Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 050 Jesus, Our Constant Hope
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #050 – Jesus, Our Constant Hope
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
Christmas 2020 is over. Did it meet your expectations? Was it everything you hoped for? Or was your holiday a disappointment? Unfortunately, in our human condition, we sometimes place expectations on our life that unless met, ruin our joy.
The older I get, the more I try to live with the purpose of following and maturing in Jesus each day. Any difficulties or “unexpected blessings” that come in the course of the day are a way to help me accomplish that goal because they force me to look up, even when I may not feel like it.
Have I arrived? Do I live perfectly? No. Definitely not! I’m human and I never want to leave the impression that I think I have all the perfect answers and responses to life. Yet, I strive to humbly bow to the Father with intention and purpose daily and I deeply desire to be altered moment by moment as I look and cling to Him.
During my life, I’ve experienced holiday plans that didn’t work as I hoped, disappointment over not receiving a gift I desired, or worse, not seeing someone dear to me on a holiday. I’ve grieved loved ones who should have been at our dinner table or sitting around the tree with us. I’ve been pierced by the deep pain that comes from decorating the Christmas tree with unique ornaments full of memories that once belonged to deceased loved ones and continue to hang the stocking of a child who will never be with us again. You have no doubt experienced some or all of these things, too. Our human experience contains many pains that only Jesus can heal.
I’ve found after many years, that when I purposely release expectations and place my hope in the Lord, I find true peace, joy, hope, and calm through His plans. When things don’t work out as I wanted or thought they should, I find I already have everything I really needed. Even in my darkest moments of life, when situations have been out of my control and there seemed to be no hope, I learned that when I keep my gaze locked on God and remain steadfastly hoping in Him, His grace and provisions are perfect and sufficient for my needs.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Amen! I have found this verse to be so accurate! I consider myself to be a strong person, but as I have matured in my faith and relationship with God through Jesus, I have learned that my true strength is His. My confidence, strength of mind and character, anything worthy in me is a result of the Holy Spirit living inside me and the transformations have come from that. When I make mistakes, it is the result of following my own flesh or letting my eyes slip from Him.
Psalm 39:7 gives the best response we can offer in life. It says, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You.”
Did you know that the word, hope is used over 140 times in the Bible? Of course, it depends on which translation you use, but the fact is that God knew we would need assurance and encouragement to remain hopeful. He lovingly provides it through His word. Our Heavenly Father always walks ahead of us, and we recognize Him if we remain focused on Him, study and remember His words and guidance, and accept the provisions He places before us.
We use the word, hope as something we believe strongly on, or put trust in, it means something we rely on, or feel will happen.
Hope lifts us when we are down, gives us comfort and trust for the future, changes attitudes, helps us to envision a better future, or enables us to accomplish tasks because we see a chance for improvement. Hope is a powerful word that, like love, is defined by God, the author of life.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Anyone can hope, but those who put their faith in the Lord access authentic and omnipotent faith, confidence, and optimism.
Our Heavenly Father is the author of hope.
When we are His, we are able to rise above mere hope as the world sees it.
The greatest hope you and I have is the assurance offered through Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is the mechanism that allows the things we hope for to become fact and allows us to carry bold confidence about our future. Because God is perfectly holy and unchangeable, we have assurance that His promises are true. Our hope becomes faith, which develops assurance in our faithful God.
Because of the assurance we receive from God through Jesus, we can live with constant and unshakable hope.
The book of Romans clearly shows us the righteousness of God, how He reveals His righteousness in this world through Jesus, and why that good news must be shared. Jesus is our hope in this broken and dark world. In Him we place our trust, hope, faith, and find our assurance.
Although this is a long passage of scripture, I want to read the truths found in Romans, Chapter 8, verses 1-39. In this, we find all we need to infuse us with the true and lasting hope, assurance, and confidence required to complete the glorious life we have been gifted in this world and live with confident joy.
As I read, please listen for many glorious truths and promises, which include:
1. There is absolutely no condemnation for those who are saved through Jesus Christ – we are free from the power of sin and death!
2. Our hope has become assurance. Jesus offered us with secure salvation through His sacrifice.
3. We are no longer slaves to our flesh. Our sinful desires have no control over us any longer.
4. Through Jesus, we stand unafraid before God as adopted sons and daughters of our Father. We are now God’s children and heirs. This spirit of adoption also releases us from the spirit of bondage to sin.
5. Now sharing in glory, we also share suffering, as Jesus did.
6. Our suffering is only for a time, as we eagerly await the day we are released from sin and suffering forever.
7. We have received the Holy Spirit within us as a deposit toward future glory with Christ.
8. Within us lives a helper who constantly searches our heart and intercedes when we have no words to express our thoughts and needs.
9. God is for us, causing all to work for good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose, despite what happens in this world and despite how we feel.
10. If God is for us, no one can be against us. Jesus Himself is at the Father’s right hand, pleading for us.
11. Absolutely nothing will ever separate us from the love of God.
Let’s savor and reflect on these words from Romans 8 together now.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as His own children Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children including the new bodies He has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even his own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Father God, thank you for the truths You pack into Romans 8 for us to ponder and treasure. Thank you for Your sacrifice and the release and relief we receive through Jesus, Your Precious Son. Help our mind remember and our heart be transformed to become more like Yours each day. May we look toward eternity with eager anticipation of what is to come and make choices now that prepare us to meet You face to face while living with fullness of joy and shining You to all we meet where we are right now. Thank you that Jesus is our constant hope, our joy, our assurance. May we become more like Him daily. In Your precious name we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this episode. The Live With Eternal Perspective podcast is currently linked to my new website at terrihitt.com, where you can access all the podcasts housed in one convenient location, as well as receive access to blog posts, transcripts, and additional free resources that are added to regularly.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to Jesus and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up and find new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.