“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Have you ever thought about what this verse means when it says God has plans to give you a hope? What is Biblical hope? What did God have in mind when He said this?
Worldly hope is an unsure optimism; “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no assurance of getting your desire.”
For most of my Christian life, I thought biblical hope and worldly hope were the same. Recently, I have been hearing something different. Hope is confidence in what God says. Brian Fennimore of Plumbline Ministries says hope means “seeing the future and calling it towards you”. You look into the future with God, and you call it to the present. God wants to show you the future so you will begin to live like it’s the present. This is a new concept for me and I am still processing it. I would love to know what you think about this. I will write a little more of what Brian says:
When I have hope for the future, it means that I actually see 20 years down the road, and I see what’s coming and I live like it’s a reality right now. I start talking, acting, and speaking like that thing in 20 years from now is happening now, and I influence everybody by it, because by doing that, I’m causing the presence of the Lord to come about…because I’m speaking it. I’m ministering out of what’s in the future. See, your whole entire ministry that you do for the Lord is really future ministry. Do you realize that? You’re taking what is reality in heaven, what’s going to be eternal, and you’re bringing it into time, right now. God wants you to begin to look towards Him. You and Him are of this future that He’s called you to with the greater body of Christ, and he says that’s what it’s going to look like 20 years from now, so let Me come and put another window in front of you; let’s look into the future.
(Brian Fennimore, Plumbline Ministries; from his blog Change Your Hope, Change Your Life)
He goes on to talk about getting your vision from the television, which will shape how you see the future or getting your vision from God which will also shape how you see the future. God’s vision is always glorious, always good and always advances His kingdom.
One of the reasons I find this interesting is because of this group. We are praying for our wayward children, but what would it look like if God showed us the future concerning them and we started living like it was what was happening now. What would that look like? Would we be calling it into being? I’ve heard of speaking what isn’t yet as if it were. I’m not sure if that comes from Romans 4:17-18 NASB, where it says:
(As it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”
What has God shown you about the future of your prodigal that you can begin living as if it is a present reality…and how would you do it? What part does hope play in your prayers right now? Consider the following verses in light of what was written above…
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:2-5 NLT
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the
Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
1 Timothy 4:10 NLT
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from the confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.
Colossians 1:4-5 NLT
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13
I’m not sure I quite see it yet, but I will keep searching. One thing we have talked about before is praying and calling out the future of our King’s kids. Even when they aren’t living like it, they still belong to the One True King. Maybe this is hope and we are bringing it into the present as we pray and speak it.