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When Hope Came Back to Life

When Hope Came Back to Life

Here was a man who valiantly gained favor with men. He was the man they hoped would throw the present kingdom of His day. He was very promising. Moving with such power and might, He was championed by the masses and the underdogs.

He spoke so many wonderful things about the kingdom of His Father, and He wowed many with his words. And yet He was spit on, beaten, and flogged while carrying a wooden cross and was dressed in a purple robe, crowned with thorns. This was not the king they hoped for.

And then He was crucified and His clothes divided and cast into lots by those who mocked Him. He was heard crying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” until finally He breathed His last breath and died. This was not the king they hoped for.

It could have been a tragedy—a man who willingly went out to die for His beloved, His bride. Their hope had died with him on the cross that day, for the people did not hold Him at His word and they thought His death was an ending to the Kingdom they’d hope for, but it was in fact, just the beginning.

As He took His last breath on the cross that day, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.” (Matt. 27:51-52)

The moment He died, it wasn’t just the saints who had passed on before us that came back to life, because through His death, we who were also spiritually dead were given the chance to walk into eternal life. It was for the joy that was set before Him that He endured the cross (Heb. 12:2), knowing full well that what He would gain was far greater than what He was about to lose. This was the price that He paid for, this is how much He loved His bride! And now He sits at the right hand of the Father, awaiting with anticipation the Bride He willingly died for!

This “realm of death” describes our former state, for we were held in sin’s grasp. But now, we’ve been resurrected out of that “realm of death” never to return, for we are forever alive and forgiven of all our sins! He canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all—our sins, our stained soul—he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved ! Everything we once were in Adam has been placed onto his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation. (Col. 2:13‭-‬14)

Hope is not lost. Hope is not dead. Hope is alive because Jesus is alive! He is risen and in Him is eternal life!

Remember what he said to his disciples before? “You have a sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22) It’s the dawn of a new day, and I say to you, look ahead with anticipation and watch the revelations of God unfold before your very eyes. The promise of irrevocable joy is now yours if you are willing to take it. Take off your grave clothes and put on instead the cloak of righteousness in Christ Jesus.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

Jesus is His name. God with us. The Prince of Peace. Champion of Heaven. Our Living Hope.

Fasting Is Not About Denying; It’s About Patiently Waiting

Fasting Is Not About Denying; It’s About Patiently Waiting

You would miss out on fasting if you thought that the focus of this discipline is about denying. I propose to you – it’s not.

When we think of someone in extended fast, we naturally think it is about going without food or pleasure, about denying yourself, sacrificing something you like. If you focused your eyes and purpose on this, then you would not have enjoyed the time of fasting we’re about to finish.

So think back – what did you enjoy the most? What did you get out from this time of praying and fasting? Was it praying more? Hearing from God better? Meditating More? Getting your prayers answered? All these, and some more.

This season of fasting was learning the power of waiting patiently on the Lord.

What Waiting Really Means

The Hebrew word for patiently waiting is ‘chuwl’ and it is pictured not as someone who is sitting cross-legged, arms resting on their heads, while they passively wait for something to happen. Passive, inactive waiting is not what the Bible means when it says –

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently on Him” Psalm 37:7

Rather, waiting patiently [chuwl] is picture as (1) someone dancing, twirling graciously and landing on their feet, focused on the movements and where they will land next, and connecting each movement to the next.

It’s like watching a dancer who is more aware and focused on her movement and grace than the people watching her. Even without music, a true dancer moves in a rhythm that you can follow. You have your own rhythm. Jesus has a heavenly rhythm as well. When you fasted, having denied yourself the things that are about you, instead of having your own rhythm, you learned to dance in rhythm with Jesus. You began to be more aware of God as He moved through your day. Your prayer life and devotion improved because you were more in-tuned to the Father of Glory, and you watched Him more closely to see what He was saying and doing. You took note and you followed.

Waiting patiently [chuwl] is also (2) like a pregnant woman focused on the impending birth, so that nothing else detracts or matters at that moment.

The whole earth may be in chaos, but nothing else can stop that mom from giving birth. Everything else fades away and dims in comparison as she anticipates the joy set before her. As you fasted, and learned to wait patiently, you pressed in on what really matters: God and His relationship with you. Hunger and discomfort don’t matter anymore, as you found the beauty of dwelling on God, setting your eyes on Him face to face, leaning forward and turning your head so you can listen well. And He began to speak with you. Waiting patiently is the joy of falling in love with God again.

As we end the 40-days fasting and prayer, may your love for the Lord grow intensely and everything else dims in comparison to the beauty of knowing Him more intimately than ever before. The Father loves you so much, and has shown you so much in this time of fast. He has revealed great and powerful things to you that were hidden before this, because you have set your heart and your whole being to waiting on Him patiently, focused on Him and loving Him. Expect that you will become more aware of His Presence, His Voice, His next-moves because of this time of waiting, fasting, praying. His Glory is upon you. You are His beloved.