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Betrothed In Hope: The Blessing of Harvest in Every Season

“By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),” Ephesians 1v18

Happy October Friends, can you believe we are in the last quarter of 2022?  Only three months left, and 2023 will be strolling in. I'm filled with expectation, and Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  It's crisp and cooler outside, warm drinks such as apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes are on the menus, and hope is in the air.

Beloved, hope is a precious gift given to us by the Living God. He has called us to an everlasting hope. Therefore, receive Him and enjoy His embrace because, as children of God, hope is not only our calling but also our inheritance and an important element of our arsenal.

Merriam Webster defines hope as “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.”  Wow, if this is hope, what is there to hope for?  No confidence is found in worldly hope, trumping it up to a mere wish.  It lacks substance and requires no faith, for there is no surety it will happen.  Whereas, Bible hope, the hope we have as children of God, is wrought in Someone ~ the person of Jesus.

The apostle Paul reminds us:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.” Romans 15v13.

The origin of our hope is God. He gives it as a gift when we place our faith in Jesus. Simply consider the words of the apostle Peter,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1v3.

Biblical hope is rooted in the Substance, who is Christ, and its foundation is the Gospel, where we understand the will of the Father, see the work of the Son, and obey the witness of the Holy Spirit.

So grab your Bibles, pen, notepads (to write what the Spirit speaks to you), and your favorite drink... For we are embracing The Hope.

Bible Study Tip: Law of First Mention {As we read the Bible, we always come to meet with and see Jesus.  The law of first mention is where we go back to see where the word was used the first time. We do this because it provides context for its use throughout the rest of the Bible😉}

Hope in the Promise ~ Tikvah

The first time we see the word hope used is in the Book of Ruth.

“Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons,” Ruth 1v12.

Naomi is speaking to her daughters-in-law, releasing them back to their homeland, for she cannot give either of them a husband, but God, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, places the word hope amid Naomi’s dire circumstances. Have you ever considered why? The placement of this word breathes promises to be fulfilled precisely where in the place where all is seemingly lost.

Have you been walking through a rough season? Be encouraged, don't cast away your confidence. The Lord sees you and the circumstances surrounding you.  Remember, as with Elisha and his servant... if God is all we have ~ we have all we need (2 Kings 6v17). Throughout the Bible, we see time and time again God working to provide a place of abundance for His people. Since we are in Christ, how much more are we in the space of grace, protection, and provision?  Hope in God; he never fails.

The God of Israel is always in the midst. Whether we choose to see Him or not, He is ever-present. As His children, it is the most significant response to see Him no matter what happens.

Even though Naomi ' meaning my delight' will seek to change her name to Mara, meaning bitter, But God, even in this, would allow her to be the first person to use the word hope in the written sense. I find that pretty incredible. I want to impress upon us that though our experience might be very different than expected, God has a way of keeping things sweet.

Faith is still sprung in her heart.  Look at the actions that would follow. She would return to her homeland, Bethlehem (House of Bread), where there would be provision, safety, and nearness to God.  Despite all that she suffered, the word hope found its way into her mouth, and her actions demonstrate she believed. Oh, that we would soak in her steps, though she felt rejected and despised she drew near.  There is so much here in this text but let's dive deeper📖.

There is a hidden hope by which Naomi rested, and it's the same hope we have today.  The goodness of the God of Israel in the past kept her moving forward. You see, the first mention of hope is much earlier in the Bible, hidden in the Book of Joshua.  The word hope in Hebrew is Tikvah, meaning line or cord. It is first used in Joshua 2v18, where Rehab converses with the spies about being saved.

“unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and bring into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household [so that they will be safe].” Joshua 2v18. {Bold Italics, Mine}

As we look at the story of the wall of Jericho, we see the Gospel. We see a woman and her family in need of saving because of all the things they heard about the God of Israel. He had done incredible things for His people, and though Rehab was a Gentile, she would rest on His grace and goodness for saving.  The scarlet cord she used was a foretaste of the work of Jesus.

Friends, the scarlet cord is significant, just as placing the blood over the doorpost on the night of the Passover. The blood saves! And where is the cross? It is in its application. The cord out the window makes the cross. The blood across the door post makes the cross as well✝️.  Friends, the reason we hope is because of the cross.  God is able to make us stand firm because of the work of Jesus. Our hope is in its application daily in our lives.

God so loves the Son that anything that has to do with His work remains.  Today, a portion of the wall of Jericho remains standing amongst the rubble, and many believe this is the window of Rehab.

Betrothed in Hope

“God [in His eternal plan] chose to make known to them how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in and among you, the hope and guarantee of [realizing the] glory.”Colossians 1v27.

We move forward to present-day hope. I am so excited to share this beautiful revelation. As I was writing this post, I was overwhelmed by the hope we have in Christ and kept hearing the word betrothed. Here in Colossians, we see a foretaste of the glory that we get to experience today because of our faith in Jesus. This is an unveiling of His glory that He chose to share with us, and it is revealed through the person of the Holy Spirit. We see the Gospel is the very heart of God. It is also the foundation of our hope and our inheritance in Him.

Beloved, we are betrothed in hope. Betrothal is very different from modern-day engagement. An engagement has all the intentions to marry (like worldly hope😏), whereas betrothal is the commitment to marry. Interestingly, betrothal is binding with legal implications, and I love it.  Consider the terms used concerning the work of Jesus🤔.  We see words used such as redeem, ransom, and justify; why?

Because God is righteous. He set laws in order when he created the world and abides by them.  He gave Adam authority. Unfortunately, Adam gave his authority to the devil, and with it, humanity was given over to sin and given to death. God used legal means to bring us back to Him. He sent His Beloved Son to die for us so that we who believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3v16).

Friends, Jesus purchased us back by His blood so that we would be married to another, that is, Christ. He has committed to be ours forever and sealed us with the Promised Holy Spirit. We belong to Him, and during this time, we wait not only for the hope to come (fullness of salvation that is bodily) but in hope right now. This is the blessedness in Christ. We are His Bride. Our hope, the Hope is now; living active and working in and through us.

We have a rich and glorious hope in Jesus. As we seek His face, the Spirit reveals His promises that we take hold in our daily lives. Remember, the promises of God aren't limited to the temporal rather; we are given the prestigious opportunity to bring Heaven to earth.  We were once poor but are now made rich because of Christ's work on the cross.