Hope in God

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than an event. This resurrection power that brought Jesus from death to life releases an amazing hope to transform lives, both now and in the future. This resurrection power is available to us and releases a hope to expect great things from God. It’s not only a desire for the good outcome; there’s a confident expectation it’ll happen because, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Hope can mean the difference between hanging on and giving up. It can mean keeping a positive mind when the physical evidence compels you to give up. It can involve an estimation of probabilities, not knowing what the odds are. It’s the voice in your head that says, “You can do this”. It’s this attitude of ignorance, coupled with defiance, but still choosing to ‘hope against hope’, beating the odds, having a second chance, a fresh start, and expecting your miracle, which is integral to hope. Hope is one of the three Biblical virtues alongside faith and love.

But to many, hope in God does not come naturally. Often, our hope centers on uncertainty or the negative, like ‘I hope today’s interview will turn out well’ or ‘A car passing by this way at this late hour is our only hope to get home.’ Psalm 42:5 reads, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, for the help of His presence.”

The psalmist reminds us that an uncertain hope is not what we see in the Bible, for we’re not to be disquieted and downcast. It’s not wishful thinking and it certainly does not mean ‘crossing your fingers’. Neither is it undependable and powerless.

Hope is a sure anchor of our soul and it’s to lean on this confident expectation that it’ll be done. Where there’s hope, there’s faith, because faith is the substance of things hoped for.

In Hebrews, the Christian hope is described as ‘the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ This hope gives basis for faith in the future tense and, is settled on the Word of God. And in this one thing we must not waver – to be rooted in the faithfulness of God and the confidence in His Word.

Where doubt, fear, hopelessness and despair reside, these have to be banished because they’re the enemies of faith. When you encounter the living Jesus, in the midst of despair, everything changes.

Hope is also connected with patient endurance, and times of trials lead to hope, Rom 5:3-5 tells us, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint …” When we hope for something, we wait for it through patience. Hope is the right response to the promises of God. For Abraham, even at a very old age, had confidence that God would fulfil His promises: “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.” Rom 4:18

Finally, the Holy Spirit Who’s our source of hope will fill us with joy, and His peace will embolden us. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom 15:13

Our Christian hope has a sanctifying effect as we look expectantly for the return of Christ, knowing that when we see Him, we shall become like Him, being purified ourselves ‘as He is pure.’ (1 John 3:3)

And as John Piper puts it, “Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company … You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.”

Ps. Daphne Yang

The Lord Speaks

I’d like to reiterate on this Resurrection Weekend that Jesus Christ is ALIVE! This is the greatest and best news ever to hit this planet and after 2,000 years, it continues to be most significant. It’s because He’s alive that salvation for mankind is possible. The Son of God came down on earth and paid the cost of sin, and did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. There’s no better nor greater news than this. Our eternity is changed because Jesus died for our sins.
 
One of the clearest personal evidence that Christ is alive is that He speaks to us – especially as followers of Christ. And when the Lord speaks and we hear what He’s saying, life is a lot easier to manage and go through. It’s also a lot more fun when read more…

In the Grip of Prayer

I had a very interesting conversation with my wife recently. I shared with her that I was experiencing this strange ‘hollow’ feeling inside of me – it’s like being in this big room all by myself. I don’t feel charged up like I used to after morning devotions. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in me to give to others although I’m listening to sermons and praying regularly.

I reflected on my daily routine and asked the Lord to search my heart for any ‘wicked ways’, but nothing significant showed up on my radar. Then my wife said, “Maybe God is changing your ‘spiritual container’ – He’s upgrading you to a bigger one!” Immediately, I had the impression of a 300ml water bottle being filled to the brim with water and the time taken was 5 seconds. I then used read more…

Wrestling with God

Lately, due to my knee injury, I was drawn to study a Bible character who had a limp, and a passage which I found deeply helpful (especially amidst a crisis). It comes from the famous, enigmatic extract in Genesis 32 where Jacob was on his way home to Canaan with his small tribe of wives and children after a 20-year sojourn.

We’re told that Jacob was “very afraid and distressed”, because his estranged brother, Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men (Gen 32:6). This is no welcome party – it’s an army! So, after splitting his household into two camps to try and avoid complete annihilation, the famous scene enacts itself: “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day”  (Gen 32: 24). Jacob’s wrestling match has taught me a few lessons. 

read more…

How Much Truth Can We Bear?

Jesus was a master at losing people. If you recall, there was a time when the crowds that followed Him were huge. Many were there because they heard of the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish so they flocked to Him in the tens of thousands.

Jesus, of course, had no intention of allowing anyone to follow Him just for the benefits they could get. So, He said the most provocative thing in Scripture – “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.” No explanations were given. No apologies were made. For the majority of the crowd, that was just too much.
 
They came for the free bread and now ‘He’s asking us to be cannibals!?’ So, in just one sermon, He lost almost His entire congregation. As read more…

Radical Prayers of Faith

One of the ‘Uniquely Cornerstone’ core values is embedded in the understanding that the church is called to be God’s House of Prayer. For this very reason, we should pray. It’s therefore not a matter of if we should pray, but when we pray. The result of our prayers should reveal the Kingdom, the power and glory of God.

From Matthew chapters 5 to 7, after Jesus had finished speaking to the multitudes, the people were astonished at His teaching for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And when Jesus taught them to pray, it was not some heartless command but a result of their witness of His relationship with God, His Father.

The effective, fervent and heartfelt prayer is quite the opposite of lethargic, repetitious, and superficial prayer. While we’re passionate, it’s not read more…

The Blessing of Things Going Wrong

You’ve made all your plans. Everything’s prepared. You double-checked and triple-checked. You committed it all to prayer. You’ve made every effort. Despite all the preparation, something goes wrong. The computer crashes and you lose all your data. Your guest speaker suddenly can’t come. The kids fall terribly ill. All of a sudden, your well-made plans are scuttled and you’re left wondering what on earth went wrong.
 
At this point, you can consider a couple of responses. God forbid but some blame their bad luck. The most natural response, in my opinion, is to point the finger squarely at someone else and, trust me, there’s always someone close enough to the matter to be blamed. Or, attribute the matter to spiritual warfare. The worst of all is to back away from ever attempting something quite as audacious.
read more…

When God Doesn’t Make Sense

February 2019 was an interesting month for me. I received not one – but two – watches. Instinctively, I began to seek its spiritual and prophetic significance as I believe the Lord is saying something to me through this. And so my mind began to run through all the ‘watch-related’ Scriptures for clues.

Is the Lord asking me to ‘watch and pray’ more (Matt 26:41)? Or am I to be ‘His watchman on the wall’ (Isa 62:6)? Maybe it’s about learning to ‘number my days’ (Ps 90:12) or to learn more about moving in ‘times and seasons’ (1 Chron 12:32) like the sons of Issachar, since one was a classic retro-looking watch and the other a modern high-tech watch. Or perhaps the Lord is bringing me into a ‘time of refreshing’ (Acts 3:19)? Or the new watches replacing the old read more…

Strengthen the Weak

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” 
Heb 12:11-12

Over the last few weeks, I’ve learnt a painful but valuable lesson, one which could permanently affect the way I live, how I move, and what I’m able to accomplish with my family. On a family trip to Mt. Kinabalu, I suffered a painful injury to my knee while carrying my youngest daughter on an uphill forest trail. I believe God is teaching me a spiritual lesson and reminding me to strengthen my aging body.

As God’s children, may we continue to allow Him to discipline us and follow His instructions, training, and correction to strengthen the body read more…

The Dark Side of Success

In Luke 12, there was a certain rich man whose ground yielded plentifully. This man could be any person – a stockbroker whose portfolio of stocks had risen greatly in value; a real estate owner whose property assets had dramatically improved; or even a businessman who had just gotten the deal of the century. Or, he could just be a senior pastor who’s seen increase year upon year and all it’s been is hunky dory. Whoever he is, he’s someone who’s struck gold and has now more than he can accommodate. So, he has a logistical problem. He doesn’t have enough space to store his increase.

There’s this internal chatter. He asks himself a question, ‘What shall I do since I’ve no room to store my crops or increase?’ In his mind, he replies to his read more…

Move with Lions!

Will this year be an exceptional one of unusual testimonies and exploits? It’s been said that your destiny is not fulfilled until you hold in your hands your own little book. God is showing us our own book and, when we turn the leaves of these pages, I pray for faith to leap in us to believe.

I’ll soon be 59 years old and, like my husband, we’re both inching towards the big 6-0. I’m a good 20 years into the second half of my life if, by reason of strength, I live to 80 years. God is leading me to the finishing line, so there’s an urgency for me to live wisely and well as there are fewer days in front of me than behind. How I live from this time will shape eternity more than ever. The fact read more…

Move With Lions!

Will this year be an exceptional one of unusual testimonies and exploits? It’s been said that your destiny is not fulfilled until you hold in your hands your own little book. God is showing us our own book and, when we turn the leaves of these pages, I pray for read more…

Book your tickets