Reasons For Christian Hope

Hope Has Its Reasons: A Christian Spirituality of Friendship with God
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He is somebody we can talk to any time of day about anything at all. He is always there, through thick and thin, and He is always able to help us. Let me give you strength.

No matter how big and scary the world is, no matter how many difficult situations pile up, no matter how cold and alone we feel, Jesus is there for us. A personal friend, mentor, and helper for life. What more could anyone ask for? The Holy Spirit is sent from heaven to be a guiding presence and power in our life. He guides us in all things; a helper for whatever happens. He shows us our sins, and what we must do to overcome them, and then He gives us power to do so!


He is an engine, a motor that drives us forward and gives us strength when we feel that we have none. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Think to have such a help in our lives! The Holy Spirit helps in our weaknesses, and makes intercession for us. And we will be a blessing and a help to the others as well.

We can be along in making the world a better place. All the misery in the world is a result of sin. As Christians, we are called to get victory over all conscious sin. In other words, we can be free from everything that makes us miserable!

Impatience, anger, lust, jealousy — these are not pleasant things to experience. Living according to your sin is like grasping at the wind; it will only leave you empty and miserable and constantly needing more, reaching for the satisfaction of your lusts that seems so close, but will never be enough.

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When you get victory over your sin then you find joy. Sin can feel like it makes you happy for a little while but the passing pleasures of sin are nothing compared to the joy of living a victorious life. Jesus spent His life victorious over all sin. All that selfishness, demands on the others, pride, greed, lust, and every other sin imaginable that gets in the way of everything — Jesus got victory over that. Just like Jesus, we are called to live this overcoming life and as we become freed from sin we become more and more transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

When we let the Holy Spirit come into our hearts and begin to follow Jesus in having victory over sin, then we begin to take on the fruit of the Spirit. Think to be able to be loving, joyful and peaceful all of the time instead of selfish, proud, anxious, or angry. What a blessing we can be to the others then!

As we become more and more like Christ, our capacity to bless and serve the others increases.

Packer says, "I once heard Fred Mitchell, at that time director of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, enforce this thought shortly before his own instantaneous homegoing, when the plane in which he was travelling disintegrated in mid-air. I hope never to forget his words" J. Paul was full of longing for heaven: "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" v.

Why did the apostle judge it to be better? Not because of the discomforts of the wretched prison existence. He had learned contentment in whatever state he was in, and he appreciated how to be abased in chains. Of course he would cherish his liberty, but he was not choosing death as the better alternative to his present sufferings. Nor was Paul longing for what lay beyond death as the ultimate escape from bodily existence.

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He did not think of himself as a soul trapped in a body and that it would be gloriously liberated by death. The Greeks all around him thought like that, but not Paul. His body would for ever be the temple of the Holy Spirit, and he longed for the day when his body would be raised from its grave, new, incorruptible and glorified. His body was from God and for God. The concept of heaven was not created by Paul as a compensation for the sufferings many Christians were experiencing.

Men have criticised the Christian teaching on heaven as a religious invention, to buy submission from those whose lives were characterised by decades of wretched poverty and injustice. Thoughts of heaven merely blunted the urge for revolution by its promises of future blessedness. This is what Karl Marx believed, religion was a drug, the opium of the people.

Men and women, because of the wretchedness of their present existence, were encouraged to hope for something beyond this world, so Marx taught. There is the Marxian analysis of history and world affairs, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, feminism, racial equality, the slump-boom cycle of capitalism, false consciousness,.

This life would then provide the perfect fulfilment of all human aspirations. Until then, in this sad and unjust world, religious and social leaders preach heaven to take the minds of the poor off the troubles which are all around them. But Marxism itself is utterly utopian. How do we answer that? In saying that the fact that some people long for something very badly does nothing to prove that their longed-for object is fantastic.

I may long for cooked lobster, but there is none in our house. I long for a better car and I actually purchase one. Is there a car for sale at the right price? So it is with heaven.

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Some people long for it as a pre-eminent hope while others scorn its existence. The central question is this: is there a heaven before us, and how do we know? If heaven is a reality then let me adjust my living to that fact. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?

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Return to Book Page. You long for love and happiness.

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But so often you are blocked from satisfying that longing. What are the barriers? Why are they so troublesome? How does spirituality play a role?