The Word of God is such a tremendous gift to help us see as God sees, to view ourselves, others, circumstances, and all of life from His higher perspective. While there are many opinions, insights, and interpretations of the Bible, I believe first and foremost that God is the God of all hope (Romans 15:13). So if I’m ever reading my Bible without a perspective of hope, I may be interpreting a passage incorrectly.
In this blog, I want to share some of the tools God has given me to reading the Bible from a hope-filled perspective.
“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,” (Romans 15:13).
From this verse we can conclude:
- Increased hope is the evidence we are believing truth.
- We cannot trust any conclusion in our life that does not have hope attached to it.
- If our Bible reading does not bring hope, we are probably not interpreting it correctly.
Here are two verses that are foundational to helping our Bible reading increase our hope levels:
“For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified,” (Hebrews 10:14).
“Likewise you also, reckon (consider) yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:11).
When we become born again (John 3:3) through believing in Christ’s finished work, we immediately become “perfected forever” in all ways (righteousness, forgiveness, power, obedience, health, provision, etc.).
Sanctification is the process of getting into our experience who we already are. The beginning point of this sanctification is to believe (consider, reckon) that we are perfected, meaning:
- Dead to any tendency to sin or do wrong.
- Dead to any consequence of sin (curses of any kind).
- Alive to obedience and to doing all the Bible expects in thoughts, actions, and manifest blessing.
This creates an exciting adventure of discovery every time we open our Bibles. We get to discover what we are dead to and what we are alive to.
For example, Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” We can receive great hope from this verse by acknowledging:
- I am dead to allowing other people’s anger toward me discourage me or make me weary.
- I am alive and already perfected in endurance, in energy in the face of opposition, and in abundant encouragement in my soul.
Here’s another example – “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples,” (John 15:5-8).
This powerful verse teaches us that:
- I am dead to disconnection from Jesus.
- I am very alive to abiding in Jesus, and alive to His words abiding in me, and because of that, my desires and prayer requests are fulfilled.
- I am totally alive to being a fruitful disciple who glorifies the Father.
When we ask, “What part of sin does this verse tell me I am dead to, and what part of righteousness does it tell me I am alive in?”, then our Bible reading becomes increasingly hope-filled. It helps us break off lies, establish our biblical identity, and continually feast on what Jesus has done for us.
Some might ask, “But won’t this lead to more sin because people won’t take their negative behavior seriously if they focus on where are dead to sin and alive in God?” Yes, some may do this, but I believe my readers want to please God, and this will be very helpful truth for living a life of victory in Him. I pray this week that you receive fresh eyes to see the hope released in His Word as never before.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.