The Hope found in Christ

Ministry Testimonials, Teaching Resources

Trina and I recently traveled to several Southeast Texas towns on a ministry trip.  While the main purpose of our time was to spend time with a number of long-time relationships, we also took time to share and participate in corporate church gatherings.  On March 5, we attended an extraordinary service at Cornerstone Church in Cleveland, TX .  We weren’t there to speak but rather to fellowship and join in worship with believers who know and love us.  Just before the service began, the pastors asked us to share a bit about our vision for missions in England and about our upcoming scouting trip to the UK during April and May.  We prepared to do this after the worship service and prior to the main message.

Then God did a thing

The worship was charged with God’s presence almost immediately and the songs centered on exalting His Name (see Philippians 2:9).  After a bit of time, I noticed myself becoming loud and even shouting at different points in time during the singing.  Although I did this without thinking, I was quickly conflicted and wondered about how appropriate and sensitive it was to my fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ in the service.  This thought was quickly crushed by the sound of many others raising their voices and not thinking at all about the increased volume.

Next I sensed The Lord telling me to move and I again became very self conscious about stepping out of turn and making a spectacle of myself.  Then The Lord spoke to me clearly and above the sound of a whisper, “Don’t fear man.”  Just before I took a step others started moving, even running across the front of the sanctuary holding flags and yelling the word, “freedom.”  I began walking around the middle section of people in the congregation and my hands started vibrating and pulsing like electricity was leaving me through my fingers.  My shouting became very specific about magnifying Jesus in our hearts with no regard to our present circumstances and not to worry about the future situations that might be faced.  While walking around and shouting, some looked at me like I was crazy and others were encouraged to worship God with even more zeal.

While I knew the Lord had touched me with His presence, I was further impressed that He was accomplishing something specific in the spiritual realm:  He was imparting His Hope to anyone that was willing to receive it.  After discussing the matter further with my close friend and Cornerstone Church Elder, Toby Ratcliff, the scope of the revelation expanded from the service at the local fellowship to the larger Body of Christ.

Prayer for us by Cornerstone Elders

What The Bible says about Hope

Hebrews 6:17-20 NASB95

In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, [18] so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. [19] This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, [20] where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

There is a certain, unchangeable character to The Hope presented in Scripture.  God’s future is bright, glorious and assured because it rests on the proven faithfulness of Jesus when He walked the earth.  In spite of natural resistance from the religious and governmental leaders of His day,  temptation on the level of the devil himself visiting Him, and constant emotional frustration with the condition and commitment of the people He was sent to help, Christ did all that He promised His Father! Contrast this remarkable, historically verified achievement as a basis for hope with what you see popularized in the modern world.  Their idea is rightly characterized as a possibility, often unrealized, based on the ever changing emotion and frailty of mankind.  The sense of instability that is common among the strongest societies today can’t help but be compounded when the view of the future remains so uncertain.  God can’t lie and what He says about the future can be trusted.  Our part is to model this trust to a world that is so obviously scrambling.

The veil mentioned verse 19 is important to consider when talking about divine hope.  Prior to Jesus coming to earth, the Presence of God was confined to a defined area in the Jewish Tabernacle by a thick curtain or veil that could only be accessed by a single high priest.  When Jesus was resurrected from the grave, the veil of the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two from top to bottom (see Matt 27:51). The verses in Hebrews along with many other passages like 1 Peter 2:9, Romans 8:29, Revelation 1:6, etc. make one of the greatest promises to any New Testament Believer.  We are all part of a priesthood that has perpetual access to the presence of God, just like Jesus did when He walked on the earth.  Consider this for a moment and let it strengthen your outlook for the future:  No matter what situation you face, from personal failure to what seems like the most difficult of obstacles, you can go to God for power, wisdom, direction and comfort!  Nothing is impossible for Him and we are extended the privilege of participating in the literal miracles that He wants to work!

Finally, pay attention to the direct connection in scripture between hope and the soul of man.  The word for soul, in Hebrews and elsewhere, also refers to the mind, will and emotions in a person.  Perhaps the greatest battle is for how we make decisions that shape the course of our lives and the witness of The Church.  A persistent narrative in scripture is how the enemy tries to get God’s people to depart from the leading of The Holy Spirit and begin to make decisions based on the leading of one part or another of the soul.  The Apostle Timothy was in danger of being discouraged away from his calling to serve The Body of Christ in his region (see BOTH 1 & 2 Timothy).  Knowing this, Paul reminded him of his calling for the future to help keep him on track!  We need the anchor of His Vision to hold our feelings in check and keep The Holy Spirit guiding our actions.

The Bible tells us to abide in, or stay continually aware of, The Hope that comes from God (see 1 Cor 13:13).  Tell me that presently you don’t see the enemy telling lies and sowing discouragement through every outlet that will allow it and to whomever will receive it! We can counter his attempt to disillusion us off course by speaking the truth about what He has already done. Take courage that our Great High Priest, Jesus, has made the way for us to receive from Him concerning everything that is beyond the scope of mankind to handle on its own.

Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB95

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. [16] Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 7:25 NASB95

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

News for Trina and I

We continue to believe that part of God’s future plans for our lives is living and ministering in the UK.  We have really enjoyed our time with both natural and spiritual family in the USA, but believe that we are heading toward relocating after the beginning of this year.  Please pray for Trina as she travels with several ladies to the Morningstar Worship Collective from March 23-25.  Please also pray for Trina and myself as we travel to England and Scotland from April 11 through May 12.  We want direction for visas and particulars about many different people that we have worked with in the past.  We also want to meet any new relationships that God wants us to have!

Comments 11

  1. A very encouraging word for me personally. Thank you.
    May the Lord direct your steps as you prepare to relocate to the UK.

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  2. We are excited for both of y’all! I know yalls vision for ministering in the UK has been delayed but now it seems like it’s happening.
    I have had a similar experience during worship. Last Sunday we were worshipping and I felt this intense bubbling up in my spirit and I wanted to release a sound of loud praise but I held back because I didn’t know what people would think and I didn’t want to disrupt the service and cause a distraction. Looking back, I think I gave into the fear of man. Also after reading this, I know I have into the fear of man. Thank you two for your ministry to the body and your obedience to the Lord.

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      Hey man we are all learning and God is right there to nudge us again! Looking forward to our next time in your home!

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      Amen dearest brother. Trina and I would like to see you and Christine this summer! Can we make that happen?

  3. Hope. I am so encouraged by truth in your message. What joy and relief to know Hope in Jesus is ALL we need. I also feel a joy Knowing that you and Trina will channel so much Godly hope and love to those the Lord puts on your path in the UK. Blessings!

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      Amen! The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. {Psalm 24:1}

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      Numbers 23:19 NASB95

      “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

  4. It is an exciting situation. These times God is looking for boldness in His Church. He is anticipating the Church to be the LEADER but we have not put our foot forward to be the salt and the light. God is still looking or pushing us forward to be that City on the hill that is visible to everyone. With so many challenges and difficulties on earth facing Gid’s creation, the Church or individuals have to take that BOLD step and put their FOOT forward for the GLORY of God. SHALOM

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