Saturday, October 14, 2017

trusting...just as i am

artwork by Liz Lassa, creator of Spiritual Circle Journal

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
this precious old hymn page, captured in this beautiful work of art by Liz Lassa, creator of Spiritual Circle Journal, inspired me as I listened this morning to Matt Maher’s anointed new rendition of Just As I Am…precious memories swirling in my head and my heart . . .

It was spring break of my senior year in high school. My friends from Sebring and I drove to a camp near Ocala to attend a Young Life retreat along with several other students from inner-city Jacksonville. We shared our testimonies and prayed together. My heart was open as we went outdoors to find our individual places for prayer during our quiet time. I took my Living Bible and sat down under a tree. I looked up to the heavens and began to pray. When I looked down, I saw that my Bible had fallen open to Romans 8, and a bright ray of sunlight shining through the tree seemed to highlight verses 24 & 25. It contained a powerful message to me that day, but even more so as the Holy Spirit inscribed it on my heart for years to come…leading me to this word study on the word “trusting” from Romans 8:24-25:

Living Bible: We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.

Amplified:  For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

NASB: For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Phillips: We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.

Wuest: For we were saved in the sphere of hope. But hope that has been seen is not hope, for that which a person sees, why does he hope for it? But if that which we do not see, we hope for, through patience we expectantly wait for it.
 

Young’s Literal: for in hope we were saved, and hope beheld is not hope; for what any one doth behold, why also doth he hope for [it]? and if what we do not behold we hope for, through continuance we expect [it].


The word, trusting, comes from the Greek word elpízō,
 the verb form ofelpís, which means to hope, to hopefully to trust in, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. It means to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. It is in the present tense which expresses continuous action, constantly, habitually. It pictures this attitude as the believer's lifestyle, which is one of hope, where hope is defined as the absolute assurance that God will do good to us and for us in the future.

It is interesting that elpízō and elpís do not appear in the Gospels. And yet the concept, this truth expressed in the word elpis does appear in First Timothy 1:1 as the Apostle Paul writes, it is "Christ Jesus our Hope." Hope is not just an ideal, but is a Person, Jesus Christ, our Peace, our Life, our Hope.

Pastor John Piper explains: “There is no sweeter message of hope in all the world than to hear God announce that when you get up in the morning miserable and depressed with a sense of guilt and estrangement before a holy God, you can go to bed that very night—this very night—with a quiet and peaceful heart knowing that every sin you have ever committed and ever will commit is forgiven, and you are reconciled to the Almighty by the death of his Son. That’s the free offer of the Gospel!"

Pastor John Stott has said, “We wait for it patiently, that is, for the fulfillment of our hope. This whole section is a notable example of what it means to be living ‘in between times,’ between present difficulty and future destiny, between the already and the not yet, between sufferings and glory. ‘We were saved in hope’ brings them together. And in this tension the correct Christian posture is that of waiting, waiting ‘eagerly’ with keen expectation, and waiting ‘patiently,’ steadfast in the endurance of our trials. The combination is significant. We are to wait neither so eagerly that we lose our patience, nor so patiently that we lose our expectation, but eagerly and patiently together. Yet it is hard to keep this balance. Some Christians overemphasize the call to patience. They lack enthusiasm and lapse into lethargy, apathy and pessimism. They have forgotten God’s promises, and are guilty of unbelief. Others grow impatient of waiting. They are so carried away with enthusiasm that they almost try to force God’s hand. They are determined to experience now even what is not available yet. God give us a patient eagerness and an eager patience as we wait for his promises to be fulfilled!”


Pastor Charles Spurgeon writes, “This is our present position, patiently waiting for “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” patiently waiting for “the manifestation of the sons of God,” for “it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” If we could be all we should like to be, there would then be no room for the exercise of hope. If we had all that we are to have, then hope, which is one of the sweetest of the graces, would have no room in which to exercise herself. It is a blessed thing to have hope. I believe the New Zealand word for hope is “swimming thought,” because that will swim when everything else is drowned. Oh, happy is that man who has a hope that swims on the crest of the stormiest billow.”

Pastor George H. Morrison illustrates, “One might take the instance of Zacchaeus, that outcast from the commonwealth of Israel. He had been taught there was no hope for him, and he believed it until the Lord Jesus came by. And then, like the dawn, there came the quivering hope that his tomorrow might differ from his yesterday, and in that new hope the saving work began. In the movements of the soul, hope may be the forerunner of faith. And our Lord, bent on evoking faith, that personal trust in Him which alone saves, began by kindling hope within the breast. That is how He often begins still. He does not begin by saying, "Trust in Me." He begins by kindling these hopes of better things that are lying crushed in every human heart. Despair is deadly. It is blind. It cannot see the arm outstretched to help. Our Lord begins with the quickening of hope.”

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for kindling these wonderful words of hope in my heart that day under the tree at the Young Life camp, I have never been the same . . . We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently . . . I am trusting You . . . just as i am . . . presently, actively waiting—patiently and confidently—looking forward to Your return and my eternal Home with You. In Your precious Name Above All Names I pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on Romans 8:24-25 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on 
Romans 8:24-25 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on 
Romans 8:24-25 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Weekly LinkUps

24 comments:

  1. Oh, Beth! This just really ministered to my heart this morning. I am clinging to hope, in spite of circumstances and the fiery trial I am walking through. May God bless you for sharing what He laid upon your heart. You are a dear blessing to me.

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    1. Cheryl, thank you so much for stopping by my post this morning to leave such an encouraging comment. I am praying without ceasing for you this prayer of Jabez paraphrase ... Lord Jesus, bless Cheryl and her family indeed. Do something so big in their lives that it will be obvious it is from You. Increase their influence and opportunities to make a difference for You. Give them a continual awareness of Your Presence and direction as they make decisions. Protect them and keep them from falling into satan's traps. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

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  2. God knows just what we need to hear! Thank you for the words of inspiration. And, I love Krista Hamrick's illustrations. She has a wonderful gift for bible journaling.

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    1. Robin, I so agree with you about the anointed talent of Krista Hamrick, we wrote a book together, available on Amazon, "Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ". Many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. I so appreciated John Piper's quote about the gift of the gospel. And the multi-media art that accompanies this post is so interesting.

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    1. Michele, I so agree with about both...especially this part is the John Piper quote, "you can go to bed that very night—this very night—with a quiet and peaceful heart knowing that every sin you have ever committed and ever will commit is forgiven"...so true, such blessed assurance. Many blessings to you, friend ❤️

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  4. Such a powerful read this morning! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Barbie. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. Thank you for sharing this testimony at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com! I love hearing how God speaks to His people!
    Tina

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    1. Tina, it is a joy to share what the Lord has used to encourage me with your friends at Mommynificent.com...many blessings to you ❤️

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  6. I love that old hymn. Oh, and I grew up in Jacksonville, FL. Small world. Thanks for sharing this verse of hope reminding us to wait on Him and trust.

    Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #TeaAndWord

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    1. Gayl, I was actually born at the old Salvation Army hospital which was located in Jacksonville, FL in 1953...unwanted, abandoned, given up for adoption by my 42 year old birthmother on Valentine's Day...I was in foster care for a few months and then adopted by loving Christian parents who brought me to their home in Lakeland, FL...God has a plan, a hope, and a future for each of us...praise His Holy Name! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. Good morning, Beth! It made my day to see you over at my LinkedIn site this week. How very good that God can use even social media to spread His loving encouragement.

    Bless you, girl!

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    1. Linda, thanks so much for stopping by...many blessings to you ❤️

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  8. Always articulate Beth! Neighbors at Debbie Kitterman's today! xo

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    1. Thank you, Susan...many blessings to you, friend ❤️

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  9. Loved reading all the different translations and explanations of the Greek.

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    1. Debbie, I so appreciate your feedback...many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. It sounds like you and I had similar experiences growing up in Florida - my youth camp was Lake Yale. Such fond memories! Also, the perfect time for a young believer to get on fire!

    I so enjoyed this post. Thanks for using the different translations - I love the Phillips. You don't see it as often.

    I so agree with your statement: this attitude as the believer's lifestyle, which is one of hope, where hope is defined as the absolute assurance that God will do good to us and for us in the future.

    I think what it boils down to is this: do you believe that what God allows to touch your life will be for your good? Romans 8:28 teaches us so, but maybe we need verses 24 & 25 first to believe it!

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    1. Jerralea, thank you so much for stopping by my blog post today, "trusting...just as i am"...your encouraging words made me want to hop over to your blog and touch base with you. I enjoyed your post today...so open, honest, and transparent. It does seem like we have a lot in common. I went to Lake Yale in 1965 & 66 with the Girls Auxiliary (GAs) at our church. It was very spirituallly uplifting... and it's where I learned to make s'mores! I do believe Romans 8:28 applies to each of us...I have written my story on a post called "how I came to be"... many blessings to you ❤️

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  11. What hope it brings to know that He accepts us just as we are ... but doesn't leave us there! Thanks for sharing. I love all the Scripture verses.

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    1. Amen, Donna! Were is not for grace, where would we be? Many blessings to you!

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  12. Hope is not just an ideal, but is a Person...amen! Beth I am thankful for your hearty posts. Really, they help me. I learn so much from people like Piper, Spurgeon, Keller, Meyers, Chan, and many others who share God's message. I love reading the angles and perspectives, it helps me understand better, though I have been raised in church since a child. God uses people and I am so in awe of his ways.

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    1. Meg, I so agree with you. I, too, was raised in church since a child, but these last few years with Jesus have truly been "sweeter than the days before" as the old hymn says...a closer intimacy, getting to know Him more and more each day. Many blessings to you!

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