The previous post in this series can be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/introduction-to-biblical-counseling-week-five-involvement/
The audio for this lecture will be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.calvarybiblechurch.org/audio/class/biblical_counseling_2014/20140223.mp3
INSPIRATION: When we speak of “inspiration” we mean the need for “hope”. Hope is a mechanism that permits change to take place. Without hope, human beings will not change. Facilitating the development of hope in others will assist them greatly in making biblical change actual.
Everyone Needs Hope
In one sense, every counselee needs hope. Sin has worked its defeating and disheartening effects in all of our lives. There are times when every Christian is dispirited. Often this attitude deteriorates into the sin of despair. Counselors, therefore, may be sure that they will see more than their share of sin’s blighting effects. Doubt and discouragement, and sometimes despair, so frequently assert themselves in conjunction with other difficulties, that the counselor soon must learn how to confront and overcome these complicating problems. Until these have been cleared away and have given place to hope, usually it is fruitless to try to handle other matters. No wonder, then, that immediately after the fall, in the very midst of punishment and judgment, God also gave hope (Genesis 3:15). While discussing the misery of the curse, God also promised the coming of the One who would deal definitively with sin and sweep away its misery. While speaking of the thorns of the ground, God also gave the first prophecy of His son, who in His own body would bear the curse of the thorn for His people. What God did, we who try to counsel in His shadow must do too.
One of the important factors in counseling is giving hope, as the discussion of 1 Corinthians 10:13 has shown. Man in misery needs hope. God gave hope to Adam. During the nouthetic confrontation which took place after Adam sinned, God raised all the issues connected with Adam’s sin, including its punishment, but he also revealed that he would send the Lord Jesus Christ to destroy the Serpent and his work (Genesis 3:15). The nouthetic counselor must follow God’s pattern. Christ confronted Peter, not passing over a single aspect of his sinful denial, but also including words of restoration and a commission to future service. The consistent theme of nearly all of the prophets was judgment, but they also proclaimed a message of hope.
The Gospel, the good news that Christ triumphed over sin and all its effects, is the soil out of which hope grows; it is central to all hope. Colossians 1, for example, speaks of “the hope of the gospel.” The Christian’s hope brings him the assurance that because Christ died for his sins he shall have eternal life, and that at death his spirit shall be made perfect. But he also has hope that now he may overcome much of the misery into which sin has plunged him; especially misery resulting from personal sin. Christ not only offers pie-in-the-sky when-you-die, but he says that Christians may begin slicing in this life.
The Medical Model destroys hope. Discouragement and despair permeate the concept of “mental illness.” Most people are aware that the mental institutions are not helping many people. They also know that psychiatrists characteristically say, “You must expect therapy to take a long time, and then we can promise you nothing.” So to inform a Christian client in an early interview, “Your problem seems basically to be the result of sin,” does not discourage him, but rather gives him hope. Christians know that sin and its effects can be dealt with because God has said so in the Scriptures and Christ died to overcome sin. So when sin is mentioned, there is real hope.
A. Hope is a ground of the Christian life:
1. We are saved in this hope. Romans 8:24.
2. We are called to hope: “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your cal”. Ephesians 4:4 (ESV)
3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”. 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
4. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
5. It gives us cause to rejoice: “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2 (ESV) And, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
6. It produces boldness. 2 Corinthians 13:2.
7. Therefore, we must come to know hope. Note Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. A good pastor (and counselors are acting as a pastor for another’s soul) should pray this for their brother or sister:
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15–23 (ESV)
Consider how this prayer answered would change a woman or man.
B. Our lives are to be aimed in Hope:
1. Paul writes that our hope is “laid up for you in heaven”. Colossians 1:5; see, Colossians 1:23.
2. It is a “hope of eternal life”. Titus 1:2, 3:7.
3. We are commanded to live in light of hope: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)
4. “11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11–14 (ESV)
C. Hope produces change:
1. It brings joy:
28 The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the expectation of the wicked will perish. Proverbs 10:28 (ESV)
2. A failure of hope can bring pain:
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)
3. It leads to sanctification:
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:1–3 (ESV)
4. It draws us to God: “… (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” Hebrews 7:19 (ESV)
D. Hope gives strength to persevere:
1. ”17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17–20 (ESV)
2. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”Hebrews 10:23 (ESV); see, also, Hebrews 3:6, 6:11.
3. A hope rightly set upon the Lord can overcome the deepest depression:
Psalm 42–43 (ESV)
42 TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A MASKIL OF THE SONS OF KORAH.
1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation 6 and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
43 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:19–24 (ESV)
4. It is sufficient to withstand attacks:
12 O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:12–14 (ESV)
5. Perseverance through trial in hope produces hope:
“5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1–5 (ESV)
6. See also Is. 8:17, 59:9; Jer. 31:17; Zech. 9:12; Rom. 4:18; 5:4; Heb. 3:6;
E. Hope is produced by the Word of God:
1. The Word is an object of hope:
Psalm 119:41–56 (ESV)
41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.
49 Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
51 The insolent utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
52 When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O LORD.
53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs
in the house of my sojourning.
55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD,
and keep your law.
56 This blessing has fallen to me,
that I have kept your precepts.
See also, Psalm 119:, 74, 81, 114, 147; 130:5.
2. The Scripture was given to give us hope: “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 (ESV)
3. “Genuine Christian counselors not only accept the counselee’s interest in checking out everything biblically, but (like Paul) encourage it.5 When a Christian counselee sees for himself that his counselor adheres closely to biblical principle, this too brings hope. This hope grows out of the fact that Jehovah is a covenant-keeping God Whose promises are dependable. He is also a God Who cares for the people whom He has saved and made His own (the covenant slogan appears in several forms but always includes the essential elements: “Your God … My people”). In other words, hope, in Christian counseling, is the direct result of one’s salvation.” Jay Edward Adams, A Theology of Christian Counseling : More Than Redemption (Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resource Library, 1986), 178–179.
F. Hope is directed to God’s work in Jesus Christ:
1. His work is given for the broken and bruised:
15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16 and ordered them not to make him known. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
20 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
21 and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” Matthew 12:15–21 (ESV); Romans 15:12.
Ps. 39:7; 65:5; 71:5; 78:7, 119:66; 130:7; 131:3; Jer. 14;8, 17:13, 50:7; Is. 60:9;
2. We may suffer for the very purpose of placing our hope in God’s work in Christ:
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 2 Corinthians 1:8–10 (ESV)
3. “17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”1 Peter 1:17–21 (ESV); see, also, Eph. 1:12; Gal. 5:5; 1 Thess. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:1, 4:10, 5:5; Heb. 6:19.
G. Hope is of God:
1. He is the “God of Hope”. Rom. 15:13.
2. Hope is a gift of God: “16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 (ESV)
H. God is pleased with hope:
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalm 147:10–11 (ESV)
From eDWARD pOLHILL, A Preparation for suffering in an evil day
The sixth direction for suffering, is a lively hope of eternal life—Hope assures us, that there is another world, that the good things of it exceed those of this, that we have an interest in them—Hope disposes us for them—Hope waits for them unto the end.
The sixth direction is this: if we would be in a fit posture for suffering, we must get a lively hope of eternal life. As our life is a sea, hope is compared to an anchor, which makes us stand steady in a storm; as our life is a warfare, hope is compared to a helmet, which covers the soul in times of danger; as the body liveth spirando, by breathing, so the soul lives sperando, by hoping. A man cannot drown so long as his head is above water; hope lifts up the head, and looks up to the redemption and salvation that is to come in another world in its fulness and perfection. Hope doth three things; it assures good things to come; it disposes us for them; it waits for them unto the end: each of which will, be of singular use to fit us for pious sufferings.
1. Hope assures good things to come: it is called the hope of salvation, (Thes. 5:8); the hope of glory, (Rom. 5:2); the hope of eternal life, (Tit. 1:2), because it assures these things. To this I shall speak in three particulars.
2. Hope assures us that there is another world, called in scripture, The world to come: without this there can be no foundation for pious suffering; no man can freely part with this world unless he be assured of another. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable,” (1 Cor. 15:19). Miserable indeed, to be persecuted out of one world, and to have never another to go to. If christians were in as dark a case, as the emperor Adrian was, when dying he cried out, “O my poor soul, whither art thou going?” they could be in no rational capacity of suffering; but hope assures them, that there is another world, where things are administered in a different manner than they are here in this. Here good men bear the cross—there they wear the crown; here they are black with reproaches—there they shine as the sun; here they are tossed at sea—there they enter into rest; here they drink of the bitter cup—there of the rivers of pleasure above; here they are in the bloody hands of men—there in the arms of a gracious God. Hope is sure, that these things are so: God’s promises secure them; and, that we might have strong consolation, God’s oath is superadded also: our Saviour hath sealed up the truth of them with his own blood, and we may venture our dearest lives upon them. Hence it is, that hope is said to be the anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, entering into that within the veil, (Heb. 6:19). Other anchors may break, but this will never fail; other anchors are fastened in this world, but this enters into that within the veil, and fixes itself in the unmoveable heaven; and in respect thereof, christians become in some measure unmoveable in the midst of all the storms here below. St. Cyprian saith of the Christians in his time, that their faith and hope did stand unmoveable and unshaken, inter ipsas seculi ruinas, among the ruins of the world. When the excelled Melancthon was threatened by his enemies, that they would not leave him a footstep in Germany, he replied, That he should have one in heaven: in like manner, when a poor persecuted Christian is ready to be cast out of this world, he may comfort himself with this, that he hath another to go to, where he shall have better usage, and a reward for his sufferings.
3. Hope assures us, that the good things of the world to come do incomparably exceed the things of this world. If the things of this world were the better, no man would leave better for worse: nay, if they were but equal, no man would part with that in possession for that in expectation: but hope assures us that the good things of the world to come do far transcend those that are in this world. The mansions in glory are better than the houses of clay; the incorruptible inheritance exceeds a fading one; eternal life is much more precious than temporal; the crowns of immortality above outshine all the titles of honor here below; the pure rivers of pleasure in heaven are far sweeter than the delights on earth; the fruition of God (who is the supreme good, centre of souls, Sabbath of rest, and fountain of blessedness,) cannot but be infinitely beyond the enjoyment of creatures. A good assurance, that these things are so, will dispose us to part with the lesser concerns here below, that we may enjoy the greater that are above. We read of some worthies that took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, because they had in heaven a better and enduring substance. (Heb. 10:34.) And again, of some, that would not accept deliverance, because they would obtain a better resurrection. (Heb. 11:35.) Shadows and trifles were to be parted with, rather than massy and durable felicity; the bubble or vapour of a transitory life was to be let go, rather than an everlasting one. When in the persecution under Dioclesian, the martyrs were asked, What made them bear such torments; and what they expected after all their sufferings? They made this answer: That they did hope for those good things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, which God hath prepared for them that love him. We see what bore up their spirits in their sufferings; let us labour to have a high sense of the excellencies of the world to come, that, if need be, we may part with all for it.
4. Hope assures our interest in the good things of the world to come: and here two things are to be noted; the one is this, hope, in its initial existence assures our interest in them fundamentally; he that hath a true lively hope of them hath a real interest in them; every right grace touches upon heaven, and gives a right to it; but hope doth it in a kind of peculiar way; it enters in within the veil, and in a sort takes possession of the other world. As the ship is at land in its anchor, so the soul is in heaven in its hope; and he that hath a true interest there will not part with it in a time of suffering: the anchor being in heaven, and fastened in the unmoveable felicity there, will hold out in a storm. Such an one will reckon, as St. Paul did, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18.) Or, if a comparison be made, the sufferings in respect of the glory, will be but as a drop of wormwood, to a vast sea of infinite sweetness. The other thing is this: hope in its full stature assures our interest in the good things to come sensibly; he that hath a plerophory of hope, certainly knows that he hath an interest in them. “We know that we have passed from death to life,” saith St. John. (1 John 3:14.) As if the apostle had said, we are in the borders of heaven, and we know it, as it were, sensibly, as we do our passage from one place to another. Holy Job saith, “I know that my Redeemer liveth; and, maugre all the worms, in my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:25, 26.) He was sure of the bliss-making vision, and could look through the dust to immortality. Such a full hope ushers in a kind of paradise into the soul, and admirably fits it to bear sufferings; the internal suavity is able to sweeten any outward condition. The learned Rivet, at his dying hour, broke forth into these words: Expecto, credo, persevero, dimoveri nequeo, Dei spiritus meo spiritui testatur, me esse ex filiis suis, rem ineffabilem! I expect, believe, persevere, cannot be moved; God’s spirit witnesses to mine, that I am one of his children; O ineffable love! Let us labour to have, not only a lively hope, that we may have a title to heaven, but a full hope that we may know our title to it. This will be a high cordial in an evil day, and make us able, whatever the sufferings be, to go on triumphantly and with full sails to heaven.
5. Hope doth not only assure the good things to come, but disposes us for them. Hope is not an idle dream or notion, but it is an active and lively thing; it doth not merely look to the glory above, but puts the soul into a posture for it; every one, that hath in him the nope of so great a thing as the seeing the blessed God is, purifieth himself, even as he is pure, (1 John 3:3). He knows darkness cannot have communion with light; unclean eyes cannot be opened in so pure a place as heaven is; the earthly heart is too gross to be in the region of holy spirits; he that drowns himself in sensual pleasures is not meet to drink of the pure rivers that are above. Malicious spirits cannot be capable of dwelling there, where infinite love opens itself in all its sweetness. The false-hearted hypocrite can never be admitted to see truth in the original, nor the evil man to drink goodness at the fountain-head. He, therefore, that hath a right hope of being with God in heaven, will purify himself for such a high estate; he will labour to have more of the light of faith to fit him for that of vision; to have more purity of heart, to make him meet to see the Holy One; to have more of heaven in his affections, to prepare him for that blessed region; to have more spiritual delight here, that he may be capable of entering into the joy of his Lord hereafter; to have his heart more filled with holy love, that he may be in an apt posture for the rich effusions of love in heaven; to have more truth and goodness in his heart, that he may be the more ready to enjoy the fountain and fullness of both, I mean, the blessed God, who is all in all. Thus this lively hope makes a man meet for heaven, and in so doing, it makes him meet for those sufferings that lie in his way thither. That purity, which disposes him to enjoy God in heaven, doth also dispose him to suffer for him on earth; and the greater disposition is to heaven, the centre of blessedness, the stronger will the motion be to break through all difficulties that are in the passage thereunto. Let us therefore get a purifying hope, that we may be fit for the cross.
6. Hope doth not only dispose us for the good things to come, but it waits for them unto the end. Hope is a waiting grace, it makes a christian’s life to be a perpetual waiting: “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come,” saith Job, (chap. 14:14). Job had many changes, but he waited for that great one, which should bring him into a state of unchangeable happiness. Whatever holy men are a doing, still they are in a waiting posture. When Jacob was blessing his sons, he did not forget this, but broke out in a sudden sweet ejaculation, “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord!” (Gen. 49:18). Hope makes christians to wait for the good things to come at all times, but in a special manner in time of sufferings: St. Paul, speaking first of the suffering saints, and then of the groaning world, expresseth himself thus; “We ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body, for we are saved by hope,” (Rom. 8:23, 24). Here we may observe the true state and posture of the saints; afflictions make them groan, but the divine hope, the first-fruits of the Spirit, make them wait for a better world, in which adoption and redemption shall have their complete perfection: a christian in afflictions being tormented in this world, will wait for a better. The martyr Agatha, having her breasts cruelly cut off for religion, told the persecutor, That yet she had two breasts remaining, such as he could not touch; the one of faith, the other of hope; which afforded her great comforts in her torments. Faith adheres to the promise, hope waits for the good things promised; both strengthen in a day of trial. It is the very nature of divine hope to wait for the good things to come: when the sun of prosperity shines, it waits in a way of obedience; “Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and do thy commandments,” saith David, (Ps. 119:166). He waited in a way of obedience to God’s commands. And when the storm of persecution comes, it waits in a way of patience. Hence the apostle speaks of the patience of hope, (1 Thess. 1:3). That hope, which in prosperity waited in a way of obedience, will in adversity wait in a way of patience: hope would have the christian to be always waiting for the upper world; but when the cross comes, it presseth upon him more vehemently, and will speak after this manner to him; What, hast thou waited for the great reward in heaven in duties and ordinances, and wilt thou not wait for it in sufferings, too? Heaven is the same still, and sufferings are not worthy to be compared with it: do but suffer a little, and thou shalt be there. When the martyr Ananias, in the Persian persecution, seemed to tremble at the approaching cross, Pusices spake thus to him; “Paulisper, O senex, oculos claude, nam statim lumen Dei videbis;” shut thine eyes a little, O old man, and immediately thou shalt see the light of God. Excellent is that of the apostle; “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal,” (2 Cor. 4:17, 18). Here it is observable, affliction is light and momentary, but glory is a weight and eternal, there is no proportion between them: if by hope we look at the invisible and eternal things, his will support our hearts, that it is but a little short suffering, and we shall be in heavenly bliss for ever: let us therefore labour after a waiting hope, that we may patiently bear the cross.
Jay Edward Adams, Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling (Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library, 1986), 137–139.
5 Of course, some counselees misuse this privilege. One example is the “professional counselee” (cf. Manual, pp. 298ff.).