Can One Have Hope Without God? Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
For the Christian there is great hope, and I’m glad I can say, “I’m with Him!”
Now we have arrived at our fourth point, “The hope God gives fills us with joy and peace.”
We read in verse 13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace.”
This was Paul’s wish for believers.
He says, “May the God of hope fill you.”
The idea is that God Himself fills the believer in a repetitive manner.
As we believe God, there is born in us the realization of all that we hope to receive in and through Christ in this life and the one to come.
Those things included in our hope are salvation, eternal life, the glory of God, and the resurrection of the dead.
In Christ, there is summed up all that the believer needs.
This is why He is called “Our Hope.”
We fix our eyes on heaven because Our Hope is there.
We are always looking for the Blessed Hope.
When Paul wrote to Titus, he said that he was “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”
The one true hope and expectation of the believer is seeing Jesus as He is and being like Him.
How the heart of the believer longs for that day.
Hope is not stagnant.
He fills us with hope and it spills over to others, but as we share our hope, our measure of it never diminishes.
Our fullness is maintained by God in proportion to how much we share it.
It is not a tap that constantly runs, but one that God activates so that we experience His filling us.
We are filled with all joy and peace.
That means that we receive every kind of joy and every kind of peace, and it’s all that can be had by anyone.
The believer, who hopes, doesn’t miss any joy or any peace.
Joy is a virtue and not simply an emotion.
It is grounded upon God Himself and it is derived entirely from Him.
Psalm 16:11 says, “…in thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.”
Joy is a characteristic of the Christian’s life on earth and it gives us a little taste of the joy of being with Christ forever in heaven.
Oddly enough, joy may be the outcome of suffering and even sorrow, for Christ’s sake.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings…” (6:10).
Paul was in prison and in chains.
The afflictions of Paul are identified with the afflictions of Christ, but they are on a different plane.
Paul’s afflictions, no matter how great, could add nothing to the finished work of Christ.
In spite of all Paul’s sufferings, he was filled with joy, because he knew what lay ahead.
Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit; therefore, it is something dynamic and not static.
Peace, here in our text, means peace with God that comes as a result of the removal of our sins.
In Romans, we read, “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Peace, access into God’s grace, joy, hope, love, the Holy Spirit—what riches we have in Christ!
And trials work for us, not against us, and they develop Christian character.
How rich we are!
And peace with God brings inward tranquility that is unaffected by the world’s strife.
The peace of God comes to a child of God who trusts and prays.
All Christians have peace with God, and all Christians may have the peace of God, that is, that inward tranquility that is derived from God’s presence, God’s promise, and God’s power.
The fifth point to our study is “The means of appropriating this hope.”
Once again, we read in verse13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.”
Through the process of believing that goes on constantly, there will be repeated fillings of your life cup with joy and peace.
Faith is the condition of the filling, but it must all be in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lastly, there is the purpose of constant believing.
Paul says that the purpose is that “you may abound in hope.”
One definition of “abound” is to have more than enough, or more than you need.
The idea is that the God of hope is not going to give us all the joy and peace that we need only for ourselves, but we are given an extra measure that we can give to others.
The Christian who constantly trusts (or believes) the God of hope will have joy and peace to spare.
This abounding joy and peace are achieved by means of the hope with which God fills us.
The God of hope does not merely fill us with all joy and peace as we trust Him, but He also fills us with all these abounding gifts so that we may share them.
Since Christ in us is our hope of Glory, it is Christ who must abound.
Christ abounds in us so that He might become the possession of others also.
Christ must not only fill us with all joy and peace, but He must spill over from us to others.
Heaven is more than a destination; it is a motivation because Christ lives within us.
It is a living hope that affects how we think and act all day long.
Because Christ is within us, we need not fear what is ahead.
Believers are secured by the supernatural glue of the Trinity.
To be separated from Christ would require prying open the hand of the Father and being snatched from the Son after breaking the seal of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus became one of us so that we could be one of His.
In securing our salvation, God did more than forgive us; He made us members of His family.
In accepting Christ and bonding ourselves to Him through faith, each one of us becomes a new creation with forgiveness for sins in the past, guidance, and nurture for the present, and security and hope in the future.
We have access to all that Jesus is, and since we are joint heirs, we potentially have all He has.
God hears us because He hears Christ, and He loves us the way He loves Christ.
In a nutshell, identity in Christ means every child of God can point to Jesus and before the Father’s throne testify: “I’m with Him.”
In the beginning, we asked, “Can one have hope without God?”
The Word of God says, “No!”
There is no hope for those without God.
And the only way to God is through Faith in His Son.
But for the Christian, there is great hope, and I’m glad I can say, “I’m with Him!”