Hold On To Hope

The word “hope” in the New Testament is elpis (Strong’s NT:1680).  It is defined as expectation, to anticipate (usually with pleasure), confidence and security.  In a good sense, expectation of good, hope, and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.  The author of hope, or He who is its foundation.  The thing hoped for.  Translated in some verses in the KJV as faith.

Hebrews 6:19 says that hope is an anchor to the soul. When the storms come and the winds blow, hope will keep us firmly secured so that we are not tossed to and fro.

Sometimes situations happen in life where we are tempted to give up, where we begin to lose hope.

Some have lost hope, or are just hanging on by a thread.  You’ve waited on the Lord, have prayed many prayers, have cried many tears … yet the promise has not come to pass yet.  The healing that you are believing for has not manifested yet.

But don’t give up, because He WILL show up.

This is a prayer that the Psalmist David penned when he was in distress.  Depression and hopelessness had set in and he found himself in a pit of despair.

Psalms 69:2-3, 14-17  AMP

2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overwhelm me.

3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail with waiting [hopefully] for my God.

14 Rescue me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me and from out of the deep waters.

15 Let not the floodwaters overflow and overwhelm me, neither let the deep swallow me up nor the [dug] pit [with water perhaps in the bottom] close its mouth over me.

16 Hear and answer me, O Lord, for Your loving-kindness is sweet and comforting; according to Your plenteous tender mercy and steadfast love turn to me.

17 Hide not Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress; O answer me speedily!

David had been anointed as king, yet spent several years of his life hiding in caves and fleeing from Saul.  Those were difficult years but God brought him through it.  Eventually, the promise was fulfilled in his life.  He was appointed as king over Judah for 7 years, then king over all Israel for the next 33 years, totaling 40 years.

David said in Psalms 27:13-14, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”  NASU

The year was approximately 1997 or 1998.  I had hit a low place in my life.  Proverbs 13:12 says that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.  I was going through burn out.  I was working full time, going to college in the evenings and Saturdays, plus other activities I was involved in.  I did a lot of commuting on the hectic freeways in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a daily basis.  Sometimes I didn’t get home until after 10:30pm, then would start the next cycle the following morning.

Also, I was distressed with problems in my family.  Plus, hopelessness set in waiting for some promises to come to pass in my life.  I reached a point where hope had been lost and I wanted to go to heaven.  I fell into a deep depression.  The pain was more than I could bear.  I never did attempt to commit suicide, but thoughts of dying, suicide and going to heaven were on my mind a lot.

One evening I was sitting on the edge of my bed with thoughts going through my mind of wanting to die and go on to heaven.  Meanwhile, my mother was in the family room watching the Praise the Lord broadcast on TBN.  My mother rushed into my room and told me that Jan Crouch had a word of knowledge that there was a woman who was thinking about dying, had suicidal thoughts on her mind (although, as I said, I never attempted to kill myself).  When Jan Crouch gave that word of knowledge, my mother knew it was for me and she was right.

Around that same time, I was sleeping and had a vision during the night.  I don’t know if I woke up and saw the vision or if I was asleep the whole time.  All I know is that it was SO real and tangible.  I was asleep and then I opened my eyes and saw an Asian woman (around in her 20’s or 30’s) who I did not recognize.  She was sitting on the edge of my bed in front of me.  She said that she came to give me a word from the Lord, and it was along the same lines as the word of knowledge from Jan Crouch.  The Lord (through her — maybe she was an angel) told me the consequences if I were to go through with ending it all.  (I would end up in hell.)  I immediately repented.

Psalms 40:1-3 in the Amplified Version says,

1 I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.

3 And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.  [Psalms 5:11.]

God promises to transform our valley of trouble into a door of hope.

Hosea 2:15-16 (AMP) says,

15 There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

16 And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi [my Husband], and you shall no more call Me Baali [my Master].

The Easton’s Bible Dictionary goes into detail about the Valley of Achor.  Achor means “trouble”.  This valley was near Jericho, and identified as the Wady Kelt.  It was named after the consequence of the trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Joshua 7:24-26).

The expression “Valley of Achor” became proverbial for that which caused trouble.  When Isaiah 65:10 refers to it, the Valley of Achor would be a place for herds to lie down.  Meaning, that which had been a source of calamity would become a source of blessing.  Hosea 2:15 uses the expression in the same sense.  The Valley of Achor (trouble) would be for a door of hope.  Trouble would be turned into joy, despair into hope.

If we will surrender to the Lord, He will turn our Valley of Achor into a door of hope.  It will not only bring hope to us, but we in turn will be able to offer other people hope who are going through the same thing.

The Presence of the Father

The event was a Women’s Aglow Retreat. The year was approximately 1992.

The setting was Sonoma County in Northern California. That’s an area where the grape vineyards are grown in the flat land as well as along the sides of the golden hills about 30-40 miles inland. There are wineries in the area. The landscape changes to that of a Redwood forested area, heading west towards the Pacific Ocean.

The town was Occidental, California, in the forest about ten miles from the ocean. The Christian retreat center was Alliance Redwoods.

The fragrance of the forest and the fresh crisp air was so refreshing to breathe in. There was a sense of peace taking walks along the trails, sitting near the creek hearing a gentle waterfall, hearing the birds chirp and just enjoying God’s creation. The fellowship with others was sweet to my soul. That weekend I discovered a fellowship much sweeter than any earthly relationship, and breathed in a Heavenly fragrance much more beautiful than any other aroma on this earth.

How could it be that just a mere sweet fragrance could be so intoxicating where you don’t want the experience to end? How could it be that such a delightful fragrance could be so transforming to my soul and impact my life forever?

There was a tangible Presence of God or Anointing or Shekinah Glory in the perfume itself.

Why was the Glory of God shining on my countenance after that experience of just breathing in this fragrance?

At the end of the Saturday night service, a group of us ladies lingered at the Altar just worshipping, singing praises to His Name and adoring Him. After we had been waiting in the Lord’s Presence for a while, I was standing near the front and began to smell a very strong aroma.

It was the most beautiful fragrance I had ever breathed in. There was delight, life, physical strength, and the Glory of God in the fragrance.

It had the scent of a mixture of frankincense, myrrh, spikenard, cassia, cinnamon, roses and other spices and floral scents.

It was as if that fragrance would come and go. One minute the aroma would be so strong. Then it was as if it would slowly fade as if to be from a distance, then as it got closer again, the aroma got stronger.

Now as I look back, I know that Jesus was there in Person, walking among us, but was invisible.

I know this because when the fragrance was exceptionally strong I also felt a Presence standing next to me. Then I would feel the Presence walk away and felt a breeze as He walked back and forth among us.

Since this was a new experience for me, I didn’t say anything to anyone to see if they were experiencing the same thing.

A few moments later, the president of Aglow, who was standing on the stage, announced that the fragrance of the Lord was there. That was a confirmation to me that this experience was real and others were experiencing the same thing.

Several of us ladies just basked in God’s Presence for a while with that beautiful abiding fragrance and Presence walking in and out among us.

What we experienced was the Shekinah Glory of the Lord, or Jesus Himself.

One woman said she didn’t necessarily smell the Lord’s fragrance, but felt a wind blowing in the place (and the doors were closed). The Holy Spirit, and Jesus, also manifests as literal wind blowing like on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

After we had been saturating in the Glory for a while, one of the Aglow leaders came up to the podium, got the microphone and said something that forever changed my thinking.

She announced the simple statement: “The Presence of the Father is in this place.”

How could that one statement forever impact my life and shatter old religious mindsets?

Being Trinitarian, I separated the Father, Son and Holy Spirit TOO much. They are also one (yes in unity, but also literally).

Jesse Duplantis and Kat Kerr who have been to heaven and witnessed it for themselves both said the same thing. They testified that the Father and Son are two separate Beings, each having their own Throne.

The Holy Spirit also has a form of a human body, but more transparent like, and much taller, with rainbows issuing out.

However, Jesus can literally “step into” the Father and they literally become one (1) Being. Then when He steps out of the Father, they are two separate Beings again.

Several Scriptures say that the Holy Spirit is the Presence of the Father AND the Son. The Holy Spirit issues out of both the Father and the Son, and does their will. The Father and Son share the same Spirit.

John the Beloved said that Jesus comes from the bosom of the Father, and he meant it literally and not just figuratively.

I always thought of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as being so gentle and kind, and I had an easy time relating to them.

I grew up with a mindset that the Father was hard to please, a God of wrath and ready to punish you for any wrongdoing. I was afraid of the Father and lacked boldness to come before His Throne with confidence.

However, Jesus was approachable, and the Holy Spirit was my friend and Comforter.

I thought that if the Presence of the Father was present, that there would have been thunder and lightning, as He is so powerful.

This reminds me of the passage in 1 Kings 19:11-13 where Elijah heard God’s voice. God was not in the wind, earthquake or fire. His voice was a still, small, soft voice. The Living Bible says His voice was “the sound of a gentle whisper”.

I’ve learned that I need to be still before the Lord and become quiet to hear His Voice.

Religion does NOT believe that God is Good all the time.

I was always taught about the Old Testament passages where God poured out wrath and judgment on evil doers. However, I was mis-led by religion. God only poured out judgment and wrath on His enemies, and Satan, but not His children.

But if you take a closer look at those Scriptures, often God put off judgment for hundreds of years, giving people an opportunity to repent.

The Father is actually very merciful and kind. And technically He is no longer the Judge. The Bible says that the Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son.

I grew up with a father who was very mean, cruel and abusive. There was nothing I could do to please him or get him to love and accept me. He rejected and despised me even from the womb, because he didn’t want children, and then I came along. He always hated me and made sure that I knew that.

He was very jealous and angry with me because he wanted my mother all to himself, and resented the fact that my mother spent so much of her time taking care of me. And then 16 months after I arrived in this world, my brother was born. Then my mother now had a toddler and a newborn to take care of, plus her elderly sickly mother who lived with us.

He was abusive to the entire family and the dog, but especially targeted me for some reason. I had a very difficult time trusting the Heavenly Father and thought that maybe He felt the same way towards me that my earthly father did.

The Glory I felt that evening at the Aglow retreat was a very gentle Presence (and it was supposed to be the Presence of the Father).

The Presence was very nurturing, very tender, very sweet, very kind, very doting, very loving … almost like a loving mother who nurtures her young children, or a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings and protects them.

I received a whole new revelation that evening of the Father’s tender loving affection. I could never call God “Abba”. Abba was too affectionate … like calling Him daddy or papa.

The Presence of the Father walking among us and settling on us at the Altar after the Saturday night Aglow meeting in 1992 was the beginning of some major healing in my life, as well as the Lord calling me into ministry.

Progressively over the years, the Father has been giving me a deeper understanding of His Fatherhood. He said that He would be a Father to the fatherless.

After leaving the sanctuary that evening after the meeting, a group of us ladies went to the dining hall for a fruit snack before bedtime. While sitting at the table, the other ladies got their purses and Bibles, and headed back for their cabin.

I remained at the table by myself for a few minutes, and then suddenly that strong fragrance appeared out of nowhere and surrounded me. It seemed like I basked in that fragrance for a minute or two, then the fragrance faded away.

I got my purse and began to head back to my cabin for the night. On the way back to the cabin, I realized I had left my Bible on the dining room table. I went back to retrieve it.

When I went to pick up my Bible from off the table, that beautiful fragrance appeared again for a minute, and surrounded me, then faded away.

After returning to the cabin and climbing into bed, twice I smelled a faint aroma of Jesus’ perfume before falling off to sleep.

The next day, which was Sunday, the retreat ended around noon time and a group of us headed on home.

Later that evening, I attended the Care Group I was involved in at my church I attended at the time. I was still very excited about this new experience I had that weekend.

When I walked in the door, later on the leader in charge of the Care Group said that my face had a glow on it, and he knew that something transformational had happened. He knew I had been with Jesus.

At Care Group I shared what had happened and others were touched and seemed to express a hunger to experience God’s Glory as well.

Since that time, I have experienced breathing in the sweet perfume of the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit on several occasions.

Sometimes it happened in dreams which were Heavenly or Prophetic in nature. Other times it happened in waking life while worshipping with music.

A few times it happened in a church setting where people were soaking in God’s Presence, and a few times at Benny Hinn conferences when the Glory was strong or when watching his program on TV.

I wish it happened more often. It’s been several years since it last happened.

Besides coming to a new revelation of who the Father is (so tender, so sweet, so doting), this was also a time in my life of being introduced to the concept of intimacy with Jesus (in spirit and soul).

Prior to 1992-1993 I had often spent hours soaking in God’s Presence privately at home, and feeling God’s Glory, but had not necessarily received teaching on the subject of intimacy with God.

God used several key people in my life to introduce me to this level of relationship with the Lord. The first person to introduce this teaching on intimacy with Jesus was Rev. Pat Chen http://www.firstloveprayer.net/

Pat Chen’s passion for the Lord was very contagious, and it put a deep desire in my heart to know Jesus in that intimate way as well.

Kat Kerr, Jesse Duplantis and others who have been to heaven all say that all of Heaven is filled with this lovely fragrance I have shared about. They all say that this fragrance is the Glory of the Father, and the aroma permeates all of Heaven.

When you begin to breathe it in, it is so intoxicating in a positive way that you don’t want the experience to end. Just the fragrance itself infuses life and strength into your body, and fills your soul with joy, peace and great delight!

The fragrance contains the tangible Presence of God, Anointing, and Shekinah Glory itself.

Romans 8:15-17 NKJV

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Galatians 4:6 NKJV

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Blood of Jesus: What the Bible Says About It

The Blood of Jesus is so powerful!

Salvation in the Blood – John 3:16-17; Hebrews 9:28

Eternal Life in the Blood – John 6:54

Resurrection power in the Blood – 1 Thessalonians 4:14

Deliverance in the Blood – Psalms 32:7

Healing and Health (physical, emotional and mental) in the Blood – Isaiah 53:5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32

Preservation of life in the Blood – Exodus 12:13

Safety and protection in the Blood – Exodus 12:13; Psalms 91

Atonement in the Blood – Romans 5:11

Forgiveness of sins by the Blood – Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14

Cleansing from sin by the Blood – 1 John 1:7

Washed by the Blood – Revelation 1:5

Remission of sin by the shedding of Blood – Hebrews 9:22

Abundant life by the Blood – John 6:53, 10:10

Covered by the Blood – Exodus 12:13

Plagues abated by the Blood – Exodus 12:13

Death averted by the Blood – Exodus 12:13

Purged conscience by the Blood – Hebrews 9:13-14

Freedom in the Blood – John 8:36

Witchcraft broken by the Blood – Galations 5:19-21

Demons have a meltdown and flee because of the Blood – James 2:19

Devil is destroyed because of the Blood – Hebrews 2:14

Fear broken by the Blood – 2 Timothy 1:7

Curses broken by the Blood – Deuteronomy 23:5

Cut covenant by the shedding of Blood – Genesis 15

Reconciliation by the Blood – Colossians 1:20

Debts cancelled by the Blood – Matthew 6:12

Provision by the Blood – Matthew 6:31-33; Philippians 4:19

Made whole by the Blood – Matthew 9:12; Mark 5:34

Peace by the Blood – Colossians 1:20

Jews and Gentiles reconciled by the Blood of Christ – Ephesians 2:14

Power in the Blood to save, set free, heal and deliver – Isaiah 53:5; 61

Chains and fetters are broken by the Blood – Psalms 107:14; John 8:36

Purged and purified by the Blood – Hebrews 9:22

Restoration by the Blood – Jeremiah 30:17; Joel 2:25

Redeemed by the Blood – Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Revelation 5:9

Eternal Redemption by His Blood – Hebrews 9:12

Sanctified by the Blood – Hebrews 13:12

Propitiation through faith in His Blood – Romans 3:25

Justified by His Blood – Romans 5:9

Guilt is removed because of the Blood – Hebrews 10:22 (NIV)

Addictions are broken by His Blood – John 8:36

Made nigh by the Blood – Ephesians 2:13

Communion of the Blood of Christ (Holy Eucharist) – 1 Corinthians 10:16

Evil is overcome by the Blood – John 1:29

Satan is under your feet because of the Blood – Romans 16:20 (NIV)

Darkness is turned into light by the Blood – Psalms 107:14, 112:4; Isaiah 60

Generational curses and sins are broken by the Blood of Jesus – Exodus 34:7, Exodus 20:6; Galations 3:13

We can enter boldly into the Holiest of All by the Blood of Jesus – Hebrews 10:19

The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant – Hebrews 13:20

Transforming power in the Blood – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Our robes are made white in the Blood of Jesus – Revelation 7:14

We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony – Revelation 12:11

About Grace #41-50

#41 Grace allows you to be preferred.

#42 Through Him also we have our access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. Romans 5:2 Amplified

#43 Grace = God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

#44 Become a partaker of His grace.

#45 Grace gives you the ability to stand firmly.

#46 We go from grace, to favor, to glory.

#47 Faith is an accelerator of grace. It makes grace go. If you need more grace, exercise your faith (spend faith like currency). Keith Butler

#48 Grace manifests itself as power and strength. You can’t work for this. It’s God’s unmerited favor. 2 Corinthians 12:9

#49 Grace will stabilize every weak area in your life.

#50 Grace does more for our weaknesses than for our strengths.

About Grace #31-40

#31 You can grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). How do you determine how much grace He’s given you? Look back and see how far He’s brought you.

#32 Grace is favor. Favor is the willingness of others to use their power, ability and influence to help you.

#33 Grace gives access to favor. Favor will open doors that no man can shut.

#34 Favor will promote you. It gives you preferential treatment. Favor gives you access to glory (Exodus 33:13-14).

#35 The glory of God is the goodness of God.

#36 Never underestimate the power of grace. There’s a grace that’s been bestowed on us to get the task done of why we’re here in the earth.

#37 Grace is favor or kindness showed without regard to the merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that person deserves.

#38 Grace is one of the key attributes of God (Exodus 34:6). Grace is associated with mercy, love, compassion and patience.

#39 Grace manifests as patience. Patience is remaining the same as you were before the trouble showed up.

#40 It’s by faith that we receive grace (Romans 4:16).

 

About Grace #21-30

#21 Grace is God’s “staying power” (He keeps you standing strong, persevering and not falling or going backward).

#22 If God has called you to do something, then you have the power and ability to do it—not on your own, but by grace.

#23 Inheriting the promise is the outcome of faith and depends entirely on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor). Romans 4:16 AMP

#24 Grace and faith go together.

#25 Grace and Patience go together. God will give you grace and patience to inherit your promises, and to go through delays.

#26 One reason for delay in inheriting your promises is not stepping into grace (which leads to frustration). Frustration is a faith killer. You have to hold onto faith in order to inherit the promises of God.

#27 What God told you in the beginning, when the promise was first given, still stands.

#28 To enjoy grace is to enjoy favor.

#29 God, You shall arise and have mercy on Zion, for the time of favor has come (Psalms 102:13). The set time, the proper time, the due season to reap. Don’t faint. It’s the right time, your time.

#30 God has given you grace for the race He has for you to run. This grace was given in abundance and given freely.

 

About Grace #11-20

#11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalms 84:11

#12 Wisdom and Grace are connected. Wisdom will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you (Proverbs 4:9).

#13 Whatever task God has called you to do, He will give you the grace to accomplish it. Therefore no mountain, however high, can stand before Zerubbabel! For it will flatten out before him! And Zerubbabel will finish building this Temple with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God’s mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone. Zechariah 4:7

#14 And the child Jesus grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him. Notice that grace and wisdom is interconnected. Luke 2:40

#15 Jesus is the God of grace and truth (John 1:14,16). While He is gracious and merciful, He also shows us the truth about ourselves.

#16 Grace is not a license to sin (Jude 4), but rather grace is the empowerment to not sin.

#17 Grace (favor) and peace (shalom) be multiplied to you…He has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2-3). Notice that grace and peace go together.

#18 Out of His (God’s) fullness, we have received abundance of grace…one grace after another, spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift. John 1:16, Amplified

#19 Grace gives you the inner strength to go through any situation, or season in your life, with composure and confidence.

#20 We have to enter into that grace by faith. Entering into grace is entering into God’s Sabbath rest.