Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from Fred Carpenter
1) You can’t live without It
- “(Hope) is something as important to us as water is to a fish, as vital as electricity is to a light bulb, as essential as air is to a jumbo jet. Hope is basic to life….without that needed spark of hope, we are doomed to a dark, grim existence. How often the word “hopeless” appears in suicide notes. And even if it isn’t actually written, we can read it between the lines. Take away our hope, and our world is reduced to something between depression and despair.” – Chuck Swindoll
- “If a person has given up hope, he has entered the gates of hell, whether he knows it or not, and has left behind him his own humanity.” – Eric Fromm
- “The last thing that dies in a person is hope.” – Diogenes
- “The absence of hope is the essence of despair.” – Anon.
Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl has written extensively on hope. He observed in the camps, without exception, that when a person lost hope, he/she gave up, and their end was imminent.
2) There is a difference between the world’s definition of hope and God’s definition of hope
The world – Hope is a wishful thinking, an optimistic desire that a thing will come to pass, all the while, living under a cloud of uncertainty that it might not. “All too often, hope is pessimistically defined as the little boy did when he said: “Hope is wishing for something you know ain’t gonna happen.”
The Bible – Hope is a confident expectation, based on the promises of God. (Vine’s dictionary) Vines. It comes from the Greek word, elpis (el-pece’) which means to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation or confidence.
- “’Hope’ is biblical shorthand for unconditional certainty.” – John Blanchard
- “Hope is not, ‘I have not got it, but I hope I may,’ but ‘I have not yet got it, but I know I shall.’” – Guy King
- “Hope is faith in the future tense.” – Peter Anderson
3) There is a difference between hope and faith
“. . . faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
– Heb 11:1 (NASB)
Hope is an expectation of future blessing based on the promises of God.
Faith is the present spiritual condition that gives us the assurance and conviction regarding that future blessing.
4) There is a way to get more hope.
a) Perseverance – Rom 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
b) God’s Word – “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” – Rom 15:4 (NASB)
Your HOPE will increase as your heart and mind become saturated with the plan and purposes of God as revealed in His word. The title for our video, The HOPE, was inspired by Romans 15:4. In concert with the soon-to-be released updated version of our HOPE website, we’re launching a study through The HOPE Study Guide which will be available on this new website in several languages. Every week, in our staff devotional, we’ll dive into a new lesson. We plan to start the study on October 1. It will take us about a year to complete. We’d love to have you, and everyone you know, join us. Spread the word, and the HOPE that comes through His Word!