Faith and hope not identical. But they are closely related. They are like fraternal twins. Let's take a look at the relationship between faith and hope.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. NKJV
Saving faith gives us access to grace which enables us to hope when we face mountains or trials which require the gift of faith. God uses these trials like the hands of a potter shaping a vessel on the potter's wheel. Why do we need this access and hope? It's because hope is like the seed of faith. What is our hope? It is that we may share in God's glory. Hope is the beginning of faith.
What does tribulation look like? It looks like anything that causes pressure, anguish, persecution, affliction or trouble. Most people think that tribulation always comes from someone or something from the outside. That's true sometimes. It's also possible that tribulation is self inflicted. Sometimes we make bad decisions that cause trouble and invite pressures that create "tribulation."
Why, because tribulation is the way you enter into glory. In John 17:22 Jesus prayed we'd be one like He and the Father were one He prayed and gave us some of His glory. To enter into that glory we have to accept Him as Lord and go where He leads. We are to follow in His steps and take up our cross daily.
Tribulation, afflictions, threats, trouble and anguish were all experiences Jesus encountered and overcame. Hebrews 2:10 says that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings. This is the way we glory in tribulation.
This morning my Facebook feed provided me an opportunity to review an old video I'd seen before. It's an example of a "false Christ." He actually claims to be the Jesus Christ. Did you know that this is one of the signs of the times?
The disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24:3-9:
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, " Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered and said to them:" Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ' I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. " Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
" Then if anyone says to you, ' Look, here is the Christ! ' or ' There! ' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
We've all but entered into World War III. It's been deemed the war on terror. When combined with the crazy weather patterns, increases in earthquakes and the very real and growing persecution which includes beheadings, crucifixions and torture we have some pretty good indicators of the times we live in.
On New Years eve Brenda and I attended a wedding which was celebrated until past midnight ushering in 2016. The next morning I awoke with this burning in my heart "awake, awaken or awakening." Here is how the Lord unfolded this revelation.
I pray that:
You would awake & see Jesus in 2016: In Luke 9:32 on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John did not see Jesus until they were "fully awake." A deep sleep covered them. Today, it seems like a deep sleep covers much of the Church in America. But there is a Church awakening underway. It looks like this:
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Awake, watch & pray. Psalms 57:7-8 says,
I received an email this morning from Peter Carlson forwarding a scanned copy of an article from the new issue of Charisma Magazine January 2016 edition featuring the effects of the 1Church1Day on OneHope in Lane County Oregon. I believe their article must have drawn from an article we published in June of 2015 click here for Thundering Agreement In Oregon.
It is exciting to see the strategy we've been stewarding since 1994 serving so many communities around the world (click here for map) What's special for us about this testimony is that this is the county we originally tested the strategy proving God's word from 1992 to 1994. The results were so dramatic it spurred us on to Operation Rolling Thunder which became 1Church1Day in 2014.
Click here to see some of One Hope's answers to prayer through 1Church1Day in 2015.