Victory in Jesus is the source of our hope – Part 2
The Hope of the Holy Spirit. Can you imagine how the disciples would have felt, if Jesus had promised them heaven, but failed to help them on their journey there? How would you feel, if someone told you that a nine-course meal awaited you at a fine restaurant, but didn’t give you directions to the place, or help you find a way to get there? Wouldn’t that seem awfully mean-spirited?
That’s not the kind of false hope that Jesus gave His disciples—and it’s certainly not the way He treats us! His promises are not reserved for some faraway future, and the way that we can receive these promises is not shrouded in riddles and blind faith. In fact, Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to them to help them on their journey. This Spirit would help them discern right from wrong and would teach and remind them about everything He had said while He was with them.
But the Spirit would act not only as a teacher and guide. He would also act as a revealer. He would open their hearts to the love that God had for them — a love powerful enough to overcome any fear, anxiety, doubt, or guilt. He would declare to them “the things that are coming” (John 16:13), giving them a vision for their lives that would inspire them and sustain them.
Jesus told His disciples that it would be better if He went away (John 16:7). He knew that His death would be traumatic for them—and He even told them so. But He also promised that their sorrow would turn to joy, once they were filled with the Spirit (16:20). Then, they would find all they needed to continue living the life they had begun to experience with Him. The freedom from sin, the intimacy with God, the sense of mission, and the joy of having been chosen to build God’s kingdom—all this would continue and deepen after Jesus rose. But first He had to die.
This promise of the indwelling Spirit can become our source of comfort and hope, as well. He is always with us, ready to fill us with the knowledge of how much God loves us. He lives in our hearts, longing to make the truths of our faith personal and life changing. He knows that His revelation in our hearts has the power to move us forward in fulfilling his plan—a plan that sets us on a path to ever-increasing glory.
His Victory Is Our Hope. Brothers and sisters, we can always have hope. No matter what our situation, we are citizens of heaven! No matter how dark things may seem, we have the Holy Spirit—God Himself—dwelling in our hearts! We are destined for glory, and we have access to all the wisdom of God for every step along the way. In baptism, we were crucified with Christ and raised to new life. The empty tomb now belongs to us, just as much as it belongs to Jesus.
It is one thing to face times of trial or suffering and bear them patiently and humbly. We may even seek to unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ as an act of intercession or repentance. But to do so without a sense of our dignity and our heritage is to miss the mark. To embrace hardship with nothing more than a sense of grim resignation and stoical acceptance is to have forgotten who we are in Christ, and where we are headed.
This doesn’t mean that our lives will be an unending parade of happiness and peace. Jesus tells us the same thing He told His disciples at the Last Supper: “In the world you will have trouble.” But He also tells us: “Take courage, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33). His victory is our victory—and that victory is the source of our hope.
Covenant Prayer Life Assembly, 6, Unity Crescent, off Olatunji Street, Ladipo, Oshodi, Lagos. Contact us on 08034849689, or e-mail: Covenantradiotv@gmail.com
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