Fruit of the Spirit

For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth...Eph 5:9

Summer 2007                                                            Volume 8,  Issue 3

I was in prison, and ye came unto me... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt. 25:36,40 Prison Report

By Larry J. West


I understand that in the book, Dante’s Inferno, there is allegedly an archway over the entrance to hell with this inscription: “All who enter here abandon all hope.”

Our world would be a dismal place if there were no hope. To those who are in Christ Jesus, there are numerous references to the hope that we have.

It is interesting and sad to note the type of hope that most prisoners have. When the three strikes law was scheduled to be put to a vote, many were discussing it. Most felt that when it was repealed they would get out shortly. They would even discuss their plans when it happened. Truly their hope was firmly expectant that it would be repealed. I specifically remember their reaction when it was upheld. One man in particular was deeply despondent and depressed. He almost seemed as if he couldn’t even function. The fallacy of their hope, and the reason why it is so often dashed upon the rocks of disappointment, is that it depends upon man.

Their hopes escalate at the prospect of receiving a package in the mail, a letter from someone special to them, and particularly so of visitors coming to visit them; and those hopes wane when it doesn’t happen. Those of us on the outside aren’t much different. Our hopes are buoyed over the thought of a better job, a great vacation, buying a new house, car, clothes, etc. How many times those same hopes have been disappointed!

In Romans 8:24-25, God reminds us of the validity and necessity of hope. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with perseverance eagerly wait for it.”

Hope develops as we read, study, meditate upon and utilize the Holy Scriptures. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). Notice also the affiliated blessings of joy and peace.

Sadly, those who are outside of Christ have no hope. Ephesians 2:12—“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

Those who are in Christ have a great responsibility. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).

For hope to be realistic, it must be founded upon a good bedrock or reality. That is, there needs to be legitimate likelihood of its occurrence. This is the beauty of faith for the child of God. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

I was in prison, and ye came unto me... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matt. 25:36,40

Page 1 - Elusive Victory | Page 2 - What Do I Say/Do In Time Of Loss?
Page 3 - Prison Report: Hope | Page 4 - Old Testament Studies: The Tower...
Page 5 - The Awesome Responsibility of... | Page 6 - Cutting Okra and Killing Wasps
Page 7 - Christian Evidences | Page 8 - Why Baptism?
Page 9 - Why Baptism? [Continued] | Page 10 - Continuations
Page 11 - The Weakness of Islam | Page 12 - Advertisements

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