Prisoners of Hope

As I was reading in Zechariah 9 the other day, the Word of the Lord jumped off the page to me. In the chapter we see where God is declaring judgement upon the enemies of Israel.  In the 11th verse, God reminds them of the blood covenant and the freedom it brings, and then the 12th verse is what simply leapt into my heart.

Zechariah 9:12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

Two big things that the Lord spoke to me:

  1. He calls them (and me) prisoners of hope.
  2. He declared a double portion of restoration.

When the enemy tries to steal, kill and destroy…what God has deposited in me is the reality that I am a “prisoner of hope”.  Because of the covenant relationship I am in with God I have found Him to be faithful and true. My history with Him tells me that I can wait in “hope” through all the struggles I have. In fact not only can I wait, but I am a prisoner…I am bound to the hope that He has deposited in my heart. He has promised and I know that God fulfills His promise. So in spite of what I sometimes see with my eyes, sometimes what seem as hopeless situations…I am held fast, I am “in chains” to the hope of the Lord.

Secondly, what the enemy thinks he’s stolen and when he thinks he’s won, Jesus is declaring back into my life a double portion. So even when something seems to be stolen, I can stand confident because this is God’s promise. So next time you feel like the enemy has killed, destroyed or stolen something from you…stand back and remember…you’ve been promised twice what was just taken. It actually is an upgrade in your life, so rejoice in hope of the blessing which is coming your way.

-Pastor Patrick

 

 

 

Who are you?

Have you ever asked that question…really? Who are you? What kind of person are you? Not, what kind of person do you want to be? But what kind of person are you? About a year ago I was with my pastor and he shared some of what I’m sharing with you today about addressing that question in our own lives. In Proverbs, scripture defines people in different ways depending on how we act and how we live. The four different persons described are: Simple, Foolish, Wise and Scoffers.

Simple people are defined as people that just don’t know something. They haven’t been educated in areas and are simply unaware about things. It doesn’t make them bad or good, just simple. John Maxwell says it this way, “There are some things that you don’t know and there are some things that you don’t know that you don’t know.” The first part of that is uneducated in an area, the second part to that is simply you don’t even know that you’re missing something.

Foolish people are defined as people who make excuses why they do the wrong things. They’re unteachable and often use anger as a defense mechanism when confronted.

Wise people are defined as people who are teachable. They listen, they grow and they’re intentional about how they live their lives in a Godly manner.

Scoffers are defined as people who make fun of wise council and other people’s wisdom. Scoffers appear wise and may seem like they win the battle, but they don’t gain anything from the encounter and simply don’t learn anything.

With this Biblical criteria ask yourself that question again. Who are you? I pray that as you continue to grow that you would strive to be wise and teachable. So often this is shown through in difficult times. The choice is yours. Who will you be?

-Pastor Patrick