Saturday, October 4, 2008

The God of Hope

It is Saturday morning. The Woodalls left for Michigan a few hours ago. My brothers and parents went out for the morning. We have spent some good time together as a family, answering our childrens’ questions and addressing their concerns. Now, I am taking a few minutes to post a blog for today.

About five years ago, at a spiritual lowpoint in my life, my friend Jamie agreed to meet me in Youngstown, Ohio, about half-way between here and his home in Michigan. We spent less than twenty-four hours together in a cheap hotel room reading scripture, praying, and encouraging one another. As we departed, he gave me this scripture to meditate upon:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Last week, when the Lyerlys visited, they gave us a ceramic plate that they had made up with the same scripture. They have been claiming this verse for me since I was diagnosed with cancer in December.

This morning, I took some time to reflect on this wonderful verse of God’s Word.

God is both the source and the object of our hope.

It is to the God of hope that Paul prays.Every believer should be abounding in hope. This is Paul’s prayer. We should be able to live in this decaying world with the inner strength of the Holy Spirit to persevere through every circumstance with an enthusiasm that is contagious. In God, we are filled with hope. In Him alone do we have hope.

All other hope is blind hope, a hope in hope itself. The hope we have in God is the absolute certainty God will always do what is right and good and just.

This is the hope that I have in my present circumstances. The certainty that God will work out all things for my good and His glory. My hope is not in being healed from this cancer, although that could happen. But my hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ who controls my future. Whether I remain living here on earth or go to be with my Savior, my hope is in Him.

Paul prays that as we trust in Him and believe in Him we will be filled with joy and peace.

Joy is a gift that God gives to all believers. It surpasses all circumstances because it is based on the sovereignty of God. Paul prays that all believers will be filled with joy and peace. This joy and peace are impossible to attain apart from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Because I trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I have the joy and peace that surpass all circumstances.

Paul prays that the joy and peace given by God should, in turn, result in an overflow of hope in the believer. In other words, this hope should be contagious.

William Barclay once wrote, there are no hopeless situations...there are only men who have grown hopeless about them. My situation is far from hopeless, because my hope is not based on my circumstances. It is based on the God who is above all my circumstances.


Anonymous said...

Pastor Bond - you and your family are in our prayers. We know that God is the Great Physician, whether He heals you on this earth or when you are made whole in heaven! Your testimony is amazing and is touching so many lives. Thank you for being a man that honors and glorifies God. Your daily words are such an encouragement. God Bless You and Your Family!!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blogs since the article in the independent. You are an amazing Christian man to be so possitive and glorify God through all of this. As I am going through a divorce and financial difficulties, I read your articles and have been touched and feel the need to no longer complain about my troubles. Your family is amazing, and the stories and tapes that you are making for your children is a great gift for them. It's amazing and hard to consume that the Lord is using your cancer to encourage and reach out to people about the power and love of Christ! God bless and keep you and your family comfortable through this obstacle of life.

Ed and Marjo DeForest said...

Dear Bonds, Tony and Teresa keep us up to date with how things are going with you. We are continuing to lift your name up to the throne of God. It has been years since we have seen you back in Georgia we often think of you all and pray for you. The DeForests

Anonymous said...

As a Member of HIS body we get to encourage & to be an encouragement to one the other, actually we are instructed to be so 'daily'. You my Brother Jim have truly been this & I am sure not only to & for HIS body but for many who are not yet there. The whole Bond family, your encouragement & edification of HIS body & others is beautiful in His sight, He whom every soul will have to give account one day. We pray God will use this 'opportunity' to touch many souls for HIS Kingdom's glory & Name sake. My wife, children & I are honored to know you and your family and love you all, to call you friends. We love you my Brother & will continue to pray for you & yours, for continuing awareness of His presense and care in even or 'especially' in the 'little' things. All glory to our Heavenly Father & our Savior Jesus the Christ.

Gordon Family Blessings said...

Whew, nice site! Been a long time reading blogs. I was so caught up arranging a family blessings convention for my church. I’m glad to have a good read.

Elisha Bauer Covenant Marriage Seminars said...

Look at all the comments here. Well if you were talking about divorce maybe I can join in your heated discussion. I’ve just been to a series of Covenant Marriage Seminars, so I’m kinda touchy about such a topic.