Hope is one of the 3 treasures of the spirit realm. Along
with faith and love, hope activates what Yeshua called the Abiding Life.
And now abide faith,
hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1Co 13:13)
There are 2 ways of interpreting this verse. First, we could
interpret faith, hope, and love as qualities of the abiding life. In this way, they become fruits of abiding. When we abide in the Lord, our life contains
more faith, more hope, and more love.
The second perspective is to think of these as doorways into
the abiding life, or access portals, In the same way that Yeshua is the door
into the Kingdom and also the substance of the kingdom, these can serve both as
fruits and as ways into the abiding life.
So Jesus said to them
again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. "All
who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go
in and out and find pasture. (Joh 10:7-9)
For most of us, we know experientially that when we are
abiding, that our faith is stronger, our love is present, and we have great
hope or expectation. What is more of a challenge, at least for me, is when I am
in the flesh and I need to return to abiding.That is the place where doors are helpful.This opening of the doors is called
repentance. Thus, hope faith and love become activations of repentance.
What I want to look at now is how to engage with hope, or
what is the substance spiritually of hope. We know from Hebrew 11:1 that faith
is the substance or the assurance of hope.
Now faith is the
assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)
The term, “of things” is added to the translation. So, the
original language would tell us that faith is the substance or the assurance
of hope. I have often heard it treated the opposite way, where hope is called premature
faith.I think however that the flow is
from faith to hope.Faith is the belief
we have from our past that we extend to our future as hope.To the degree we believe, we dare to hope! The
unseen realm is the realm of hope.
The book of Hebrews expands this perspective by relating
hope to our calling and opening for us the power of Shabbat and rest in hope.
Look with beginning in Chapter 3:1
brethren, partakers of a heavenly
calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He
was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For
He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the
builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by
someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all
His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken
later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our
hope firm until the end.(Heb 3:1-6)
We see that we are part of a heavenly calling. The writer of
Hebrews describes the calling as being built as a house, a place of abiding and
that the key is our confidence, which is our faith or trust and our hope, which
is the place of His promise.
The next set of verses are key because they speak of our
relationship with Him and the rest that can come if we trust in that
Therefore, just as the
Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU
HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN
THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me,
AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. "THEREFORE, I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS
GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO
ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS'; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'" Take care, brethren, that there not
be in any one of you an evil,
unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one
another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that
none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning
of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, "TODAY IF YOU
HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME." For
who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of
Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with
those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear
that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to
enter because of unbelief. (Heb 3:7-19)
There is an interconnectedness between hope, faith, and love
that cannot ever truly be separated because they work together in and through
us. I am emphasizing hope right now, but it is also clear that without trust in
God, faith we lose our hope.
What I want to emphasize here is what the Apostle calls
rest. There is a place of hope that produces in us a rest. The place in
creation empowered to activate that is embodied by Shabbat. Let’s turn to
Chapter 4 of Hebrews to see this explained.
Therefore, let us fear
if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to
have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as
they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not
united by faith in those who heard. (Heb 4:1-2)
Shabbat comes from the same word root as the number 7, Sheva.
This is also the root for both words sitting, shev, and village or community
moshav.There is a promise, of entering
this picture, the restoration place that brings us rest.
A promise is a hope. God opens up hope, a treasure of our
future by His promises to us. This is the “good news” of the Gospel. It isn’t
just good news about our past, the forgiveness of our sins, but also good news
about our future, the promise of our destiny in Him. We live in the present
which is the place where we can enter rest, the quality spiritually of the
abiding in Him.
In the verse, the key to the rest is described by the term “united
“or “mixed” by faith. This is a very rare word used only twice in the Bible. In
this verse and in 1 Corinthians 12:24
whereas our more
presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which
lacked, (1Co 12:24)
In this verse, the word is translated as “composed” or in the
more ancient translations “tempered”.I
like tempered because metals are tempered to be made strong.The key isn’t an individual having faith but
the image of God being forged by the whole body coming together in the revelation
of the true image. This is the village part of rest, apparent in the word
“moshav”. In 1 Cor 12, the whole conversation is about oneness and unity that
comes through diversity.
Being in health care for so many years, I understand this intimately.Each of us has our own system which comes
into unity by honoring the diversity and harmonizing the system. But the goal
is to restore the individual through that harmony into their uniqueness which
them allows for healing of the larger system of relationships that they are a
part of.When this happens what is
experienced is rest.
Let’s read on in Hebrews 4:
For we who have
believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the
foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day:
"AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS"; and again in
this passage, "THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST." Therefore, since it
remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to
them failed to enter because of disobedience, (Heb 4:3-6)
It sounds like we enter rest by our faith, our belief.This is true but there is also a deeper
truth.We enter our rest by becoming our
hope, our destiny.As we become our
unique destiny, our hope, the Christ in us the promise of glory, we fit
together into the Body, the restored image of God. This is the place of
He again fixes a
certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just
as has been said before, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR
HEARTS." For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of
another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as
God did from His. (Heb 4:7-10).
The place where this all comes together is in the place of
now, what the Apostle calls “today”. Today represents the transformative power
of fully receiving His love.That is
connected to not hardening our hearts.Hardness of heart is the condition of mistrust and self-protection that
keeps us from trusting in God’s love for us and keeps us from the true hope,
We have a unique destiny that is our part in the restored
image of God.Like the individual pixel,
we each shine with our unique part of His glory that reveals Him as love.
This is the place of Shabbat.This is the rest of abiding.Shabbat was created as an abiding
reality.Man created in God’s image was
blessed with creation of Shabbat which is the picture total and complete rest
that comes from each individual fulfilling their part of the whole and becoming
whole in the process of fulfilling that picture.
Let’s read one final scripture and then we will do an
For even as the body
is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they
are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we
were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the
body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if
the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,"
it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body
were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would
the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in
the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body
be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the
hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I
have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members
of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the
body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and
our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more
presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body,
giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no
division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one
another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one
member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body,
and individually members of it. (1Co 12:12-27)
To come into healing and fullness we need to see
ourselves fully integrated into the body. That is the place of our redemptive
gifting.We are redeemed to be restored
to who we are in the whole.
Let’s press in and ask the Lord for our unique name. Who
does He call us?
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God Day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev 12:10-11 NKJV) To listen to the audio-only version click below Last chapter, we began to look at how to overcome evil in these days. This verse tells us of 3 main strategies that believers use to overcome the accuser of the brethren. Accusation is the main method of the enemy. When you accuse someone of something you bring the voice of your experience to someone in authority in this case the authority is God Himself. As we mentioned a couple of chapters back, the throne of God today is in the heart of believers. "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My F
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NASB) To listen to the audio-only version click below Last session we began speaking about the testimony of the Spirit. We compared the impact of trying to solve the issues of our conscience from self-efforts, what the scriptures calls dead works to living the overcoming life by the Spirit. “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14) What drives dead works? Our conscience. Our conscience is defined as that part of ourselves that determines the rightness or wrongness of something. How do we do that? What informs our conscience? I think our conscience, at its root is informed by our need to find out what is good and evil in our lives and then to choose what to do or say. In this sense, our conscience is activated by the tree of the knowledge of good an