Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 05/25/16

The Confidence of Hope


STORY: Mystery of the Gospel

I’ve been reading a lot of mystery-type novels lately. There’s just something exciting about feeling like you’re on the edge of your seat in suspense to see how the storyline plays out. I love the sensation of waiting for the unknown to reveal itself in a way that I’d never even imaginable!

I’ve often thought how fun it would be to go to one of the murder mystery dinner theaters. Of course I’m not for violence, but the suspense is what fascinates me. Many of these dinner shows use the audience as part of the plot so you find yourselves caught up in the story and transported out of your own world into a whole new world in a matter of minutes.

One time I was invited to be the retreat speaker for a who-dunnit weekend. The theme assigned to me was, “The Mystery of the Gospel.” It took quite a bit of research to figure out three relevant messages for the ladies.

These three verses were my anchors for the talks:

  • And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:19 ESV)
  • The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. (Colossians 1:26 NKJV)
  • To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27 ESV)

It doesn’t make sense at first, why God would make the way to Him a mystery. Why would He hide the path that leads to fellowship with Him? The definition of mystery here is: hidden truth. This divine truth was concealed because it was too profound for man to discover and comprehend without help. It was previously unknown, but is now disclosed to man by God through those who speak boldly from His Word. The specific mystery (think secret) here is the fact that Christ can be in us, which is the hope of glory! For a Christian this hope is the joyful and confident certainty of our future.

Just like in a mystery production (whether reading a book or at a dinner theater), the mystery of the gospel will also allow us to be caught up out of our reality into a whole new reality. First of all we get to have Christ in us when we invite Him into our lives by acknowledging the price He paid to save us. Secondly we get to be caught up either at death or in the air to meet Him in glory. What a confident hope we can have!

I’m so glad that this mystery is now revealed, and is so simple that even a child can accept the gift of the gospel.

Who dun it? Christ did it all!

STUDY: Be Assured of Your Hope

Building Blocks to Hope

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:2-5 NLT)

  • Think of the undeserved privilege you have in Christ. Does that give you a reason to have more confidence and joy?
  • What are the building blocks that help us develop our faith muscles? What is it that strengthens our confident hope?
  • This hope doesn’t lead to disappointment—why?

The Font of Hope

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NLT)

  • Who is the source of hope?
  • When you trust in Him, what fills you?
  • With joy and peace infused in you, what overflows?

God’s Light Illuminates Hope

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. (Ephesians 1:18 NLT)

  • What does Paul pray for the Ephesians here? Has your heart ever been “flooded with light”?
  • What happens when we embrace Light? What does it help us understand?

A Faith that Anticipates Good Things

Which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. (Colossians 1:5 NLT)

  • What is the Colossians’ confident hope?
  • Notice, another way of looking at hope is that it’s an expectation that stems from hearing the gospel’s truth.


STEPS: Build Up Your Hope

  1. Rejoice in your confident hope. Let your hope help you be patient when you go through tough stuff. Keep praising your prayers. Faith it ‘til you make it! (Romans 12:12 NLT)
  2. Hold on to hope. When your confidence waivers, get a better grip on hope by reminding yourself of the Source for your hope. (Hebrews 6:18 NLT)
  3. Draw near to God. He is able to give you a better hope than you can muster on your own. (Hebrews 7:19 NLT)

“Hope: that intentional choice that turns our wants, needs, and desires to expectation and carries us into a brighter day.” Jo Ann Fore

Copyright 2016 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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