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      ABOUNDING IN HOPE

Each one of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior have been given a measure of divine hope. This divine hope enables us to start to receive some of the things God has for us and we become excited with the results we receive. Many times we stop increasing our divine hope, limiting it to the things we have received.

      LIMITING YOUR DIVINE HOPE

Romans 15:13 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.

Divine hope is part of the nature of God. He wants each of us to continuously increase His hope in us. You will see this takes place in direct proportion to the time you spend studying your Bible, and you will begin to see the power of God demonstrated in a greater way in your life.

Hope is the blueprint from which faith works. Faith is the substance which moves the things that need to be accomplished from the spirit realm to the realm you live in. Faith is dependent on the hope of God in your spirit to accomplish anything, and this hope places an inner image into your spirit. If this image is constantly expecting the answer to be received in the distant future, it leaves nothing for faith to work from, because it is causing your faith to work in the distant future as well.

The child of God who claims to be living in divine hope, must have a life that portrays the character and nature of Jesus. Trying to act in faith without a life that matches the characteristics of Jesus, will not permit the power of the Holy Spirit to work in your life. You must understand that the satanic forces that are preventing the answers from arriving will only yield to the power of God. You have no power in yourself, however you do have the authority God has given you.

Godís plan for His people is to have divine power flowing through them, Ephesians 3:20. Normally God will not move first. He expects your faith to move first; then He will respond in answer to your faith. Your success with God will not be your ability but your availability.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4. for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. 5. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

God wants to demonstrate His power through holy people. Many people are slaves to complaining, anger, or gossip etc. Frequently they will excuse themselves by pointing to someone else with a different problem. Other times they will cover up the statements by telling people that they were only telling the truth. Are we acting in love when we do these things? Or are we acting from a carnal nature? This is the thing that stops the Lord from working through us the way He desires. The carnal nature will always stop the power of God from working. This nature will not allow the Holy Spirit to take control of the life of the person. It is always wanting to have its own way, because the ideas are coming from satanic sources.

Holy living must be the desire of your heart. Do not react to problems in a violent manner, but allow the Holy Spirit to direct you and show you answers to the problems. You will be able to act this way when you have your priorities in order. The aim of your life must be a life that is pleasing to the Lord.

      TAMING THE OLD NATURE

Many Christians have tried to tame their old nature and have been unsuccessful, because they are unable to bring it under control all the time. They are depending on their own power, instead of the power of God.

James 1:19 Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20. for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God21. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 26. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this oneís religion is useless.

Putting a bridle on your tongue is more than watching your language. It is paying close attention to the words you use. Negative words will stop you from seeing the fulfillment to the plan that your divine hope has for you. Many people have gone forward for prayer and have believed God when their friends prayed for them. After they left the Church they stated that they did not know how their needs were going to be met. These words immediately stopped their faith from causing the answers to arrive. We become slaves to the words we use.

Proverbs 6:2 You are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.

People who have used wrong words after they believed God for the answer, then state that God is showing partiality. God shows no partiality, (Acts10:34), because He honors divine faith.  The words you use are controlled by your spirit. A person may say that he believes the Lord is going to meet his need, but nothing will happen unless he is speaking from his spirit. James tells us that no one can tame the tongue.

James 3:7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8.  But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

A person can have control over their tongue most of the time. When an emergency arises they will revert back to the old nature. It takes the spirit of man to control the tongue. This is possible when the person is directed by the Holy Spirit.

      FILLING YOUR SPIRIT WITH THE WORD

Build the hope of God in your spirit. Reading your Bible will not accomplish this unless the things you are reading are moved from your mind to your spirit. The average person needs to hear something fifteen times to have it moved to his spirit. Some will need to hear the same thing over thirty times, and then will be able to say, "Oh, is that what you meant?" These statements will be true provided we believe and choose to accept them. I could say, "I am a lion" one hundred times, but the words would still not be transferred to my spirit, because I do not believe them since I am a person and not a lion. There are others who need to hear something over two hundred times, because they have been spending so much time believing against it.

God wants you to believe and say the same things He says in His Word about you. God does not want you to say what the world is saying. The world looks at the problems through the eyes of the natural, instead of the eyes of the spirit. You will not be able to see through the eyes of the spirit unless you are keeping your spirit in tune with the Holy Spirit. The normal Christian looks at the problem, but he has a difficult time seeing the answer that God has for him.

2 Kings 6:15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" 16. So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17. And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

The servant of Elisha was looking at the problem with his natural eyes. Elisha was looking through the eye of faith, which was possible because he was permeating his spirit with divine faith as well. He had been under the leadership of Elijah for ten years and during that time he had been frequently filling his spirit with the Word of God. The next verses show how David cherished the Word of God:

Psalm 119:97 Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 105. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 107.  I am afflicted very much; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word. 114.  You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. 133. Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. 140. Your word is very pure; there-fore Your servant loves it. 147. I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. 148.  My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. 162. I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure. 163.  I hate and abhor lying, but I love Your law. 164.  Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments. 165.  Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. 169. Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. 170. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word.

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

      DEVELOPING AN IMAGE OF DIVINE HOPE

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.

Develop your sense of divine hope to a very high level. As you continue to develop this you will get to the place where you will see better through your spiritual eyes, than you can see through your natural eyes. Remember you are a spirit being that lives in a body, because you were made in the image and likeness of God, Genesis 1:26. The things that come to pass around you are a result of what is coming from your spirit. Faith operates on divine hope which comes through your spirit. It is very necessary for you to develop an image in your spirit that will match the divine hope that God is trying to give you from the Bible.

You have been reborn and have been made the righteousness of God. This is possible because the Spirit of God dwells within you, and is a gift from Him. The satanic forces canít penetrate these walls of righteousness when they come against them, because of the protection from the promises of God. They are only able to get around the wall of protection when you allow the image of divine hope in your spirit to be watered down by the image that the world is trying to give you.

Constantly go back to the Bible to see what God says you are in Christ Jesus, and apply these to your life, allowing the hope of God to develop in you in a greater way.

Divine hope can fade from your spirit because of the thoughts the world is passing around for you to receive. It is very necessary for you to continually protect this divine hope. Paul says that you are to guard your thoughts, since these are the things that Satan uses to destroy the hope that God has given you.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Colossians 1:20 And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22.  in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and irreproachable in His sight.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, (favor, love-gifts), that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Satan will frequently send you thoughts that are contrary to the image of hope that God has given you. The enemy wants you to focus on the problem instead of the promises of God which will produce the answer. Go back to the promises of God. Quote them to Satan and tell him that God is going to fulfill those promises for you. You must also resist the thoughts he sends to you in the name of Jesus.

Divine hope will produce the vision that it has because it is connected with divine faith. Natural hope will produce nothing, because it has no power. The only thing that can be accomplished with natural hope is that it allows death to take over.

Divine hope will never happen in the natural. This type of hope must be grasped or possessed. You may have the attitude that says: "Well, if it be the Lordís will, I will see it happen", you will not see what you are hoping for accomplished. Your attitude is based on human hope and you are only wishing. You are not sure what the will of the Lord is, so therefore are unsure what to do.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

      PROTECTING YOUR HOPE

The words from a person who is only using human hope, are controlled by a spirit of unbelief, which becomes evil hope, because it refuses to depend on the promises of God, and operate in the realm of faith.

People using divine faith begin to look at the Scriptures for promises to obtain answers for their needs. They will become excited because they are expecting God to honor His Word and cause the thing to come to pass. This comes from the inner image which is based on the divine hope in you. This sounds and looks foolish to people of the world, because they are seeing things on the outside rather than the inner blueprint.

Faith in the Word is the root for divine hope. If you look after the root well, you will not have to worry about the results. Some people unfortunately have exchanged divine faith for an alloy, because they have allowed the problems they are facing to water down their divine hope.

Proverbs 24:14 So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; if you have found it, there is a prospect, and your hope will not be cut off.

Divine hope is increased as you study your Bible, however divine wisdom can be increased at the same time. When this takes place, you will find that your divine hope will not be cut off. The storms of life will still come against you, but divine hope - which acts as a blueprint for your faith, will enable you to come through them victoriously.

Hebrews 6:12 That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

There will be times when you get a picture of what the Lord has for you, but you run out of patience before you see the fulfillment of the vision. If you have been "feeding" your divine hope, it will come to your aid to hold on a little longer so that the picture you received will be fulfilled. When you start to waver, go back to your Bible and read Godís promises for you again.

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