He Turns Our Eyes

He Turns Our Eyes

 

Psalm 80:3

Turn us again, God.  Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.


As our eyes are turned upward towards our Hope more continuously, they will be filled more with light rather than darkness.  We will be looking in faith to His perfect face, His perfect eyes, His perfect heart.  We will be looking less and less to ourselves and others.  We will be less depressed, disturbed, distracted or discouraged by the remaining sin, darkness, and wickedness coming from ourselves or others.   We will grow more immune and protected from the schemes of the evil one.  His destructive games of comparing, judging, condemning ourselves and others will lose their hold and power over us as we grow to trust the Lord and His righteous and true judgment.  The vapor-like judgments and thoughts of men will find their right place, infinitely below the thoughts and judgments of God.  We will turn away from the sharpening of our tongues, wits and expressions for malicious, damaging use, or even hurtful defensive uses.  We will rather use our tongues and actions to share the love and hope of Jesus with one another and others.  We will be more like harmless lambs or doves, loving and encouraging others to a greater trust in this God Who is beside us, in us and loves us so much.  Our love relationship with Jesus will become more and more our main pursuit and enjoyment of life.  We will desire others to know and love Jesus as we do.  Many can experience life and His favor.

 

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This is my hope and vision.  That we, as seekers and believers looking to Jesus, would become people more like those described by Jesus Himself: poor in Spirit – desiring above all things more of Jesus, more of His Spirit, His righteousness , His love within us or manifested from within us.  We would mourn more, grieving our perceived or felt distance from Him in our thoughts, actions, and feelings.  Mourners also for others who are resistant to His mercy, grace, and love for them.  We would be more gentle as we learn, trust and seek more the gentle Spirit’s leading.  We would be those who hunger and thirst after righteousness more.  As some rich in the treasures of this world are greedy for more, we, being enriched by God, would be “greedy” for more of Him, His righteousness, His love, His presence found in Jesus, our Love.  We would be more merciful as we have learned more the greatness of the mercy of God.  Our hearts will be purified more as Jesus becomes more so our One Desire.  We will become greater peacemakers as we have come to value more the peace we have been given.  We will fear uttering words that seemingly cause only little wounds to others, such as belittling wit and sarcasm at others expense.  We will less often give in to the desire to glorify and elevate our own selves at the expense of others and His glory.  We will become those willing to suffer persecution, ridicule, and exclusion by others rather than compromising our seeking, loving and treasuring of Jesus, our Love.

In our understanding, seeking God will look something like the following:  Simply looking to Him in expectant faith.  Spending time in His Word, as He speaks to us and greatly encourages us through it.   Spending time communicating with Him in prayer, giving His Spirit more time with focused attention.  Thinking continuously about Him, allowing Him and His love to become where your mind is continually returning for renewal, refreshment and rest.  God (Father, Son, Spirit) will become our universe, our everything, our True Love.  We will care less about the things valued highly by the world but of little value to Him.  Our hearts and lives will be moving further from the earthly and natural to the heavenly and supernatural as the Lord is accomplishing His work in us.   May we become more confident in His merciful, gracious, and loving working within us.  He provides for us from Himself all that is needed to reconcile with Him, know Him, love Him, and become intimate friends, children, and even lovers of God.  Allow Him to become your Hope, and even more so.

 


 

 

 

 

A Better Love

What is Love?

Words and thoughts such as [ “strong affection”, “personal ties  of kinship”, “affection based on admiration”, “warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion” ] certainly apply. [4 a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person’s adoration of God] 1 Is a description of the wholeness, purity, and selflessness nature of the Love of God.  This Love of God graciously infuses into our own flawed and more selfish loves, as we believe and trust in Him.  God’s defines love, through His word, Spirit, actions and character, especially through Jesus.

Song of Songs 8:4

 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.

I believe these words are words of warning to all seekers of God.  Do not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.  All of us in one form or another want love.  We want to be valued, want to be respected, want be pleasing to at least one, and affectionately admired by at least one, some or most others. The problem is that we are very impatient to find these things, this love for ourselves.  Many give up too soon in finding this love in the one source of love beyond comparison.  This want and need of love is a God given want and need for Him.  A want and need for Jesus, who is our mediator and reconciler with God. (Father/Son/Spirit)

Stirring up or awakening love before it desires, I believe, is the awakening of our own affections or too much of our own affection for things other than God Himself.  We as brides or prospective brides of Christ, may awaken our love to other less suitable loves before Our Love, mercifully and graciously stamps us and claims us for Himself.  We may be seeking after His love and peace, wrongly in human relationships, in romantic relationships, in money, in pleasure, in security, in power, and so on.  Whether we are aware of it or not, we are seeking Him, even if we are an atheist.   We are seeking of the love, peace, joy, and security only He can give, in other things. Even as the true bride of Christ, we are prone to stir up our love wrongly, we are still prone to be over-lovers of self, pleasure, convenience, and such.

God is merciful and gracious with our far from perfect seeking of Him, and walking with and in Him.  However, may we seek Him more rightly, seeking Him in Himself and not in others or other things.  That none of us who seem to know His love to a degree would perhaps fall short of His true saving love, mercy and grace, choosing rather lesser loves.  As the beloved apostle finished his epistle of love with these words, may we absorb, believe and walk wisely.  Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1st John 5:21)  That we would learn to keep ourselves more and more, from the idols we tend to draw near to, idols that falsely promise love, happiness, peace and satisfaction….

As we look to God, by simply looking to Him throughout our days with expectant faith, and trust:

Psalm 123:1-2

To you I do lift up my eyes,  you who sit in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress;  so our eyes look to Yahweh, our God, until he has mercy on us.

We may meditate on our God, our Savior, His mercy, love and Character. As the saints of old meditated on the perfect law, we meditate of the fulfiller of the perfect law, our righteousness,  our hope, our Loved One.   We may ask God(Father, Son, Spirit) to help us have more accurate thoughts of His goodness, and sufficiency to save us poor and needy sinners.  We may spend time in His word allowing Him time to communicate to us truths, truths not simply known and understood by our minds, but also becoming more known, understood, and trusted by our hearts.   As we learn more with our hearts the nature and revelations of our God, we may allow this new and deeper understanding of His mercy and love to affect us more greatly.  The expected effect will be an increased outflow of His mercy and love from within us to others, lessened self consciousness, and self seeking.  As we are in this seeking Him state, we begin to see more clearly our idols as increasingly distasteful, and many times hateful and unattractive to us.  We will be finding much greater satisfaction, peace, and comfort in God when we give over our seeking of these things elsewhere.  We our allowing Our God, Our Shepherd, Our Helper, and Advocate to protect us as He desires to protect us, and in His way.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not speaking of a perfect turning away from seeking comforts, peace satisfaction, love in other things.   We still have sin within us, and this sin within us doesn’t allow for perfect obedience, perfect turning from sin, the world, and our flesh.  I am saying when we do fail and find ourselves seeking comfort, peace, love, in other things, that we recognize it.  “This thing is so far below my God, This thing has no ability to satisfy me as Jesus does.” ” Jesus is my so much better love, hope, and satisfier, I have come to truly know this.”  Though I’m still giving in to my desire for this or that, I know, this is not the answer, my true need is comfort, peace and love from Jesus, but my weakness and sin still persist.”  Then we continue to pray for mercy, that we would be freed more so from these lesser things that hold us, to one degree or another.  Praying for more faith and love, from and for our Lord.  We look forward to our complete freeing from sin and things that draw us away, with anticipation and hope in the goodness, mercy and love of God.  This is our confidence, Jesus, and His character.  He will fully redeem and make beautiful, without spot or blemish His bride.  Our credited perfection will become practical perfection.

 

  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrestling a Good God

I have come to love the psalms. The psalms to me are a window into the heart of God, a window into seeing the connecting of His heart with ours.  I’ve been thinking a lot about depressed saints lately.  I would like to help, however I know for some, depression is no easy fix. I too have a strong bent to depression.  Most often after reading the psalms after thinking and meditating on God’s heart and character through reading the psalms, I am left more encouraged, less depressed.  His loving kindness and graciousness are communicated to me, and my joy is increased.   I am not trying to convince a depressed brother or sister of a miraculous or instant transformation from deep depression to great joy through reading the psalms, but I do believe there is an increased joy and decreased depression in the reading of and seeking of God through His psalms written for our encouragement.  We see the truth of struggle, defeat, mercy, forgiveness and restoration within the psalms.  We see the delusions of the perfect and the proud.  We see God and ourselves His children more accurately, which helps heal us from the lies we have believed.

 

Psalm 119: 68

You are good, and do good. Teach me your statutes.

 

In the psalms you see very often, the children of God approaching God in a certain way. “I know You are good God, and You do good.  Now do good for me, teach me your statues.  I want to know your goodness personally to me.  Teach me personally of your goodness to me.”  Or “ I know You are merciful, show mercy to me, reveal Your mercy to me, in a way personally understood and sensed by me, by my heart.”

God, I am convinced, is desirous that all His children come to Him and wrestle with Him in faith as Jacob did. Those who are convinced of His mercy, wrestle with Him in prayer, in seeking, in reading, in meditating on Him, to find and experience more of His mercy and goodness to them.

All God’s redeemed children are credited with the righteousness and goodness of Jesus. In a sense we are always close to God, and He to us, through Jesus.  In a practical felt way we may however feel and sense a great distance between us and our Lord.  I have noticed when I am the most depressed; the more likely I am to believe the lies of hopelessness, communicated to us by the enemy.  These are the times when wrestling with God, in His word and with His Spirits gentle help is most needed.  More exposure to God is needed to compensate for the extra resistance to His message of good news and hope, because of my depression.  More exposure to Him and His truth is needed to combat the lies of the enemy.  God is good, God is merciful, may we wrestle with Him, trusting Him, as long as it takes to know and sense His goodness and mercy to us more.

Hope of the Dance

There is a Hope.  A hope of freedom, peace, and joy resulting in singing and dancing.  The spring of this freedom and peace flows gently and most often must be sought.  Even after tasting and fully receiving this thirst-quenching and satisfying stream, care must be taken to keep {going to} this stream {of living water}.  Finding it’s renewal and restoration.

Psalm 87:7

 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, “All my springs are in you.”

Those of us who of a more melancholy nature do have a sure hope of singing and dancing.  Truly singing and dancing in freedom, peace, and joy.  This sure Hope is found in our only true Hope, Jesus. This is the stream and spring that can and will produce true singing and dancing.  God Himself, under our Shepherds watchful eye, His Spirit within us producing springs and streams of joy and peace.

You may say. “I don’t seem to have these streams of joy and peace coming forth from within me.” “My streams of joy and peace seem stopped up.”   “I cannot say I am singing and dancing with joyful exclamations, “All my springs are in you.”   This writer would not add sorrow to God’s children feeling this way, by questioning the reality of your faith, or Jesus within you.  Depression and lack of joy is where our enemies revels in attacking, not me.  There is hope for singing and dancing with joy still though.  May we fight the enemy and His lies of hopelessness, through hope.  May we turn our eyes, minds and hearts to Jesus, may we place ourselves in His care.  All our springs our in Jesus, whether they seem streams of sorrow or of gladness, from our Man of sorrows and gladness.  We can come to His garden of hope and communion.  I believe we come to this garden of streams and springs through His word and through  prayer.  We can rely on His gentle and helping Spirit to reveal His truth to us more clearly, and lessen the strength of the lies we tend to believe, the lies that dampen the experience of His gladness.  This gentle spirits which is the streams, that flow from us like rivers, whether they be streams of joy or streams of sorrow and longing for God.  These streams bring us nearer to our lord, bringing is to greater change, to reveal His image in us more to others, that they may taste and long for Jesus also, becoming His.

We can look to hope in God, for a possibly, if so, slow and gradual defeat of the enemy through hope.  We can look to an increase in our singing and dancing, here. We can look to our sure hope of singing and dancing in our full change, our full redemption.  We can begin meditating more and more on this sure future hope of full peace and joy.  Even if this seems our only hope for ever singing and dancing, let this be our sure hope, on which we think on and meditate on with faith and anticipation.  Thinking on the day our melancholy will be left with our natural bodies, and we will begin to dance and sing with our Loved one, unhindered in ecstasy within His forever hold of love.

Hope in the Sunrise

There is a sure hope everyday.  We can count on it.  The sun will rise.

There is a sure hope for those who will believe it.  That is, “The day will dawn; the morning star will arise in my heart.  Not because of me, but because of Him.  God doesn’t change, He is true to His own character.”

 

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2nd Peter 1:19

      We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts.

The thing that seemed to please Jesus the most when He walked this earth was faith.  Faith in His goodness, mercy, graciousness, generosity and willingness to save.  I believe His face was beaming with a fatherly “pride” as He commended the centurion (Luke 7: 1-10) and the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15: 21-28) for their faith in Him.  They believed Him for miracles (“the impossible”).  His little children believed.

Look to Him with a confident expectation, as seeking someone Who wants to be found.  An expectation based only on Him, His mercy, His goodness, His character, His heart.  Think often on what He communicates about Himself in His Word.  Meditate on the words He uses to describe Himself.  Words like mercy, graciousness, lovingkindness, gentleness, meekness and tenderness.  Think about how different He is from mere men.  The Strongest uses words and ideas that strong men sneer at and see as weak.  Think about the heart of this God, Who so gently speaks to persuade the fearful man to come to Him.  Love His kindness and seek His love.  Allow yourself to be caught and held tenderly by His mercy and love.

Believe in Him.  Believe in miracles.  Believe He will rise in your heart.

 


 

Not Forgotten

God’s children will not be forgotten by Him.  He will pursue us and remind us of Himself.  His faithfulness ties us to Himself.  We who have been bound to Him, by His own faithfulness can be reassured. 2nd Timothy 2:13 “ If we are faithless,    He remains faithful.    He can’t deny himself.” He is a faithful […]

Drink Deeply


It is the goodwill and gift of God, that we may come to Him thirsty and needy, and receive from Him the best of life.  He wants to become to us the refreshment and sweetness we thirst and hunger for.  Listen to the words spoken from the lips of Jesus.

 

 “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

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Song of Solomon 5:1

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride.
    I have gathered my myrrh with my spice;
    I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey;
    I have drunk my wine with my milk.

Eat, friends!
    Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved.

Jesus has done the great reconciling work needed to give us true abundant life.  This life of abundance may not look the way many think a life of abundance would.  The abundant life He gives has little to do with money, worldly success, worldly approval, or worldly esteem.   The thief would have us believe the life of abundance is found in these unfulfilling and empty things.  He is the great liar, killer, and destroyer.

Some have tasted a sweet kindness and love.  This sweetness begins to make all else seem tasteless, undesirable, and mundane in comparison.  This sweetness gives us new eyes and hearts, that we begin to desire more and more new and better things.  The old desires, pleasures and worries begin to fade and lose their hold on us.  As we spend time in His Word, praying, asking, thinking of Him, He gives us His peace, His joy, His love, His gentleness.  The fruit of His perfect Spirit within us.

At other times, we drink little from this life-giving fountain, approaching it as if it was something ordinary and dull.  The enemy convinces us that peace and joy can be found elsewhere, and other things and pursuits of happiness become idols to us.    “If only I had…”  “If only I could…”  Then we find that God feels distant, and the things we things we thought would satisfy are dry, empty, and lifeless.  We may even be embittered against God for our lack of intimacy with Him, all the while looking to find our happiness and security in other things.   I hope we will become more and more thirsty, hungry, poor and needy for our only real need, real love, real peace, real comfort.  It is my hope that you will taste, desire, and seek for more of this Lover of our souls.

Friends, drink deeply, drink often from Him, from Jesus.  Drink and learn, drink and think often of Him.   Drink and learn from His Spirit.  Learning and tasting more and more of the sweetness of the sweetest thing.  Drink in the sweetness of His mercy, His love, His Spirit, His Life, His Strength.

 


Warriors of the Light

Song of Songs 3:7-8

 Behold, it is Solomon’s carriage!
    Sixty mighty men are around it,
    of the mighty men of Israel.
They all handle the sword, and are expert in war.
    Every man has his sword on his thigh,
    because of fear in the night.


 

Within the love story of Jesus and His bride.  The book about the sacred romance, the devotion, the intimacy, and true personal and mutual love, between God and man, there is a reminder.  I believe these verses are written reminders to all seekers, devotees and lovers of Jesus.  While we are very much to love Jesus, with devotion, adoration, praise and worship in a personal way, our person’s with His person.  We are also warriors of the Light.  While there is very much a sense of weakness and dependence as we rely on our Loved One for the life of love, we must be pursuing and seeking His strength, for warfare.  We putting on His armor, weapons for war.  We dying with Jesus on the cross, are also raised with Him in resurrection power.  We must seek and trust for His powerful armor, and weapons of warfare given us. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  All risen with Jesus, have this armor available to them, however we must seek and trust for it’s effectual use (putting on of it) through faith in God’s provision of it for everyday life. We becoming mighty through His might(not ours) mercifully surrounding and protecting of us against our enemy.  Giving us His strength and will for our battles.  We becoming warriors of The Light, warriors of The Hope.

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We must spend much time handling the sword, or the word of God, becoming experts in warfare with our enemy.    Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.  For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:11-12)  The Spirit of God uses this sword to communicate truths to us.  He shows us our weaknesses, our sins, He warns us, He encourages us, comforts us, He trains us for battle.  We must allow time for these training sessions.  We must keep the word, keep it close to our hearts, thinking about and ruminating on the word of God.  We must allow the word and Spirit to shape our thoughts, meditations and affections of our Loved One.  These warriors kept the sword close on their thighs, for easy accessibility, ready to take up arms at any instant a threat was sensed.  We must keep the word close, also.  We do not know when and from what angle the enemy will attack.

As we seek intimacy we must stay in the word of God, trusting God through His Spirit to train us and lead us rightly.  Not only the Spirit , but Jesus and our Father take part personally and in our training for warfare, working with the Spirit.  We cannot allow our devotion, love and worship of Jesus and of God (Father, Jesus, Spirit) to become distanced from much time in the word of truth.  The word that washes, purifies, renews and revives us.

How many stories have we heard of worship leaders with seeming intimate love, and affection for Jesus, written on their faces, turning to adulterous lovers for their intimacy.  I personally believe many of these were not “hypocrites” in the worst sense of the word.  Many were truly seeking love and intimacy with Jesus.  The love and affection written on their faces was true or they felt true love and affection for Jesus.  In my mind, these verses on warfare were placed within this great song of love, as a great warning for  the lovers of Jesus.  We must keep ourselves close to His word, and His word close to us.  We must not become greater lovers of love, greater lovers of feelings of intimacy, greater lovers of feelings of loving and being loved, than loving Jesus Himself, as He would have us love Him.  I believe, any of us, if we are not grounded in His word, can be led astray even by feelings, feelings that seem so right, so loving, if they are left by themselves, undefended.  We can selfishly indulge in this one aspect of our life with Jesus.  We can neglect to seek Jesus, seek God, in and through His word and Spirit, by being overly wrapped in this one aspect worship and adoration.  We must remember how untrustworthy, quick to forget, and plain dumb we are.  We cannot trust ourselves to stray away from time in His word, communing with Jesus, through His Spirit, in the safety of His word.  We must allow His word and Spirit to lead our love and lives.

Ours is a story of a great sacred romance, but it is also a story of a great and fearful warfare.  These warriors were not without fear.  Every man has his sword on his thigh,
because of fear in the night.  They had a fear of the night, a God-given fear of the enemy, and His secretive maneuvers, schemes, and plans of attack.   They knew better than to be only led by their emotions, their own thoughts and understanding, they must also be led by God’s word and Spirit, for this warfare.  It is my hope, that as we progress together seeking Jesus, and His heart, we will have times when our love, or rather His love is written on our faces.  That we would have emotional feelings of personal love for Jesus, knowing His love for us.  My hope is that we would also be very useful and diligent warriors and servants of Jesus.  That we would also rely strongly on His word, spoken and taught to us by God Himself, to keep us safe, and productive to and through Himself.   Sharing His mercy and love, His glory with others, without shame.

 


The Forgiver

religious-2144550_960_720Psalm 130: 1-5

Out of the depths I have cried to you, Yahweh.
Lord, hear my voice.
    Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions.
If you, Yah, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
    therefore you are feared.
I wait for Yahweh.
    My soul waits.
    I hope in his word.


 

God has revealed His mercy and love to us through Jesus.  In Jesus, in faith in the righteousness of Jesus and the acceptability of His great merciful exchange, is hope.  This is where our hope must be centered.  Our hope cannot be centered in our own goodness, our own sinless life, sinless day, or sinless minute, this is not attainable anyway.   If you, Yah, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?  We cannot stand for a minute in any supposed righteousness of our own.  We must trust in a mercy that pardons, that covers our ongoing sin.  We must and for our own peace of mind, trust God the Forgiver.  He has gone to such lengths to provide this covering, this passover for our Sin.  God has mercifully and graciously provided for us a covering to rest under, a covering by which to approach and come to Him under.

True fear of God, is birthed out of a well grounded hope in His forgiveness.  A fear of God, unaware of the forgiving, merciful and good character of God, does not work.  Without a true fear, in the true God,  Sin becomes unconquerable.  Sin will become the end all be all of our faith.  Our faith will become dominated and ruled by a preoccupation and over dwelling on sin.  We will become more aware of sin, than of our Savior, more aware of sin than mercy.  We will find ourselves trapped by sin.  Kept away from Jesus by our sin.  We will become sin searchers, searching for sin in others, condemning others as we choose condemnation rather than the mercy, graciousness and forgiveness of God.

Sin is not the end all be all of our faith.  The glory of God, is His forgiveness, His mercy, His love, revealed most brilliantly, in Jesus, God and man.  The glory of God is in the His character and goodness, not in ours.  We being proud, self-centered, and self-loving creatures want to turn things upside down.  We are very much tempted by our vileness, our humiliation, the fallen state of our human nature to distrust God.  We must deal with our own sin, we must clean ourselves up, we must confess every known sin, we must work for our own freedom from sin.  We must have a greater part in our salvation than God himself does, then come to God.  This only leads to more sin and worse sin.  If we distrust our God, and His way for reconciliation with him, we will not love Him.  Not loving and knowing God, we will not love others.  We are guilty of greater sins when seeking through condemnation, no matter how moral our lives may seem to ourselves or others.

But there is forgiveness with you, therefore you are feared.  This is our well anchored hope.  There is forgiveness with God, there is forgiveness in Jesus.  As we come to God, as sons, daughters, friends, and loved ones confident in our covering, our infinitely costly covering, our sin will be lessened correctly.  We will sin less, as we are relating to God rightly.  We will love God the Father, as we know Him, as a merciful, loving and gracious Father who provides for us.  He provides for us our greatest needs.  We will be more gracious to others in their sin, for our faith is placed above our sin.  Our faith is placed  in the mercy, grace, and love of God that superabounds our sin.  

 I wait for Yahweh.  My soul waits.  I hope in his word.  We must constantly remind ourselves of the good news of the gospel of Christ.  The good news can so quickly turn into bad news, when we are not thinking correctly.  We are so forgetful and easily moved from our sure hope, to a faulty hope.  We must go again, and again to the word, to remind us of the super abounding goodness of God revealed in Jesus.  The super abounding hope that surpasses our own daily experience.  Wait for this hope to have fruition in our lives, through the work of God, the keeping of Jesus, the gracious and gentle working of His Spirit.