“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).
I remember reading the words “glistening hope” by Francis Frangipane (see The Three Battlegrounds). He was discussing our need to have “glistening hope” in every area of life (if we lack hope in an aspect of life, then we are believing a lie there and that area is in danger of having a stronghold of the enemy).
This truth rocked my world. I did not have much hope in my life and certainly not “glistening hope.” I was being set up for a great journey into the importance of hope that would change my life.
“We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). This passage leads us to Christian maturity. First, we “glory” (rejoice) in tribulation. Secondly, we continue (persevere) in this glorying. Third, we grow in Christian character (making good decisions). One would think that this character is the ultimate goal in Christian living, but it isn’t.
Our goal is ultimately hope (the confident expectation that good is coming). Our destination is not good actions, but a way of thinking called hope. It is the soil that faith and obedience put their roots into. Without hope, there can be little positive change in life.
“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Repentance is a change of thinking that leads to a change in actions. It is not a one-time event, but a lifestyle. We will know that our repenting in an area of life is complete when we consistently have glistening hope based on our revelation of God’s goodness.
The kingdom of God moves forward primarily by what we believe, not by what we do. “Glistening hope” is a kingdom way of thinking that is foundational for having victorious mindsets.
LIES TO OVERCOME
- What I do is more important than what I believe
- My hope level has nothing to do with what I believe
- I should be more concerned with what the devil is doing than I am with my level of hope
- I do not need hope in order to experience positive, lasting change in life
- Proper interpretation of the Bible will always lead to less hope for myself, others, and my circumstances
DECLARATIONS TO STRENGTHEN THIS MINDSET
- As I renew my mind with truth, my hope level increases
- I am abounding in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit
- I have glistening hope in every area of my life
- My declarations of hope help demolish the negative strongholds in my mind
- I am a person of integrity and hope
- Recognize your conclusions about a circumstance are usually more important than the circumstance itself – Moses sent out twelve spies for forty days in Numbers 13 to explore the Promised Land. When they came back, the spies were divided with two different conclusions about what they saw. One group (Joshua and Caleb) said we can overcome this. The other ten spies said they could not. The former experienced the promises, while the latter did not.
- Don’t trust any conclusion that does not have hope attached to it – As we mistrust non-hope-filled beliefs, we can take the first step into overcoming the lies that bind us. Our hopelessness about a problem is almost always a bigger problem than the problem. If we try to change behaviors and circumstances without first addressing the beliefs creating a lack of hope, we likely won’t see long-lasting transformation.
Get help if your behavior is harming people – Even though we believe our beliefs are more important than our actions, we recognize that if our behaviors create an unsafe environment around us for others (or ourselves), then we need to get immediate help so these harmful behaviors don’t continue.
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.