Wednesday, February 29, 2012


By Hayley Boud

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13

Does anyone here need hope? Why do we need hope? What do we hope in? How do we get hope? What is hope? Does hope help? How does it help? Is it tangible? Can I touch it? Or is it just in my head? Is hope important and if I don’t hope, am I sinning?

What is hope?

The Greek meaning of the word “hope” (Elpis) in this verse is “desire of some good with expectation of obtaining it”.

Do you have a desire tonight of something good? Do you expect to obtain it? If you don’t expect to obtain it then it’s not hope according to the Bible but hope according to the world. “I hope to pass my studies but I’m not confident I will and I’m even sure I will fail” is not hope according to the Bible. Hope according to the Bible is being 100% sure it will happen.

So how do I get that kind of hope where I am expecting to obtain it? Sometimes I’m expecting to obtain something and I still don’t, so what happened? Did I not have enough faith?

I can think of times when I had no hope and yet I obtained something very good and other times when I had hope and was confident and really expected something to happen and it didn’t. So…why? As we go on, we will discover why.

Why do we need hope?

1. Hope gives faith - “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)

2. Hope is a command - Love hopes (1 Corinthians 13:7)
We need hope because the greatest commandment is to love God and then your neighbour so if you don’t have hope, you don’t love and if you don’t love, you are against God’s command. Therefore hope is a command.

3. Hope is necessary to please God - The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6) and without hope, can’t have faith and therefore without hope, can’t please God. Therefore hope is necessary to please God.

Faith, love and hope (1 Cor 13:13) Hope gives us faith, so without hope we can’t have faith and without hope we do not love….therefore need hope to have both faith and love. Also need to have faith and love in order to have hope. The three go together.

4. God’s eyes are on those that hope - “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” (Psalm 33:17-19)

5. God delights in those who hope - “the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love”.(Psalm 147:10-12)

What do we hope in?

1. God Himself - in this verse, we read that God Himself is hope. We can hope in Jesus because the Bible says He never changes, He is the same yesterday and forever and He is totally trust worthy. So, when we need hope, we can hope in God Himself and depend completely on Him.

The Greek meaning of the word Elpis in this verse also means, “Trust and confidence in someone…confidence, security”. We can have trust and confidence in Jesus Himself and He is the one who provides the confidence and security.

So, for example, one time I was 100% sure I would not get sea sick because I had faith and I was confident and I expected that I wouldn’t and yet I got sea sick. I didn’t lack hope….I had enough hope I wouldn’t get sea sick because I truly expected that I wouldn’t. The problem is, I hoped in the wrong thing. I should hope in Jesus Christ that no matter what happens, I will trust Him to keep me secure. If I hope that I don’t get sea sick and then I do, I might be discouraged and think I didn’t have enough faith but the Bible says that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed which is really tiny so we all have enough faith. It’s not about faith….it’s about God. That is why the verse says to trust in Him. Don’t trust in yourself or the amount of faith you have, just trust in God and trust Him no matter what happens, He knows what He is doing. Hope only in Jesus, not in material things.

“Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:22-24)

Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful”.

We have to know what to hope in. When we hope for material things or people, we will only be disappointed but when we hope in Jesus, we will never be disappointed.

We can hope that God will never leave us or forsake us because that is His promise and he is faithful to keep His promises.

2. We can hope that He will come back one day and take us to be with Him in Heaven. “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming”. (1 Peter 1:12-14)
Whatever we are crossing, whatever situation we are in, we can remember that it’s only for a short time and Christ is coming back for us, this is the hope that will get us through.

3. We can hope in His protection - “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield”. (Psalm 33:19-21)
Jesus protects us from sin, satan, eternal death and temptations.  The Bible promises that God will never let us go through anything we can’t bear and where there are temptations, He promised to make a way out for us.  We can hope in that.

4. We can have hope on the promises in His Word. “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word”. (Psalm 119:113-115)
Whatever is written in the Bible, we can trust it is true.  Whatever promises are in there, we can hope in them and be assured of obtaining them.

5. We can hope in God’s calling and His inheritance – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Ephesians 1:17-19)
If we are poor on earth, don’t worry, put your hope in the fact that we will be rich in heaven.

6. We can hope in the gospel “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel”. Colossians 1:23
Jesus died to take away our sin and was buried and rose again on the third day and now sits at the right hand of the Father.  We don’t have to worry about whether we are truly saved or whether God will forgive my sins even though I keep repeating them, we don’t have to worry about whether we will make it to heaven or not….we just have to put our hope in the gospel and trust that if we have confessed our sins, Jesus is righteous and just to forgive them and all who call on His name will be saved. 

7. We can hope in Christ who is in us – “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. (Colossians 1:26-28)
Greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world gives us hope to overcome.

8. Hope in eternal life – “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.” (Titus 1:1-3)

9. We can hope in his unfailing love (Psalm 33:17-19 &147:10-12)
Jesus loves us no matter what we have done and no matter who we are.

So this is the answer to why I sometimes obtain what I didn’t hope for and why sometimes I don’t obtain what I was sure that I would. It’s because I’m hoping in the wrong things. Our hope must be in the things that we can be confident and sure of….our hope must be in Jesus Christ, in His word, in the gospel, in eternal life, in the fact that Christ is in us, in His inheritance, in His protection, in His promises, in knowing that He is coming back for us and in His unfailing love for us. These things we can hope in, these are the things we can trust in and expect to obtain. If we hope in these things, we will never be disappointed.

What is the purpose of hope?

1. To share with others – “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:14-16)

2. To strengthen us in faith – “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD”(Psalm 31:23-24) and “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”. (Isaiah 40:30-31)

3. Gives joy – “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. (Romans 12:11-13)

4. Gives peace – Romans 15:13 (the verse we are reading)

5. Gives boldness , especially to be witnesses of Jesus – “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold”. (2 Corinthians 3:11-13)

6. For God’s glory – “in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-13)

7. Inspires us to endure – “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-4)

8. Salvation – “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet”. (1 Thessalonians 5:7-9)

9. Encourage us to work for God – “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:9-11)

10. Encourages us to pray – “The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.” (1 Timothy 5:4-6)

Let’s read our original verse again, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. (Romans 15:13)

Our God is a God of hope and He will fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him and when we trust in Him, our hope overflows by the power of the Holy Spirit. When our hope overflows, it will pour out and touch others and give to them hope also. So may God fill you tonight with His joy and peace and may you trust Him in every situation and may His hope in you be so great that it overflows and touches those around you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Revelation 12 (Part 10) The Fight With satan

Revelations 12:7-17

By Odon Bulamba (10th August 2007)

Revelation 12: 15, “And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, So that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood”.

The dragon saw the woman flying, and thought he couldn’t catch her anymore. He thought, “I have to use a strategy, instead of using fire like other dragons, I will use water”.

We know that water represents life. The Word of God is water. Satan has found that the church of God is far from him, “people are running away from me, the only strategy I can use will be by using the Word of God and I will use it in the way that will cause the church to be broken, completely destroyed. If I use other weapons, I won’t be able to fight. Jesus gave them the power to overcome me, to win the battle. So my new strategy now will be the Word of

Now we can go back to Jesus’ word: “At the end of times, you will see lots of false prophets, lots of false teachers, lots of false pastors, lots of messengers, people who will proclaim they are Jesus among us. Many people will be led astray. Many people will get lost. Satan will never and ever use something not close to Christianity. He will use something that is similar so that people can say: “Yes. I can see there is some truth in there, let us follow it.”

Then his demons can perform miracles and these miracles will not be just simple ones, but they will shake the world, they will make everybody think: “Yes, this is God!”

How many people today worship satan without knowing it? How many people pray to him without knowing it? How many people believe today that they trust in God but they don’t know in whom they trust? And how many times we neglect the battle we have against satan? We might say: “Yes, we are in a battle field. We are fighting against the power of darkness, we are fighting satan but we actually neglect that fight. We don’t want to practise at all, we don’t realise we need training and we need to get ready. Unfortunately we keep on saying: “Yes, we are strong enough to fight against satan.”

How can we fight against him? Tell me. “Resist him and he will flee from you …” So we can see that we have everything we need. If you say:

“I don’t have faith”. Just resist and satan will be forced to say “ok”.

I will take an example. I have cocaine with me and I need someone to inject that thing in their vein. I will come to you Shari:
- “Shari, do you want some?”
- “No, I don’t need cocaine in my life”.

So I will offer that to Tyrone, Benedicte and everyone. People are free to say
- “Yes, I’ll have it”. Or
- “No”.

If you resist you will become a winner but when you don’t resist, that’s the time when you lose your battle. To resist against what exactly? Against sin. Sin doesn’t hide itself, sin is clear. When you want to lie, you will know this is a lie and you will tell a lie and you will try to varnish it, to colour it so that it will look like a true message. You know it’s a lie, you prepare it properly, and pass it on but if you decide not to lie but to say the truth, it will be the truth, no matter what people think or want to hear from you, but the truth will just be the truth.

When the idea of killing or stealing comes to you; the idea comes and you will know that this is wrong: killing or stealing is wrong. The last decision though is entirely yours: “I will do it” or “I don’t want to do it”. If you resist that will be it and the idea will know that there is no place for it here and it will leave you alone. Like David when he said: “The armour you have given me is very heavy and I can’t wear that, I will just use whatever I have”. Maybe your small faith is enough, use it and you will win the battle.

So we have different ways to win the battle provided we have the willingness to do so. Finally, verse 16 and 17 the Bible says:

Revelation 12:16 & 17, “But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.  So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who kept the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.

The earth opened and swallowed everything. If satan is trying to spread the false gospel in the life of the church, the earth must open and swallow that river. What is this earth? The earth is my body, it is your body because we come from dust. Your body will say:
- “Yes, I accept this message” or
- “No, I don’t”.

For instance, some people will say:
- “Our pastor is this man, he is a preacher. He is good and does such and such”.
- Fine. But other people will discover that the pastor serves satan (just an example). But because you are the pastor’s fanatic and you love that man, you love what he says, you will say:

- “OK. I have to go with him”. You won’t say:
- “I have to go with Jesus.”

You will decide to go with him, and say, “I have to be close to him and participle to everything he does and do whatever I am required to do”. Your body will push you.

Another example: Judah Iscariot. When Jesus told them that one of them will betray Him, everyone asked if it was them, including Judah although he knew it was him. He just asked as well to give good impression to the other disciples. And Jesus told him straight it was him. Instead of saying:

- “Look. Forgive me. I didn’t want to do it. I made a mistake, please don’t allow me to carry on”.
He got angry. He stood up and left.
- “I will prove now to you who I am. I must do it”. And he did it.

But if his body could just cool down and say:
- “I will save that warning.”

He might not have been the one who betrayed the Son of man. Sometimes also our body can’t escape God’s plan, but we have the choice to stop that river of water which comes from satan. It’s easy to know for the preacher himself when they give a false preaching.

When I was younger I went to a Catholic college. We learn there that Mary (the mother of Christ) was a virgin until the day she passed away. Mary used to go for walks with 12 stars around her head. Mary, the mother of Christ, is now standing up at the right hand of God telling God to forgive us, to go to Jesus, you have to first go through Mary.

Finally, the priest gave us a small card: on Saturday, go to the priest and repent.
- I stole $5 yesterday.
- Son, what did you do with the $5?
- Priest, forgive me. I used them for such and such.
- OK. I forgive you and God forgives you. Go in peace.

Every time you go to church, they will tell you:
- OK. Once you are in, you must look at the cross, kneel down and do this.
- What for?
- I don’t know. The preacher says something.
- Yeh, yeh. The preacher says something else:
- Yeah, yes.

When he comes in, the bell is rang.
- The Lord be with you.
- With you too. And then you sit and stand up… up and down and up and down. From the beginning of the service to the end of the service. Why all these ceremonials? The church today knows that most of them are magic ritual and people continue to do it.

Before eating the bread, we must have candles. I am not sure how many candles Jesus had that night. Let us light one, some Sundays they are yellow, others white and others red. What can we learn from all of that? Preachers are everywhere, preachers who try to contradict the Bible.

For example: who was Jesus’ father? It was surely Joseph. But if you read the genealogy in Matthew, we see that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father, but why is he in the genealogy of Christ? Why is Jesus a descendant of David? If God had taken Mary to be in Jesus’ genealogy, because they have some physical relationship, it could be understandable. Today people are desperate to find an answer to that question… but they are questions you can never and ever answer. Tell me why you have two legs instead of four? Why do you have two ears and not one? Why do you look the way you look? Who can answer such questions? No one. Why do you have a brain instead of gold or diamond because people say gold is so valuable, it’s a treasure?

So we see that God makes things according to His will. He has the right to write and tell us whatever He needs or wants, without us challenging Him, or challenging His Word. When the river was swallowed by the ground, the woman was freed.

Korah, in the times of Moses, revolted and the ground opened and swallowed them. When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, God Himself caused it to stop. He put a path and they crossed it.

So He is able to do anything. Don’t say that you won’t be able to do something or to fight satan, to stop his arrows because you are weak, no. God can make you able to do so, with one condition: trust in Him. This is all I can say tonight.


- If the woman represents the church, and if she is in a desert, in a hard place, does that mean that the church today is in a hard place?
- Yes. There is no easy life when living for Christ. And if you want to know how hard life is, try to follow God’s instructions. You will see how hard it is. It’s really hard.