Romans 5:5 (Amplified Bible) says this, ‘Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.’ Biblical hope differs from a worldly hope in that it comes with an expectation, a confidence and anticipation.
Jesus started his ministry with a bold confession, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4: 18-19 NIV Bible). That confession not only started His ministry but revealed the nature of His ministry. It was to bring freedom to people, and it was because of the Presence of the Spirit of God upon him.
Throughout the Bible the Lord spoke to people saying that He would be with them. Sometimes He described it in this way ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon them’. It is interesting to me that whenever the Lord said He would be with someone it meant He had just given them an impossible assignment! But, He was with them.
Consider Moses, God gave him a promise that was connected to his assignment in leading Israel out of Egypt and out of the cruel regime of Pharaoh into the Promised land. A similar word was given to Joshua, who succeeded Moses and was assigned to lead Israel into their inheritance in spite of the giants and other fearful enemies. The same promise was given to Gideon who was assigned to deliver a weak and humiliated Israel from the powerfully oppressive hand of the Midianites. Again, the same was given to the eleven remaining disciples in the Great Commission (Matthew 28). It was tied to their assignment to disciple nations and the implication of the promised presence is staggering. God's presence requires something from us to invade the impossible.
It seems to me that something is always expected from us when God reveals that He will be with us. The Holy Spirit is not just among us simply to comfort and encourage, although at times that it exactly what we need. He is also present to make possible the impossible task in front of us!
Perhaps this is part of what the apostle Paul wanted the church at Ephesus to see and understand when he asked God to reveal the hope of our calling in Ephesians 1: 18-19( NIV) ‘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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.….’
Acts 10:38 (NIV) says ‘how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Jesus healed and delivered all who came to him……’ This summarised what had already been revealed thought the gospels, but it also reveals that sickness is from the devil, but the Holy Spirit wanted to make sure we know what made healing and deliverance possible, ‘for God was with him’.
Jesus is eternally God, but I do find it fascinating that Holy Spirit inspired Luke to write the phrase for God was with him. This statement shows us that it was the same for Jesus as it is for those in the Old Testament. And, when God is with someone there is an expectancy, a confident hope and that enables the impossible to be invaded by His Kingdom. This helps us to connect with our God-given assignment by realising and discovering His Presence upon us which makes the impossible possible. As it says in Colossians 1:27 ‘Christ in you the hope of glory’
Father God, I ask you to help me to become more aware of Your Presence upon me as the hope of my calling in to the impossible. Help me to see my assignment as being impossible, so that I do not become confident in my own ability. Let this be a day of great breakthrough as I discover the wonder of being the temple of the Holy Spirit. And I declare that the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me for the same reason He rested upon Jesus. I embrace the call to the impossible, that God may be glorified in all the earth.