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Posts Tagged ‘PRISONERS OF HOPE’


The Secret of Receiving from God

“To him that overcometh will I give…”
Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26-28, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21

His table is set for us in the midst of our perplexities and adversaries (Psalm 23:5). His bread is rich in the spiritual nutrients of grace and the fruits of His Spirit. It is not in the absence of trouble that we grow and develop; rather it is in the midst of the very things which seek to undermine us. It is in the very face of our adversities that we are outfitted to walk and apprehend his call.

Little did Joseph’s brothers know that in their treatment of Joseph they were in fact unwitting vessels setting in motion the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Saul did not comprehend that his pursuit and envy of David were the means through which God raised a man after His own heart. Whether it is apathy, envy or distrust of our brothers and sisters, the forgetful butler (Gen. 40:23) or the unfeeling jailers of God’s people, the vision stands sure. God will accomplish His ends if we hold fast to the faith He has placed within our hearts.

It is not simply those who have vision who will receive of God’s gracious hand. It is those who overcome through hope in God’s vision who receive the prize of the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Doctrinal visions fade with the passing of time. However, a vision received in the heart, held by hope in the ONE who cannot lie, is an unassailable power which will persevere until the day dawns and His purpose is fulfilled.

Overcoming is simply the result of His Life beating within our breast. His Life is the resurrection from death itself. No grave or disappointment can withstand Him. So not only do we hold to His promises but with the passage of time is the realization that we are held by Him! Through the mountains and valleys of our journey the flame of hope lights our way even in the darkest of nights. The flicker of the eternal keeps us bound to the vision He has birthed. As Paul stood before Agrippa bound in chains, held fast within the Roman penal system, he declared with all boldness…

“Whereupon, O king Agrippa,
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Acts 26:19

True vision holds one to a life of obedience regardless of the circumstances. This was not a personal vision which held Paul; it was a “heavenly” one and as such it could not fade because of earthly circumstances. This vision supplies to the beholder faith, obedience and the wonder of Hope as an anchor to our soul. Those who let the vision fade become weary, pragmatic and compromised in a world which seeks to undermine the intense fire of all true pilgrims.

Overcomers are those who keep their feet moving forward, their hearts beating with the fervor of a love which cannot be quenched. In their times of discouragement and failure they rise because of a Hope that cannot be denied. True overcomers are those who follow the “heavenly vision”.

“So often we have a kind of vague,
wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true.
The only way really to enter into them
is to believe them with the clutching intensity
of a drowning man”
William Barclay

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THERE IS HOPE!

“And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel,
one of the sons of Elam,
answered and said unto Ezra,
We have trespassed against our God,
and have taken strange wives
of the people of the land:
yet now there is hope in Israel
concerning this thing.”
EZRA 10:2

Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened to Israel throughout their history are written for our admonition and learning. Human nature does not change but the good news is neither does our God! We read here that Israel was subjected to the judgments of God and taken captive in a strange land. The temple and the Holy things of the temple had been taken and as time went on they began to CONFORM and become integrated WITH the people among whom they lived. God in His mercy began to stir the hearts of some with strong prophetic words and powerful unction to a rebuilding and restoration of the people to His Glory. Whenever God begins to move in the face of His peoples’ failure the call to repentance is ALWAYS coupled with the power of HOPE. Hope is more than just a faint intellectual concept; hope is a power that enables men and women to respond to the call of God. In spite of tremendous failure hope gives the assurance of God’s forgiveness as a response to those whose hearts have responded to the call of God. It is inconsequential how deep and how complete the apostasy, how indoctrinated the people of God have become by a dead religion, how infiltrated by the world the church has become; the message of the hour is THERE IS HOPE. The “strange wives”* spoken of here speak spiritually of God’s people embracing worldly ways, of deep affections with the world and the things of the world around them, and covenants of compromise personally and corporately. In response to the prophetic word of God we see the sons of Elam responding BECAUSE there was a hope ministered into their hearts! These men RESPONDED…

Now therefore
let us make a covenant with our God
to put away all the wives,
and such as are born of them,
according to the counsel of my lord,
and of those that tremble
at the commandment of our God;
and let it be done…”
EZRA 10:3

True repentance is fueled by a living hope in the God of mercy and truth. Shechaniah responds “yet NOW THERE IS HOPE”! There is hope in spite of what we see. There is hope that pulsates within the darkness and confines of a religious system that functions like any other worldly corporation. There is hope even as in Jesus’ day of the money changers being expelled from the very temple of God. There is hope against the religious pride of men who have taken the ministrations of God and made them positions of a hierarchy. There is hope for the people of God for whom words like “victory” and “overcoming” have been replaced by a gospel that tells them this is as good as it gets. There is hope for the church that has been divided by the strivings of men to propagate their own “church” and “ministry” over that of another. There is hope that the LOVE of God can invade our carnal hearts to such an overwhelming extent that even the world will have to declare this love is beyond all human origin.

Let us embrace the power of this HOPE calling us to respond to HIM regardless of the failures and hopelessness of our situations. Let those who have been defeated, backslidden, and faithless hear the call of HOPE arising in their hearts and join themselves to others who by faith are arising in this hour; for such is the response of Shechaniah…

Arise;
for this matter belongeth unto thee:
we also will be with thee:
be of good courage, and do it.
Then arose Ezra,
and made the chief priests,
the Levites, and all Israel,
to swear that they should do
according to this word”
EZRA 10:4-5

Ω

Hope is the anchor
That holds us in our plight
Hope is the womb
That births fresh life
Hope is the beacon
That shines in the darkest night!

*NOTE: Articles on this to follow

Brian Troxel

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LET HOPE REMAIN

“And he said, About this season,
according to the time of life,
thou shalt embrace a son”
II KINGS 4:16

Opportunities for enlargement are often shrouded in the dark clouds of obscurity and silence. What seems to be a dead end and a place of helplessness is often the very gateway into the Glory of God. While men linger in resignation, God waits in expectation.

In the story presented here in II Kings there is an unfolding of a relationship between a prophet of God and a kind woman who provided a place for him and his servant to stay as they passed through from time to time. Her motive was right and she did not expect anything in return. She was simply accommodating a servant of God. After some time it came to Elisha to bless her for the kindness shown and in which the revelation of her barrenness came to light. Her husband was old and the desire for a child must have been a strong cry within her heart. Upon discovering Elisha spoke that living word of promise that she would embrace a child much to her own disbelief. The hope of such a thing had long passed as her circumstances dictated otherwise. The years of fading hope had succumbed to the defacto of her experience. The cry for fruitfulness had been quenched and subdued to the point of a pragmatic outlook on life. It is in such places and such times that God will send the opportunity for His Grace to find us if we will simply remain open to the appointment afforded us; one that is wrapped up in the “everydayness” of life and clothed in the simple outworking of our lives.

The promise of this son, given by a living word, would in itself be a testimony to us who should believe hereafter of THE SON being brought forth in the power and REALITY of our lives. It is incumbent upon us to remain open to the opportunities around us and not allow the experiences of life to harden our hearts nor shrink the world in which we live. It is a day to lift up our eyes “unto the hills” and to ever live with an expectancy of His moving afresh in our lives. The power of a living HOPE chases away the seeming treadmill of our existence. It lifts our eyes from the dusty footsteps of our path unto the horizon where the “Sun of Righteousness” is arising with healing in His wings. The dark night of sorrow and the dim grey shadows of a lifeless dawn must and will give way to HIS ARISING. May we live in the knowledge of HIS Character and not give way to a religious existence of doctrine, rote and tradition. Let us remember that He who has promised cannot lie and the desire to bear fruit out of our own lives is the result of HIS planting and HIS promises.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass”
PSALM 3 7:3- 5

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SEASONS

The young tree sprouts in emerald green
From the womb of fertile earth
Expectations of grandeur’s dream
Arise in its emerging birth

Spring and Summer
Grace its young life
As it stretches and grows
In days of delight

Fall’s impending chill
Brings new doubts and fears
What’s to become of this new life I feel?
Are these days of goodness to disappear?

Deep green leaves begin to fade
Into shades of crimson and gold
Life begins to wither and age
As youth grows dim and cold

Summer’s leaves lifelessly flitter
In grey days of barren skies
The life of Summer’s past lay littered
In angst the young sapling cries

Winter’s blast and freezing breath
Complete the Fall’s initial task
And in the grip of seeming death
The young sapling’s hopes are finally dashed

Yet Spring’s tender call whispers,
Awakens the tree in hope’s embrace
And from Death’s chill and hopelessness
Comes the warmth of God’s amazing Grace

The familiar face of warming sun
And the retreating Winter’s snow
Proclaim the witness that Spring has sprung
A season of life, a season to grow

And in the passing of the seasons
Through the passage of the years
The Tree will understand the reasons
Of all the joys and bitter tears

In Spring’s joyous rush
……….The Tree recalls Fall’s fading hush
in Summer’s joyous rays
……….The Winter’s grey and dreary days
in Fall’s fading sigh
……….Hears Spring’s tender call nigh
And in the grip of Winter’s death
……….Clings to Summer’s healing breath

May we be instructed
From the seasons of the tree
Whatever the experience
Of the moment may be
We are at rest and peaceful still
Knowing this season too will Pass
But HIS FAITHFULNESS never will.

Brian Troxel

They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Isa. 65:22

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THE ANCHOR HOLDS

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and stedfast…”
HEBREWS 6:19

In the life of every believer there are storms within and without. In this world we have temptations, fears, insecurities and upheavals on every side. Within we have disappointments in circumstances, friends and acquaintances; battles with unseen forces that seek to circumvent our purpose and desire to serve, seek and know our God. Winds that blow, waves that roar and the subtle voice of the enemy whispering of our sins, weaknesses and fears all seek our destruction and ruin. Such would be our lot without hope as an ANCHOR to HOLD US FAST TO HIM!

Hope is not a flimsy, religious thought with which we vainly seek to prop up our tattered lives. HOPE IS THE ANCHOR OF OUR SOUL; not only that it is an anchor that is BOTH sure and steadfast. Hope is a power that enables the soul to remain steadfast through the calamities and storms of life. Its power communicates to us the ASSURANCE of a God who loves us not because we are strong but because HE IS STRONG. Hope is the thing that determines a man’s strength. Men without hope cease to live. Men who lose hope have lost the means by which life remains an adventure. Hope is what gives us the tenacity to draw near to our God in times of trouble and tribulation.

“For the law made nothing perfect,
BUT THE BRINGING IN OF A BETTER HOPE DID;
BY THE WHICH we draw nigh unto God
HEBREWS 7:19

It is by a BETTER HOPE that we are enabled to draw near unto God and that HIS life in us is perfected and brought to fruition! Let us not cast away our confidence for it is the means by which we stand strong in this day of uncertainty. The ANCHOR OF HOPE HOLDS all who look to HIM and trust in HIM even when our soul is overwhelmed in the storms of life.

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee:
for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee”
PSALM 9:9 – 10

Ω

“Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him
Seems the hardest thing of all.
Trust Him, He is ever faithful,
Trust Him, for his will is best,
Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus
Is the only place of rest”
Anonymous

Brian Troxel

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PRISONERS OF HOPE

“Turn you to the strong hold,
ye prisoners of hope”

Zechariah 9:12

A living HOPE produces a life of strength and stability. It is a power within the life of the individual who has been captivated by its beauty. In the book of Hebrews it is described as “an anchor for the soul”. It is more than a theoretical concept; it is an ANCHOR that holds us in the storms of life. It is a light that shines in our darkness and gives us the ability to stand in this day of obscurity. Without Faith, Hope is dead. Faith is the SUBSTANCE of the thing for which we hope. Faith has within itself the evidence of all that we hope for. This living Hope will not leave us destitute in some poverty stricken state for we are confident that…

“HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED…”

Hope also has the power to produce a righteous life and a purified heart.

“And every man that hath this hope IN him purifieth himself,
even as he is pure”

1 JOHN 3:3

We are to be people whose lives are captivated by the beauty of our Risen Christ. The HOPE we have in HIM, whereby we know that HE is able to subdue all things under His Feet, takes us from the corruption of the Old Adam into the perfections of the New. This HOPE is to be ours to such a degree that we are purified “even as HE is pure”! The reality of our HOPE is revealed in a life where our motives are freed from selfish gain; we do things because they are right and not for the sake of being seen by others. Our actions are scrutinized by the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Truth MUST produce true expressions within the lives of those who are exercised by it.

Let us HOLD FAST to the power of that living HOPE that we may stand in this evil day, unashamed, undeterred in our pursuit of HIS KINGDOM and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. For our hope is based on the RESURRECTION LIFE of JESUS.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again
unto a lively hope BY the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

1 PETER 1:3

Ω

“Great hopes make great men.”
Thomas Fuller

Brian Troxel

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