By Keiko Chibana-Shinn | Rediscovering Prayer
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
As I look into the eyes of my newborn son, I meditate on the truthfulness of God’s living Word as it stands before the reality of this life. There is a daily battle between life and death, a continuous fight between two kingdoms- the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. We can plainly see the thickness of evil hampering heavily upon our identity as a nation, in cultural trends, in the very fabric of our family life, and even in our churches. We can no longer hide in the sidelines of our faith in Christ. We are called to step out and step into a new level of a healthy fear before the Lord. We are to contend for hope to arise with resurrection power and revelation in the Spirit of God to engage in our calling as salt and light on the earth.
I cannot but surrender my heart afresh and anew to the Lord as I lovingly gaze at my vulnerable newborn, asking God to display wonder-working grace and power in my son’s life. Our children need to see a living God, working supernaturally in ordinary life so that they may be able to take an active stance against the schemes of the evil one. A resurgence of a living hope is what we need to equip us to receive the mind of Christ, the love and the depth of His understanding for daily living.
The victory that overtakes the effects of sin is found in Jesus Christ. There is joy and peace to be found in the hope Christ produces in us. It’s a living hope. To hope is to continuously take active steps of faith. Speaking out, meditating on, and praying for the hope of Christ to spring forth in our hearts will bring renewal into our life circumstances and refresh our perspective.
If God saw it fit to die for you and for me, what does His willingness to surrender it all for our sake mean for our lives today? What will it take for us to believe in the magnitude of His love for us? The Word of God says that the beginning of knowledge is found in the fear of the Lord. Wisdom, knowledge, and understanding for better living is what we are all in need of but it takes a response on our part to surrender our judgements, revere Jesus, and embrace a healthy fear before Him out of love for what He has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us.
Since Jesus ripped off the chains of eternal death and the guilt of sin by surrendering his divinity upon a cross, the knowledge He possesses exceeds natural law and human reasoning. To those who believe in the power of the cross, we are transferred from the dominion of darkness to the kingdom of light where the law of the Spirit makes a way for God’s children to find life and peace. It’s time to renew our thinking so we do not shrink back into unhealthy fears.
Romans 12:2 says: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
The mind of Christ opens our perspective toward a wisdom and an understanding established by His kingdom, where joy, peace, and righteousness becomes our shelter, our weapon, and our counsel. For He who dwells in the faithful love of Christ will be kept in the security of His will, there is no better place to be. The hope of the Father is nourished within us by His love that is continually being poured into our hearts. The substance of things we hope for is sustained by the Spirit of Jesus, who lives in us. His Spirit reveals a supernatural hope to believe and receive the fullness of His promises. Let us not be limited by manmade reasoning alone but allow His hope to speak into our hearts the promises of God that are always “Yes” and “Amen” in Him.
Allow the Word of God to rule in your heart that you may operate on the side of knowledge that brings forth His promises. Let us not shrink back into negative thinking or fear as to how the world may see us or what report we may receive about our health, our economy, our family, or our safety. It’s not the complete report, Jesus has the final say. For the Word of God says: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Where His presence is, there is freedom to attain everything we need for a new beginning. Our hope is not made up of mere words but of power through His Spirit. Therefore, our hope is in Him all day long. Receive a living hope, speak out your hope by declaring who your God is. Keep your mind governed by the Spirit of God and see Jesus do a new thing in you today.
Prayer: Lord, my God of true hope- I come to you hungering to believe in your great love for me. The world tells me you are far off but I can’t surrender to the lie. You are our very present help in time of great need. We need a hope that cannot be shaken, a hope that will lead us into everlasting life in the here and now. I want to see my hope arise and experience transformation in my heart and in the hearts of your people. May your love for me and your Spirit be my strength to believe in the power that is found placing my hope in your name. Grow my hope into an unshakable force where peace and joy may always be found in my heart and mind. Amen.
Additional verses: Matt. 5:13-16; Eph. 6:11; 1 John 4:9; 1 Cor. 15: 56-57; 1 Cor. 2:16; Pro. 1:7; Phil. 2:8; Col. 1:13; Ro. 8:2; Ro. 8:6; Ro. 8:11; Ro. 8:15; Ro. 14:17; Ro. 5:5; Heb. 11:1; 2 Cor. 1:20; Col. 3:20; 1 Cor. 4:20; Ps. 25:5