holy of holies without sacrifice, we cannot enter into that within the veil without righteousness unto holiness. Let hope then activate your faith in love, and go blessing, giving to all who need and will receive!
Isaac was heir to the promises that were made to Abraham, as was Jacob, as were the twelve tribes, as was Moses, and David, and as we are if we embrace, rely on, and walk in the hope of the immutable or unchangeable promises, blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. If we will not receive and walk in these promises and this hope we may live in relative spiritual squalor, regardless of our wealth. The children of Israel were blessed and protected, being fed with manna, and led by the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, but they lived in relative spiritual squalor for forty years because the ten spies did not receive the hope of God’s promise.
We must also then be patient in that hope to receive the promise;
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
When your hope is delayed or deferred, do you become complacent or impatient? or does your heart instead have a longing or yearning to see the promise come to pass? That longing or yearning is what is needed to initiate the spark of hope and ignite the fuel of love that drives the engine of faith. When the desire comes, it is a tree of life!
We must hold on steadfastly to our hope! In the Strong’s Concordance hope in the Greek is number G1680, elpis; (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence. It is translated fifty-three times as hope, and only one time as faith;
Hebrews 10:23, 24 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
If you substitute hope for faith and reconsider these verses, can you fully understand that hope is the spark that ignites love to cause good? Since we know that he is faithful that promised, we have no cause to waver in our hope! That hope is what can then provoke or ignite to love and to good works! Fully sanctified and operating, this faith, hope, and love will be giving, and not accumulating to self. Begin to desire of God to know hope, and ask God to activate your love through that hope!