It is by patience and faith that we have hope. Hope is a confident expectation that things will be good in the future.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). We have hope by faith. Abraham didn’t stagger when he waited 25 years for the promise of God. He had faith and was confident that what God promised, he would do. Do we wait with faith in the hope of God’s promises to us? We are all learning to glory when in tribulations – long, hard trials. We only learn patience and spiritual things through tribulation. We learn patience and then keep learning to have more patience.
Romans 4:18-20 Who against hope believed in hope…according to that…spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead…was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise…through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
We should ask God to help us learn what he wants to teach us as we go through trials. We need to keep learning. God isn’t punishing us but putting us in his school of learning by what we experience in trials. He wants us to learn so he gets glory and we help others. He permits trials to test our patience. He wants us to accept the trials, not get bad attitudes in them.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost…given unto us.
We have hope by trusting God and relying on him and his word.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Deuteronomy 31:8 And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
If God is with us, the fire of trials won’t hurt us. This is very encouraging to us in our tribulations. God wants to refine us so we can help others. The enemy wants us to fear but God said “fear not.” He has everything under control.
Isaiah 43:1-5…thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob…that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord…thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom…Since thou wast precious in my sight…been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men…for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee…
We have to rely on his presence when everything looks hopeless.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
We have to rely on God’s provision (what he supplies). Paul had great revelations and God gave him a thorn in his flesh so he would stay humble and not get exalted. God allowed Satan to buffet him. God wanted Paul to rely on his strength and grace, not on Paul’s own strength. Our attitude through trials is important so we can learn what God wants us to.
II Corinthians 12:1-10 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body…I knew such a man…caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words…not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any…think of me above…he seeth me…And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations…was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me…I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart…he said…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
After the prophetess Deborah helped the Israelites be delivered from the enemy, they had rest 40 years. When they started to do evil, God delivered them into the hands of the Midianites. They had to hide in caves, hide their crops and were very poor for 7 years. When they cried to God for help, he sent a prophet to tell them that they were suffering for their disobedience. God allowed hard situations because he wanted to get their attention so he could help them.
Judges 6:1-10 And the children of Israel did evil…and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years… Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. And…when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came…destroyed the increase of the earth…and left no sustenance…neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. For they came…as grasshoppers for multitude…into the land to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished…Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites, That the Lord sent a prophet…said unto them, Thus saith the Lord…I brought you up from Egypt…out of the house of bondage; And I delivered you…out of the hand of all that oppressed you…gave you their land…I am the Lord…fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
Gideon was hiding in a cave threshing wheat when an angel of God came and said Gideon was a might man of valor. Gideon didn’t feel like a mighty man of valor. God knew Gideon wanted to please him, but he needed to be encouraged.
Judges 6:11-18…Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord… said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said…Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles…Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?…Lord hath forsaken us… And the Lord…said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel…have not I sent thee? And he said…wherewith shall I save Israel?…Lord said…I will be with thee…shalt smite the Midianites…he said…If now I have found grace…shew me a sign…
Gideon thought he’d die because he saw an angel, but God said to fear not and that he wouldn’t die.
Judges 6:20-23…angel of God said…Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth…Then the angel…put forth the end of the staff…touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes…rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes…Gideon perceived that he was an angel…said, Alas, O Lord God!…I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. And the Lord said…Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
God told Gideon to destroy the idol at his father’s house. He didn’t know what Joash his father would do but he obeyed.
Judges 6:30-32 Then the men of the city said…Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal…Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar…
There were 135,000 Midianite soldiers (Judges 8:10) and only 32,000 Israelites, but God said it was too many. He didn’t want them to think they won the battle in their strength. After the fearful ones left, God said to take the men that lapped water like dogs and were watchful. There were 300 men and God said he’d win with them. Gideon was afraid so God said to go to the enemy camp with his servant. He heard a Midianite tell his dream and Gideon would defeat them. Now Gideon had courage. They surrounded the enemy camp at night with lamps in pitchers. When Gideon said so, they blew the trumpets and shouted “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon” as they broke their pitchers. The Midianites ran away, so confused they killed each other. Gideon needed his faith to increase to believe God would use him to deliver Israel (Judges 7:10-22).
Judges 7:1-7…Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many…lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to…the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return…there remained ten thousand. And the Lord…The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water… Every one that lappeth…as a dog…set by himself…And the number of them…were three hundred men…Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men…will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand…