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GOD’S WORD FOR MAY 7 ~ ~ (1 Peter 1:3-4) “According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”

The bride is still receiving gifts from the Bridegroom. Today it is Living Hope. And although the box is plain and a little worn and tattered, the bow on top is beautiful!!!!

A few days ago, we talked about hope in the promises of God. We talked about the fact that we, in the English language, think of the word “hope” in a much different way than the writers did in the original Greek language. So, as you read these things, substitute in your mind, the words “confident assurance” because that is a better summation of the true meaning of the word, although, even that cannot encase the complexity of the meaning.

Being forgiven of sin and justified before God gives Christians tremendous confidence assurance…..A living assurance that doesn’t shrink back. Christians are changed from being an enemy of God bound for hell, to a forgiven child of God with an eternal inheritance in heaven that can never be taken away. What can be better news than that? In this world that is changing for the worst so quickly, it is a huge assurance indeed!

We know that, even if the worst happens, we will be in glory for eternity!!!

In the world today, there are a multitude of things that can make you question the promises. Whether it is viruses, natural disasters, or any of the other negative things that have happened in 2020 until now, it can be easy to feel like there is no hope and things will not get better. While it can look like things on this earth are not going well, and they definitely are not from where we sit, this is a great reminder that when we get to Heaven everything will be perfect and complete — what a day of rejoicing that will be!! As Paul says in his letter to Titus in chapter 2 and verse 13, it is important to be “waiting for our blessed hope (assurance) the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

This promise that believers have is in the return of Jesus Christ when He will come and take His church out of this world and bring it home to Heaven. When you receive salvation, you receive the promise that Jesus will come again for you.

The world around us is looking for something positive today. People put their hope in anything that appears to offer something good…. The next political candidate…… The next boyfriend/girlfriend….. The next job…… The next drink of alcohol. While all these might provide temporary contentment, that is all it is. ….temporary. It will not last. These things are not going to give you the eternal happiness that you are looking for by trying these things.

It is only when you call upon Jesus and accept His gift of salvation that you can receive an eternal hope. When you have hope in God, you will believe in Romans 8:28 that all things will work out for the good of those who love Him and you will know that nothing will be able to separate you from the love of God as is seen in Romans 8:39.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”

As a Christian, you will have many trials that will come into your life. Once you accept Christ, Satan will immediately be opposed to what you did and will work to send as many trials and temptations into your life as he can. This does not surprise Jesus. In fact, He allows it for our development in Him. In John 16:33, He told His disciples this, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Jesus warns that this will happen. It is not a surprise to Him. She is saying that since He has overcome the world, you can have triumph through God in any situation that He allows in your life.

It is interesting to note that from these verses endurance, character, and hope — three very good things to have — only come because of sufferings.

You can see in John 15:1–2that Jesus said “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” God uses these trials to prune the believer. As a result of this pruning, the believer will bear more fruit and will then have a better witness for God.

Romans 5:5

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

We don’t have to “muster up” hope or faith in ourselves. He pours it out as we keep our minds and hearts on Him, and read what He says to us in His Word.

In other words, He gives us that living assurance that His promises are true, no matter what we experience in this world.

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