"Hope, Part XII"

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"Hope, Part XII"

Post by Romans » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:01 am

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“Hope, Part XII” by Romans

We are concluding the Series, “Hope,” tonight. We are finalizing our categorized examination of the word “hope” as presented in Torrey's Topical Textbook. When we ended Part XI, we had just begun the category that describes the relationship between hope and us, the saints. We will pick up where we left off last week:

The Saints rejoice in Hope. We read beginning in Rom 12:9, the heading in my Bible is
Marks of the True Christian. And it reads, Rom 12:9: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”

That is a lot to think about there, in terms who and what we are, but we are going going to skip, for tonight, most of those adjectives and characteristics, and zero in on our theme of hope: We, as believers, as Christians are described as “rejoicing in hope...”

The Preacher's Homiletical says of this, I. The state of hope and the joyful mental condition. Hope is a great sustainer. The human mind is ever forecasting the to-morrows. Man never is but always to be blest. The darkest day, live till to-morrow, will have passed away. The schoolboy, the apprentice, the business man, all hope. A dreary world if hope were banished from hearts and homes. When old age creeps on apace, when the bright visions of time have vanished, when the backward glance is disappointing and the onward earthly look is darkening, it is sweet to look by hope to the bright sphere where all true hopes will be realised.

Christ in you the hope of glory. Faith in Christ the foundation of hope which will not disappoint. He is both the giver and sustainer of hope. It is a blessed thing to possess a good hope through grace. The man who possesses this hope can rejoice more than one who has found great spoil. He goes rejoicing all the day, and he can even sing songs in the night-time of his earthly pilgrimage. 迭ejoicing in hope. He encourages great joy, for he has great expectations.

Alexander MacClaren writes, “The Christian life ought to be joyful because it is hopeful. Now, I do not suppose that many of us habitually recognise it as a Christian duty to be joyful. We think that it is a matter of temperament and partly a matter of circumstance. We are glad when things go well with us. If we have a sunny disposition, and are naturally light-hearted, all the better; if we have a melancholy or morose one, all the worse. But do we recognise this, that a Christian who is not joyful is not living up to his duty; and that there is no excuse, either in temperament or in circumstances, for our not being so, and always being so? ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway,’ says Paul; and then, as if he thought, ‘Some of you will be thinking that that is a very rash commandment, to aim at a condition quite impossible to make constant,’ he goes on-’and, to convince you that I do not say it hastily, I will repeat it-“and again I say, rejoice.” ‘Brethren, we shall have to alter our conceptions of what true gladness is before we can come to understand the full depth of the great thought that joy is a Christian duty. The true joy is not the kind of joy that a saying in the Old Testament compares to the ‘crackling of thorns under a pot,’ but something very much calmer, with no crackle in it; and very much deeper, and very much more in alliance with ‘whatsoever things are lovely and of good report,’ than that foolish, short-lived, and empty mirth that burns down so soon into black ashes. To be glad is a Christian duty. Many of us have as much religion as makes us sombre, and impels us often to look upon the more solemn and awful aspects of Christian truth, but we have not enough to make us glad. I do not need to dwell upon all the sources in Christian faith and belief, of that lofty and imperatively obligatory gladness, but I confine myself to the one in my text, ‘Rejoicing in hope.’ Now, we all know- from the boy that is expecting to go home for his holidays in a week, up to the old man to whose eye the time-veil is wearing thin-that hope, if it is certain, is a source of gladness. How lightly one’s bosom’s lord sits upon its throne, when a great hope comes to animate us! how everybody is pleasant, and all things are easy, and the world looks different! Hope, if it is certain, will gladden, and if our Christianity grasps, as it ought to do, the only hope that is absolutely certain, and as sure as if it were in the past and had been experienced, then our hearts, too, will sing for joy. True joy is not a matter of temperament, so much as a matter of faith. It is not a matter of circumstances. All the surface drainage may be dry, but there is a well in the courtyard deep and cool and full and exhaustless, and a Christian who rightly understands and cherishes the Christian hope is lifted above temperament, and is not dependent upon conditions for his joys. The Apostle, in an earlier part of this same letter, defines for us what that hope is, which thus is the secret of perpetual gladness, when he speaks about ‘rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.’ Yes, it is that great, supreme, calm, far off, absolutely certain prospect of being gathered into the divine glory, and walking there, like the three in the fiery furnace, unconsumed and at ease; it is that hope that will triumph over temperament, and over all occasions for melancholy, and will breathe into our life a perpetual gladness. Brethren, is it not strange and sad that with such a treasure by our sides we should consent to live such poor lives as we do? But remember, although I cannot say to myself, ‘Now I will be glad,’ and cannot attain to joy by a movement of the will or direct effort, although it is of no use to say to a man-which is all that the world can ever say to him-’Cheer up and be glad,’ whilst you do not alter the facts that make him sad, there is a way by which we can bring about feelings of gladness or of gloom. It is just this-we can choose what we will look at. If you prefer to occupy your mind with the troubles, losses, disappointments, hard work, blighted hopes of this poor sin-ridden world, of course, sadness will come over you often, and a general grey tone will be the usual tone of your lives, as it is of the lives of many of us, broken only by occasional bursts of foolish mirth and empty laughter. But if you choose to turn away from all these, and instead of the dim, dismal, hard present, to sun yourselves in the light of the yet unrisen sun, which you can do, then, having rightly chosen the subjects to think about, the feeling will come as a matter of course. You cannot make yourselves glad by, as it were, laying hold of yourselves and lifting yourselves into gladness, but you can rule the direction of your thoughts, and so can bring around you summer in the midst of winter, by steadily contemplating the facts-and they are present facts, though we talk about them collectively as ‘the future’-the facts on which all Christian gladness ought to be based. We can carry our own atmosphere with us; like the people in Italy, who in frosty weather will be seen sitting in the market-place by their stalls with a dish of embers, which they grasp in their hands, and so make themselves comfortably warm on the bitterest day. You can bring a reasonable degree of warmth into the coldest weather, if you will lay hold of the vessel in which the fire is, and keep it in your hand and close to your heart. Choose what you think about, and feelings will follow thoughts. But it needs very distinct and continuous effort for a man to keep this great source of Christian joy clear before him. We are like the dwellers in some island of the sea, who, in some conditions of the atmosphere, can catch sight of the gleaming mountain-tops on the mainland across the stormy channel between. But thick days, with a heavy atmosphere and much mist, are very frequent in our latitude, and then all the distant hills are blotted out, and we see nothing but the cold grey sea, breaking on the cold, grey stones. Still, you can scatter the mist if you will. You can make the atmosphere bright; and it is worth an effort to bring clear before us, and to keep high above the mists that cling to the low levels, the great vision which will make us glad. Brethren, I believe that one great source of the weakness of average Christianity amongst us to-day is the dimness into which so many of us have let the hope of the glory of God pass in our hearts. So I beg you to lay to heart this first commandment, and to rejoice in hope.

II. Now, secondly, here is the thought that life, if full of joyful hope, will be patient.
I have been saying that the gladness of which my text speaks is independent of circumstances, and may persist and be continuous even when externals occasion sadness. It is possible-I do not say it is easy, God knows it is hard-I do not say it is frequently attained, but I do say it is possible-to realise that wonderful ideal of the Apostle’s ‘As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.’ The surface of the ocean may be tossed and fretted by the winds, and churned into foam, but the great central depths ‘hear not the loud winds when they call,’ and are still in the midst of tempest. And we, dear brethren, ought to have an inner depth of spirit, down to the disturbance of which no surface-trouble can ever reach. That is the height of attainment of Christian faith, but it is a possible attainment for every one of us. And if there be that burning of the light under the water, like ‘Greek fire,’ as it was called, which many waters could not quench-if there be that persistence of gladness beneath the surface-sorrow, as you find a running stream coming out below a glacier, then the joy and the hope, which co-exist with the sorrow, will make life patient.”

The next category is that Saints all have the same hope. We read in Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;”

Albert Barnes writes of this, In one hope of your calling - In one hope resulting from your being called into his kingdom. On the meaning of the word hope, the meaning here is, that Christians have the same hope, and they should therefore be one. Our common hope is based by Mr. Barnes, on Ephesians 2:12 which says, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” He comments, regarding the above, Ye were without Christ - You were without the knowledge of the Messiah. You had not heard of him; of course you had not embraced him. You were living without any of the hopes and consolations which you now have, from having embraced him. The object of the apostle is to remind them of the deplorable condition in which they were by nature; and nothing would better express it than to say they were without Christ, or that they had no knowledge of a Saviour. They knew of no atonement for sin. They had no assurance of pardon. They had no well-founded hope of eternal life. They were in a state of darkness and condemnation, from which nothing but a knowledge of Christ could deliver them. All Christians may in like manner be reminded of the fact that, before their conversion, they were without Christ. Though they had heard of him, and were constantly under the instruction which reminded them of him, yet they were without any true knowledge of him, and without any of the hopes which result from having embraced him. Many were infidels. Many were scoffers. Many were profane, sensual, corrupt. Many rejected Christ with scorn; many, by simple neglect. All were without any true knowledge of him; all were destitute of the peace and hope which result from a saving acquaintance with him. We may add, that there is no more affecting description of the state of man by nature than to say, he is without a Saviour. Sad would be the condition of the world without a Redeemer - sad is the state of that portion of mankind who reject him.”

Back to his original comment on Christians having the same hope, “They are looking forward to the same heaven; they hope for the same happiness beyond the grave. It is not as on earth among the people of the world, where, there is a variety of hopes - where one hopes for pleasure, and another for honor, and another for gain; but there is the prospect of the same inexhaustible joy. This “hope” is suited to promote union. There is no rivalry - for there is enough for all. “Hope” on earth does not always produce union and harmony. Two men hope to obtain the same office; two students hope to obtain the same honor in college; two rivals hope to obtain the same hand in marriage - and the consequence is jealousy, contention, and strife. The reason is, that but one can obtain the object. Not so with the crown of life - with the rewards of heaven. All may obtain “that” crown; all may share those rewards. How “can” Christians contend in an angry manner with each other, when the hope of dwelling in the same heaven swells their bosoms and animates their hearts?” Christians should abound in hope, as we read in Rom 15:13: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Adam Clarke writes, “May the God of this hope - that God who caused both Jews and Gentiles to hope that the gracious promises which he made to them should be fulfilled; and who, accordingly, has fulfilled them in the most punctual and circumstantial manner;

Fill you with all joy - Give you true spiritual happiness; peace in your own hearts, and unity among yourselves; in believing not only the promises which he has given you, but believing in Christ Jesus, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. That ye may abound in hope - That ye may be excited to take more enlarged views of the salvation which God has provided for you, and have all your expectations fulfilled by the power of the Holy Ghost, enabling you to hope and believe; and then sealing the fulfillment of the promises upon your hearts.

The Sermon Bible tells us, “The Twofold Genealogy of Hope.

I. We have here the hope that is the child of the night and born in the dark. "Whatsoever things," says the Apostle, "were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience"—or rather, the brave perseverance—"and consolation"—or rather, perhaps encouragement—"of the Scriptures might have hope." The written word is conceived to be the source of patient endurance which acts as well as suffers. This grace Scripture works in us through the encouragement it ministers in manifold ways, and the result of both is hope. Scripture encourages us,

(1) by its records, and

(2) by its revelation of principles. Hope is born of sorrow; but darkness gives birth to the light, and every grief blazes up a witness to a future glory. Sorrow has not had its perfect work unless it has led us by the way of courage and perseverance to a stable hope. Hope has not pierced to the rock and builds only on things that can be shaken, unless it rests on sorrows borne by God’s help.

II. We have also a hope that is born of the day, the child of sunshine and gladness, and that is set before us in the second of the two verses which we are considering. "The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope."

(1) Faith leads to joy and peace. Paul has found, and if we only put it to the proof we shall also find, that the simple exercise of simple faith fills the soul with all joy and peace.

(2) The joy and peace which spring from faith in their turn produce the confident anticipation of future and progressive good. Herein lies the distinguishing blessedness of the Christian joy and peace, in that they carry in themselves the pledge of their own eternity. Here, and here only, the mad boast which is doomed to be so miserably falsified when applied to earthly gladness is simple truth. Here "tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant."
Such joy has nothing in itself which betokens exhaustion, as all the less pure joys of earth have. It is manifestly not born for death, as are they. It is not fated, like all earthly emotions or passions, to expire in the moment of its completeness, or even by sudden revulsion to be succeeded by its opposite. Its sweetness has no after-pang of bitterness.
It is not true of this gladness that "Hereof cometh in the end despondency and madness," but its destiny is to remain as long as the soul in which it unfolds shall exist, and to be full as long as the source from which it flows does not run dry.”
A. Maclaren, Christian Commonwealth, June 24th, 1886. Reference: Rom_15:13.—G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 240.

Christians should hold fast to hope, as we read in Hebrews 3:6: “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

Gills' Exposition says, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. These words are not to be understood as a condition of the former assertion; nor is a final falling away from grace to be inferred from hence, for the supposition proves not such an inference, but the contrary; namely, that they that have true faith, hope, and confidence, shall keep them to the end; and therefore are the house of Christ: besides, the doctrine of apostasy is quite repugnant to the apostle's argument;

according to which, Christ might have no house, and can have none till men have persevered: but the apostle's design is to give a word of exhortation to himself and others, to hold fast the confidence; and so the words are rather descriptive of the persons, who are the house of Christ; such who have a good hope, through grace, wrought in them, and can rejoice in hope of the glory of God; and can use freedom of speech and boldness at the throne of grace; and have an holy confidence of interest in the love of God, and salvation by Christ, and go on in the exercise of these graces to the end of their days. (a) Zohar in Lev. fol. 2. 2. (b) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 35. 2. (c) Lexic. Cabalist. p. 203.

The Cambridge Bible says, “the rejoicing of the hope] Rather, “the glorying of our hope.” The Greek word means “an object of boasting.” The way in which the writer dwells on the need for “a full assurance of hope...” (Heb_6:11; Heb_6:18-19) seems to shew that owing to the delay in Christ’s coming his readers were liable to fall into impatience and apathy.”

Let's check those cross-references to see why there is a need for a full assurance of hope:

First, and in so many words we read in Heb 6:11: “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:” And then, reminding us that our hope is based on the sure promises of God, we read in Heb 6:18: “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul...”

Next in our list, we are reminded that hope is connected with faith and love, as we read beginning in 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

Albert Barnes writes, “Most commentators have supposed that Paul is speaking here only of this life, and that he means to say that in this life these three exist; that “faith, hope, and charity exist in this scene “only,” but that in the future world faith and hope will be done away, and therefore the greatest of these is charity” - Bloomfield. See also Doddridge, Macknight, Rosenmuller, Clarke, etc. But to me it seems evident that Paul means to say that faith, hope, and love will survive “all” those other things of which he had been speaking; that “they” would vanish away, or be lost in superior attainments and endowments; that the time would come when they would be useless; but that faith, hope, and love would then remain; but of “these,” for important reasons, love was the most valuable. Not because it would “endure” the longest, for the apostle does not intimate that, but because it is more important to the welfare of others, and is a more eminent virtue than they are. As the strain of the argument requires us to look to another state, to a world where prophecy shall cease and knowledge shall vanish away, so the same strain of argumentation requires us to understand him as saying that faith, and hope, and love will subsist there; and that there, as here, love will be of more importance than faith and hope. It cannot be objected to this view that there will be no occasion for faith and hope in heaven. That is assumed without evidence, and is not affirmed by Paul. He gives no such intimation.

Faith is “confidence” in God and in Christ; and there will be as much necessity of “confidence” in heaven as on earth. Indeed, the great design of the plan of salvation is to restore “confidence” in God among alienated creatures; and heaven could not subsist a moment without “confidence;” and faith, therefore, must be eternal. No society - be it a family, a neighborhood, a church, or a nation; be it mercantile, professional, or a mere association of friendship - can subsist a moment without mutual “confidence” or faith, and in heaven such confidence in God must subsist forever.

And so of hope. It is true that many of the objects of hope will then be realized, and will be succeeded by possession. But will the Christian have nothing to hope for in heaven? Will it be nothing to expect and desire greatly augmented knowledge, eternal enjoyment; perfect peace in all coming ages, and the happy society of the blessed forever? All heaven cannot be enjoyed at once; and if there is anything “future” that is an object of desire, there will be hope.
Hope is a compound emotion, made up of a “desire” for an object and an “expectation” of obtaining it. But both these will exist in heaven. It is folly to say that a redeemed saint will not “desire” there eternal happiness; it is equal folly to say that there will be no strong expectation of obtaining it.” As we close in or concluding this series, I am going to abbreviate most of these final references to just headings and chapters and verses:

Listed next are the Objects of hope, that is, what we, as Christians hope for:

We hope for Salvation
1 Thessalonians 5:8: "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

for Righteousness
Galatians 5:5: "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

for Christ's glorious appearing
Titus 2:13: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"

for the Resurrection
Acts 23:6: "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."

Acts 24:15: "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."

for Eternal life
Titus 1:2: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"

Titus 3:7: "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life," and

for Glory
Romans 5:2: "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

Colossians 1:27: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"

Scriptures also tells us what hope, for the believer, leads:
to Purity
1 John 3:3: "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

to Patience
Romans 8:25: "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."

1 Thessalonians 1:3: "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;"

to Encouragement
Hosea 2:15: "And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt."

Zechariah 9:12: "Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee," and lastly

to Happiness
Psalms 146:5: "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:"

Let's look at that last thing that hope leads us to, Happiness, in greater detail: Psalms 146:5: “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:”

I will close with Matthew Henry's thoughts on the Psalm. He writes, The psalmist, having cautioned us not to trust in princes (because, if we do, we shall be miserably disappointed), here encourages us to put our confidence in God, because, if we do so, we shall be happily secured: Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, that has an interest in his attributes and promises, and has them engaged for him, and whose hope is in the Lord his God.

I. Let us take a view of the character here given of those whom God will uphold. Those shall have God for their help,

1. Who take him for their God, and serve and worship him accordingly.

2. Who have their hope in him, and live a life of dependence upon him, who have good thoughts of him, and encourage themselves in him, when all other supports fail. Every believer may look upon him as the God of Jacob, of the church in general, and therefore may expect relief from him, in reference to public distresses, and as his God in particular, and therefore may depend upon him in all personal wants and straits.

We must hope, (1.) In the providence of God for all the good things we need, which relate to the life that now is. (2.) In the grace of Christ for all the good things which relate to the life that is to come.

II. Let us take a view of the great encouragements here given us to hope in the Lord our God.

1. He is the Maker of the world, and therefore has all power in himself, and the command of the powers of all the creatures, which, being derived from him, depend upon him: He made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and therefore his arm is not shortened, that it cannot save. It is very applicable to Christ, by whom God made the world, and without whom was not any thing made that was made. It is a great support to faith that the Redeemer of the world is the same that was the Creator of it, and therefore has a good-will to it, a perfect knowledge of its case, and power to help it.

2. He is a God of inviolable fidelity. We may venture to take God's word, for he keepeth truth for ever, and therefore no word of his shall fall to the ground; it is true from the beginning, and therefore true to the end. Our Lord Jesus is the Amen, the faithful witness, as well as the beginning, the author and principle, of the creation of God. The keeping of God's truth for ever is committed to him, for all the promises are in him yea and amen.

3. He is the patron of injured innocency: He pleads the cause of the oppressed, and (as we read it) he executes judgment for them. He often does it in his providence, giving redress to those that suffer wrong and clearing up their integrity. He will do it in the judgment of the great day.

The Messiah came to rescue the children of men out of the hands of Satan the great oppressor, and, all judgment being committed to him, the executing of judgment upon persecutors is so among the rest.

4. He is a bountiful benefactor to the necessitous: He gives food to the hungry; so God does in an ordinary way for the answering of the cravings of nature; so he has done sometimes in an extraordinary way, as when ravens fed Elijah; so Christ did more than once when he fed thousands miraculously with that which was intended but for one meal or two for his own family. This encourages us to hope in him as the nourisher of our souls with the bread of life.

5. He is the author of liberty to those that were bound: The Lord looseth the prisoners. He brought Israel out of the house of bondage in Egypt and afterwards in Babylon.
The miracles Christ wrought, in making the dumb to speak and the deaf to hear with that one word, Ephphatha - Be opened, his cleansing lepers, and so discharging them from their confinements, and his raising the dead out of their graves, may all be included in this one of loosing the prisoners; and we may take encouragement from those to hope in him for that spiritual liberty which he came to proclaim.

6. He gives sight to those that have been long deprived of it; The Lord can open the eyes of the blind, and has often given to his afflicted people to see that comfort which before they were not aware of; witness, and the prophet's servant. But this has special reference to Christ; for since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind till Christ did it (as we read in John_9:32) and thereby encouraged us to hope in him for spiritual illumination.

7. He sets that straight which was crooked, and makes those easy that were pained and ready to sink: He raises those that are bowed down, by comforting and supporting them under their burdens, and, in due time, removing their burdens. This was literally performed by Christ when he made a poor woman straight that had been bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself (in Luke_13:12). And he still does it by his grace, giving rest to those that were weary and heavily laden, and raising up with his comforts those that were humbled and cast down by convictions.

8. He has a constant kindness for all good people: The Lord loveth the righteous, and they may with the more confidence depend upon his power when they are sure of his good-will. Our Lord Jesus showed his love to the righteous by fulfilling all righteousness.

9. He has a tender concern for those that stand in special need of his care: The Lord preserves the strangers. It ought not to pass without remark that the name of Jehovah is repeated here five times in five lines, to intimate that it is an almighty power (that of Jehovah) that is engaged and exerted for the relief of the oppressed, and that it is to the glory of God to succour those that are in misery.

(1.) Strangers are exposed, and are commonly destitute of friends, but the Lord preserves them, that they be not run down and ruined. Many a poor stranger has found the benefit of the divine protection and been kept alive by it.

(2.) Widows and fatherless children, that have lost the head of the family, who took care of the affairs of it, often fall into the hands of those that make a prey of them, that will not do them justice, nay, that will do them injustice; but the Lord relieveth them, and raiseth up friends for them. Our Lord Jesus came into the world to help the helpless, to receive Gentiles, strangers, into his kingdom, and that with him poor sinners, that are as fatherless, may find mercy.

10. He will appear for the destruction of all those that oppose his kingdom and oppress the faithful subjects of it: The way of the wicked he turns upside down, and therefore let us hope in him, and not be afraid of the fury of the oppressor, as though he were ready to destroy. It is the glory of the Messiah that he will subvert all the counsels of hell and earth that militate against his church, so that, having him for us, we need not fear any thing that can be done against us.

11. His kingdom shall continue through all the revolutions of time, to the utmost ages of eternity, v. 10. Let this encourage us to trust in God at all times that the Lord shall reign for ever, in spite of all the malignity of the powers of darkness, even thy God, O Zion! unto all generations. Christ is set King on the holy hill of Zion, and his kingdom shall continue in an endless glory. It cannot be destroyed by an invader; it shall not be left to a successor, either to a succeeding monarch or a succeeding monarchy, but it shall stand for ever. It is matter of unspeakable comfort that the Lord reigns as Zion's God, as Zion's king, that the Messiah is head over all things to the church, and will be so while the world stands."

I cannot imagine a better way to conclude this series than to have Matthew Henry review for us all the things that we hope for, and all the reasons why our hopes and expectations are valid. We serve a God Who alone can promise the things He does, because He alone can deliver on His promises. We serve a God Who cannot lie. The hope of the Christian is as real and valid as the hope for tomorrow's sunrise. It may be dark, now. But we know, with full assurance, the that darkness will be utterly dispelled, and we will be bathed in light. We need not doubt it. Tomorrow's sunrise is as sure and as real as the Resurrection, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on this earth.

I suppose one can call my expectation of tomorrow's sunrise hope because I do not see it and experience it, now. But it is coming, nonetheless. Unlike Jesus' Return, I can know exactly when the sun will rise, tomorrow; I don't know when Jesus is coming. Only the Father knows when Jesus will come, again (Matthew 24:36). I only know that He will come! And when Jesus returns, all who doubted it, and mocked the idea of His Second Coming will be put to shame. But His coming is my hope, my blessed assurance, and the anchor of my soul.

This concludes this Evening's Discussion, “Hope, Part XII,” as well as the Series: Hope.

This Discussion was originally presented “live” on November 15th, 2017

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