Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the foundation of spiritual hope.
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we explore the foundation of spiritual hope. We know from experience that at some point in our journey, we become confronted with a situation where the only resource that we have for pulling us through it is hope. We know that we are vitally dependent upon hope at almost every turn of our lives, for there always remain situations that require it for solutions. But is there a real basis for hope? Could it be possible that hope is just a psychological remedy that prevents us from knowing the despair that we are experiencing? Is hope a mind game that we use because we are afraid of facing the full ramification of the barrier confronting us?
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Foundation of Spiritual Hope
"Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." Psalms,
Chapter 31, Verse 24
We know that in our material lives, hope never altered the material barrier we were faced with, though at times it appeared to do so. So what is the truth of hope? We all use it, for it is the one thing that keeps us from being consumed by despair, whether it is a psychological technique or not. Despair is such a distressing emotion that we seemingly reach for hope in the face of it almost unconsciously. What is the foundation of hope?
Hope is one of many spiritual qualities that we use in our moral and spiritual struggles. While hope may also be effective in that it helps to mobilize those personal powers within in us to overcome material barriers, it is within the moral and spiritual realms that hope is effective. We interact with one another in an imperfect material environment. This gives rise to moral obligations. We have a responsibility to each other, and we have a responsibility to live this life as best we can, if for no other reason than that there are others who are dependent upon us. And while we may not be able to depend on hope for solving our material problems, we can depend on it to resolve complex moral and spiritual problems. Some problems require protracted efforts, be they material, moral, or spiritual, and sometimes discouragement can set in and effectively undermine our resolve to continue to struggle with them. Hope gives power to our determination. Hope shows us a brighter tomorrow. It assures us that we can overcome moral and spiritual struggles.
Now when we seek to understand the foundation of hope and the basis for using it, we turn to the arena of faith. The primal source of hope is God. God our Father through his Son, Jesus, gives us hope. And it is the assurance of his truth that causes us to hold fast, even in the face of despair. Hope is justified because of who God is. The Father is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all merciful, eternal, infinite, and absolute. We are his mortal children, just beginning life in the spirit. And like all spiritual children, we have not developed to the point where we are able to see the Father or to comprehend his way as a loving spiritual parent. But the Father loves us with a far- seeing affection; we are precious in his sight. He has created us uniquely. Each one of us has no duplication in eternity.
The Father has sent his spirit to live in our minds and souls, to guide and direct us through this mortal life and all other lives. His spirit will be with us forever, for all eternity. He is closer to us than anyone else, and he knows us thoroughly. Because he lives within us, and because of his love for us, and his absolute power, his spirit is the assurance that no real harm can befall us. Our material bodies are subject to the material ups and downs of life. Bodies are mortal. But our true essence, our souls, remain indestructible. The Father wants us to know this great truth, and we do experience it in our souls, but it requires faith for us to know it in our minds. Because of our immaturity and inability to be conscious of these mighty transactions going on in our souls, the Father gives us hope and faith. He gives us the faith to believe that we are his children and that he is our loving spiritual Father. This faith has the power to make this great truth real to our minds, so real that it holds us through the winter of material existence. The riptides of material existence barrage us, but, no matter how severe the storm, it cannot dislodge our faith in the heavenly Father if we desire to exercise such faith.
Now this is a different operation from the psychological defenses of the mind, which prove to be adequate under normal circumstances but break down altogether when confronted with supreme crises. Faith and hope survive all such crisis. The Father gives us faith to make us aware of who we are and to make us aware of the journey towards him. Faith assures us that he exists, and one day we will stand in his presence. Hope is the strength that sustains us as we make this journey. Faith and hope is our attachment to him. Here we encounter the eternal and absolute foundation. Hope, then, stands upon an eternal and absolute foundation. And we are justified in using it because of the source from which it hails.
The proof of hope’’s validity is the exercise of it, the fruits of it. We know a thing is real, if we can use it and it accomplishes what it purports to accomplish. But there are many things that are real in the temporal sense but unreal in the eternal sense. If hope passes every temporal test, then it is valid for this phase of our existence. It accomplishes its purpose. And this same hope will follow us as we journey to our eternal Father on Paradise. Faith shows us the destination; hope empowers us to make it to the destination.
As we commune with the Father, we are bathed in these spiritual influences, and they have a tremendous impact on the development of our characters. They contribute to the growth of strong resilient and noble characters. These characters reflect the influence of the Father’’s spirit living within. As they grow, they more and more resemble the character of the Father, as revealed in his son. We know that this communion is not a product of our imagination. Products of our imagination do not change our character from a purely selfish individual into a loving one. Products of our imagination, while they may deceive us through self-deception, do not stand the test of time. They cannot pass the scrutiny of experience. Only that which is true can stand the test of experience.
Our faith reinforces the truth that these urges, desires, thoughts, impulses, and leading are absolutely real. And they have to be absolutely real because they emerge from the Father’’s spirit, which is absolutely real. And as we continue to commune with the Father, the development of our spiritual consciousness continue to increase, and we begin more and more to consciously experience his presence. So even though the material life may continue to spiral downward, our hope and faith continues to reflect our continuing relationship with the Father, who is the secret to our spiritual growth and which spirals upward toward him. And as we grow, we grow in our knowledge of him and begin to understand him more and more. We begin to appreciate his love and his kindness for us. We begin to appreciate his goodness. And hope inspires us to continue the moral and spiritual struggle, to impart the consciousness that we can go through all the metamorphosis of change and arrive at our destination of divine spiritual perfection, while our faith continues to show us the vision of our perfected spirit in ever-increasing illumination.
This concludes today's message on understanding the foundation of spiritual hope. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.