the side-effect of hope
As a church we have prophetic promises about the outflow of God’s presence into our local community. Promises about His goodness percolating out through His people. This can initially leave us wrestling, locking horns and grabbling with the question of how is it actually going to happen? How do we co-labour and partner with God in seeing these promises fulfilled? How does the gospel bear fruit and grow?
We need to understand that fruit, growth and expansion are NOT the result of us trying harder, doubling our efforts to get our act together. Fruitfulness is not just about deciding to do something better, or having gritted teeth, white knuckles and mere determination. In fact expansion is something than ensues rather than being something to be pursued.
In Colossians 1:3-8 we learn that if we lack the promised overflow, and outflow the starting point is to focus on any personal or corporate hopelessness. The solution is hope, because faith and love spring from hope. The good news will get larger and stronger as the active agents of faith and love impact our community.
Faith and love are the overflow of the fountain of hope. Hope can be defined as the CONFIDENT EXPECTATION that God’s good is coming. Hope is not just about the future hope of heaven after death, hope is not found not escapism, one day it will be ok when I am away from all hopelessness. We don’t need to postpone hope to another day, but the hope stored up for us now in heaven can be accessed NOW through relationship.
Hope is a person, it’s not an emotion that is worked up, nor is it a personality type. Hope is a reasonable optimistic mindset based on a relationship with the God of all hope. Hope grows as we come to trust and believe that there is no problem bigger than God. With Him there is always something to look forward to. The hope found in Him always leaves us being hungry for more of Him.
Hope isn’t the result of circumstances changing, rather hope is actually the sword that brings transformation to our circumstances. The one who has the most hope has the most influence, the person who is full of Hope sets the temperature.
When a local church becomes characterised by hope the fruit of hope, faith and love become visible. Hope manifests something that is tangible, Paul actuallyheard about their Faith and love. These qualities were making a tangible, measurable impact. FAITH can be understood as choosing to agree with God over and above of what you see. LOVE manifests in patience, kindness, rejoicing, enduring, kindness, gentleness, joy, and peace etc. The side effect of a people walking in faith and love springing from hope is the gospel growing larger and stronger everywhere these hope filled people work, shop, travel, and serve.
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