Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Hope is a Person" by Garris Elkins

My daughter Anna is a student at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California. Our home is in Medford, Oregon just a few hours away by car. Recently, my daughter's new computer had a problem. Anna was home on a break from school when the computer problem took place, so she sent the computer in to the manufacturer who did a quick turn around for repairs. A problem emerged when Anna had to return to school without the computer. The delivery was left in the hands of mom and dad.

Several days later the computer arrived at our home in Medford so we sent it Next Day Delivery through the mail service. I got the tracking number and followed its overnight delivery and arrival at the post office nearest to our daughter's apartment. For 18 hours I tried to reach Anna via her cell phone to let her know her computer was waiting at her post office. Our daughter lives in a rural setting with limited cell phone coverage. Anna usually picks up her phone messages when she goes into town and has cell service. Anna was waiting, not knowing the needed computer was sitting at the local post office. Eventually Anna got the message and picked up her computer. Life returned to normal.

This is what hope is like. Many believers live their lives without the power of hope because they have failed to realize what is available and waiting for them. God has sent a message to us about hope. Hebrews 6 tells us that our hope is anchored in eternity, immovable by the events here on earth. This hope is not altered by our challenging circumstances. This hope is anchored in a Person – Jesus Christ

Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone there for us.”

Hebrews 6: 18-20

Because we have Someone in our future directing our lives in the present moment, we do not have to live a life of desperation and hopeless. Our hope is not that life and circumstances will change. Hope is an unchanging Person. Jesus is not held prisoner to our present reality. He always brings hope when He arrives. Our hope comes to us directly from the hand of a good and loving God in the Person of Jesus Christ. When Jesus arrived on planet earth He revealed God to us. When we see and hear Jesus we are seeing and hearing a perfect representation of the heart of the Father.

Jesus arrives in our moment without any regret or fear because regret and fear are not part of God's nature. His arrival always carries with it the purity of something that cannot be altered by the brokenness of this realm. This is why our hope is unaffected by what takes place on earth. Our hope is in a Person living in timeless eternity Who alters our current reality with the arrival of His hope.

We live in an experience of time that unfolds along a linear and chronological time-line. Seconds become minutes and minutes become hours that become days and months and years. Time unfolds so that the human experience can be birthed and lived out in the framework of time. Seasons require time to develop as does a human body.

When God influences our lives with hope the reality of Heaven invades our earthly reality. As we live on this linear line of unfolding time we are captured in the moment. A mentor of mine once said, "Our present moment is only a memory of our most recent past." In other words, no matter how hard we try, we will never arrive at a place called “the future” because when we get there it is still just the moment we are living. This is why intimacy with God is not a future event. Intimacy with God is to be experienced now. Our moment, our only reality in the earthly realm, is a capsule of time that migrates with us through life. When we arrive at tomorrow it is only a present moment, not a future event.

When God reveals Himself to His people, this revelation is not from the future, but from eternity. Eternity is a realm without time – it has no past, present or future. The arrival of hope in our lives comes from a realm not limited by time and space.

From God's perspective He views our linear time-line as happening all at once and at the same time, fully complete. He sees the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea and Columbus sailing in 1492, all happening at once. He sees Abraham sacrificing Isaac and the Apollo astronauts landing on the moon, all happening at once. He makes His decisions about our lives from this eternal perspective. He sees the beginning and the end of all things. He sees us as we are in union with the Father and the Son. From the perspective of hope we are, and are becoming who we already are.

How we view God will influence how we relate to the existence of hope in our daily lives. If, in our future there exists an angry and unapproachable God, then our present moment will draw from that fearful image. If, in our future there exists a loving and good God, then we will begin to view our life and circumstances through that lens of love and acceptance.

The gift of prophecy is a ministry of hope. When we hear a word from God, and then bring that word of hope into this realm, that word of hope will alter how people view God and their relationship with Him. As we prophesy we speak words of hope and the responsibilities that align a life with hope so that people can make adjustments in how they live in order to better reflect a life of hope.

A repeated theme in Paul's ministry was his strengthening and encouraging the churches wherever he traveled. He strengthened the Church because at times she felt weak. He encouraged the Church because at times she felt discouraged. Paul brought words of encouragement that linked weakened and discouraged saints to the hope that is anchored in eternity out of the reach of chronological time and its accompanying pain and sorrow. This hope changed the world because words of hope step onto the unfolding line of natural time and divert people and events into the flow of God's will for their lives.

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