Tag Archives: hope


10 Aug

Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Irwan Fransiskus, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 6 Aug 2017.

Prayer of Jabez

The prayer of Jabez teaches us how to depend on God and to call upon Him.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 – Jabez was more honourable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.

Jabez’s mother gave birth to him in pain. She named her son “Jabez”, which means “pain.” Perhaps she led a painful life, so she decided to name her son “pain” literally. Jabez’s prayer is made up of four parts. First, Jabez asks God to bless him. Second, he asks God to enlarge his territory or increase his responsibility. Third, he prays that God will be with him and stay close. Lastly, Jabez asks that God keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain.

The Bible mentions that he was an honourable man because of his prayer.

1. Jabez asked God to bless him.
Jabez understood that the blessings of Abraham in Genesis 12:2 – ask the Lord to bless us to glorify Him. Jabez understood the purpose of God’s blessings. Jacob wrestled with an angel at the Jabbok river until he was blessed (Genesis 32:26).

Power, fame, wealth, beauty and health cannot satisfy us. We can learn from the life of famous people like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Thierry Costa and Getulio Vargas. They did not find the meaning of life in their status, and these successful people ended up committing suicide.

2. Jabez prayed for God to enlarge his border so that God’s hands may be with Him.
Jabez understood the prayer of Moses in Exodus 33:15 “If Your presence do not go with us, do not bring us from here”.

If the Lord is with us, His favour is also with us. It is very important to stay close to God and rely on His continued support and guidance throughout our life.

3. Jabez asked God to keep Him from harm.
Jabez clearly knew and prayed specifically to the One who could protect him from evil and pain, 1 Chronicles 4:10 – Keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain. The Hebrew word for harm in this verse correlates with 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 – these are the examples of harm or “evil”.

How do we keep ourselves away from harm/evil? There are four examples of the word “harm/evil” in the Bible:

1. Idolatry – anything we love more than God is our idol.
It could be our hobby, our occupation or even the love of chasing money (Ecclesiastes 5:9-10, Ephesians 5:5).

2. Sexual immorality is a sin we must avoid.
We live in a world where society is experiencing moral degradation, where same sex marriage is legal in some countries. Genesis 49:2 records that Ruben slept with his stepmother (one of Jacob’s wives) and as a result Ruben was denied of his first-born birth right.

Lot and his daughters committed incest, and their two descendants from this relationship resulted in constant battles between the Israelites and the Moabites and Ammonites (Genesis 19:32).

3. Putting God to the test is to demand God to prove Himself to us in our own way.
Pastor Mark Wolford, from the US State of Virginia, was bitten by a rattle snake and was killed during a church service for putting God to test. He was well-known for handling dangerous snakes in a test of faith. We need to practise godly discernment by not doing dangerous acts to demonstrate God’s protection upon us. When we view God through our doubt and demand something of Him as a way of determining whether or not He can be trusted, we are in danger of testing God.

In the Bible, there are examples of both acceptable and unacceptable kinds of testing God. It is acceptable to “test” God concerning tithes and offerings (we give because we have faith in Him), for example, but unacceptable when the test is to demand something from God to prove Himself to us because we lack faith in Him.

4. Grumbling is a harmful attitude and it is evil in the sight of God. Proverbs 20:19 It is that faith-inspired action of obedience that God loves. As seen in the example of Israel’s journey out of Egypt, they developed a habit of grumbling.

How do we value the love of Christ in our life? God has given us everything, even His precious blood on the Cross (John 3:16). There is no greater love than the love of Christ. Jacqueline Kennedy’s love letter to the British Ambassador to the US, was sold in an auction for a price for USD$190,000. The Bible is God’s love letter to us, and is priceless. Our food is to do the will of God and to accomplish His work, John 4:34. Let us work out our salvation and work for food that endures to eternal life (John 6:27).

At the end of the prayer of Jabez, it is clear that God approved of this faithful prayer by granting it. It is also important to see that Jabez was passionate in his plea to God: "He cried out to the God of Israel." God wants to hear that we need Him through passionate prayer.



6 Jul

The Summary of Sermon by Ps. Djohan Handojo at Bethany International Sevice on Sunday, 2 July 2017.


Pastor Djohan recently attended a conference at Wittenburg in Germany where the Reformation started by Martin Luther. 

The conference discussed how to bring the Gospel for every person and challenges in sharing it. The gospel brings freedom and transforms life. 

In sharing the gospel today, we faced several challenges :-

 1. Ideology 

People do not believe in God. 40% of the people in the Western world become atheist. They do not find God important in their lives.
2. Secularism  

People look into the world and there is less emphasis of God in the society. In South East Asia, many people still have strong faith in God. We still find Christian schools, many Church services in the malls and hotels.

3. Moral 

Today sexual disorder is considered normal and acceptable especially in the western world. The government in America and other western countries legalized the same-sex marriage. Even the schools are teaching it and educate the right to develop love and feelings beyond the gender which is gender disorientation.

James 1: 2-3) The world is constantly under temptation by the devil. Only the kingdom of God is unshakeable. 

We are dealing with self centeredness. People have the tendency to become self centered. Some of us struggle with sin but Jesus is waiting for us to come back when we have gone astray in the world. 
(2 Corinthians 5: 17-18) We are the new creation in Christ. It is important for us to walk in Christ every day. God will see us in a different way, God will see Christ who has redeemed us and see us as a new man or new woman in Christ.

When we are still living in the old self, the devil can attack us. When we live as a new man in Christ, the
devil cannot attack us. However, we can live a victorious life because God is in us.

(1 Corinthians 6 : 2 – 3)  For us as believers, one day, we will reign and rule with Jesus. We will judge the world and the fallen angels. 

Now, the Holy Spirit is in the world but one day the Holy Spirit will be taken away from the world. The world will turn into chaos.
(John 6:54- 55) Whoever eat of my flesh and drink of my blood remains in me, have the salvation and eternal life.


15 Nov



The word faithful can be described clearly when we are in various trials and pressures in our calling. That is when our faithfulness to the calling is being tested. In this situation, there are only two possibilities for man to respond to the pressure and to each response will certainly bear fruit:

  1. Surrender and retreat from the calling
  2. Never give up and remain faithful

When we give up, it is the end of devotion. As a fruit of the surrender, we will feel inferior, live in regret, blame ourselves and others, live in bitterness and deny the faith. Generally, all cases of retreat and giving up are caused by no more hoping, no more reason to believe that God is a loyal personal to His promises. But when we respond to a pressure by fully believe that God is the One who is faithful with what is promised and every word of God is able to give life and hope, it is when the faith rises up and the Holy Spirit will lead to hope of faith in Jesus.

The hope that radiates from a strong faith will make the face of God’s love turned to us. That is when we will have radiant love that gives peace and joy because miracle matters will happen and all of our hopes will receive the optimum answers.

TODAY’S WORD: 2 Timothy 2:11-13, NKJV

11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.


“The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:24)


Never give up on your calling if you do not want to taste the fruit of your choice.


Although we are often unfaithful, God will never deny us, the chosen people He has redeemed.

[Taken from Today’s Word by Ps Djohan Handojo and Team]



Morning: Hebrews 11:1-19

Night: Ezekiel 1-2


14 Oct



There are two sources of life in human life: the first is the one that puts the power of life itself (min), the second is the one who put the Lord Jesus as the source of life and makes God sovereign in his life.

Let us consider the state of the world today, the financial turmoil in 2008 led to the bankruptcy of a large scale in many giant companies in different countries, and even lead to a crisis of confidence. Even the countries that strongly regarded as the Middle East and Japan were not robust in the face of the financial crisis. Not to mention the problem of earthquakes in various cities. If we put our lives on the power source of its won (mind), then we will have the wrong paradigm in this life because we thought it would consume what is seen. And what you see will bring worries and fears that will make our lives circling aimlessly.

Let us consider what the Bible says about life: that God has a plan for your well-being to those who believe and will give you a future filled with hope. For that I will work together for good (Romans 8:28). The promise will not be possible to be understood the power of the human mind because the human mind will regard the promise of God that makes no sense.

All the promises of God can only be understood with the mind of Christ that arises because we invite the Lord Jesus to come into our lives to be the Lord and King of the sovereign. By hearing the word of God, we can understand the promises and then put Him in our hearts to meditate that we may gain an understanding of God’s love that will stir up faith in God totally and completely. Thus God Himself will guide our lives.

TODAY’S WORD: Romans 8:18-30, NKJV

From Suffering to Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.


“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)


Today meditate and tease the word of God, then know that God’s protection and keeping are very real to our lives.


Source of life whom we place hope will determine the direction and success in our lives.

[Taken from Today’s Word by Ps Djohan Handojo and Team]



Morning: 1 Thessalonians 2

Night: Isaiah 43-44


9 Sep


TODAY’S WORD: Jeremiah 17:7-8

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

what did make God favour to David? These are David’s words that pleasing to the Lord: “For thou art my hope, O Lord, my confidence since youth, O GOD.” [Psalm 71:5]

Note, when we are in a hopeless problem, then we would have the strength to endure, we will also have the ability to work best to solve it. However, in many cases when we hang of hope to the world, we often find something that does not conform to our expectations and a lot of events and the fact that ultimately make us disappointed.

If we are hopeful in the Lord of Jesus, then Jesus is the sovereign Lord of our lives will guarantee that He will not make our expectations vain. The Bible notes that although David was the king of the fall up in sin, but he remains the greatest king in Israel that was never defeated in wars because God’s heart is pleased him.

When we lost hope in Christ then our strength and fighting spirit are fled away in our lives. If this situation continues, we will lose the value of life as a living example to the Glory of God on earth. We will like the salt loses its function, useless other than just to be discarded and trampled by people.


“For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” (Psalm 71:5)


David was a man who always put his hope in God but not to the other, how about you?


Have hope of God fully then the power of the Lord will be awarded as a form of favour from the Lord to be with us everywhere, anywhere, under any circumstances that would make us more than conquerors.

[Taken from Today’s Word by Ps Djohan Handojo and Team]


Morning: 2 Corinthians 2

Night: Proverbs 6-7



21 Jul



When you hesitate and struck by all kinds of problems, there is news of joy: God said, “hope of the righteous will never put to shame” (Romans 5:5). Hope is like an anchor or a drag when we are sailing into the ocean of life that sometimes hit by a wave of problems. Hope it is also like a compass or direction pointer to guide us sailing towards a bright future full of hope.

The meaning of hope is very important for human life, that only those who own hope will have the spirit to survive amid the waves of life. While those who do not have hope or had hope but have lost it, they will not have a life, because their lives vanished along with the disappearance of hope.

Hope that gives life can only grow when one has faith in Jesus Christ, as it says in Romans 15:13 that the righteous will have to live by faith. Maybe this time you are I a wave of major problems, do not let the problem drives your faith in Jesus. Read and meditate on God’s word repeatedly to give you assurance. Remember that in Him there is always a way out, then you will get the hope that makes you survive on matter, even your faith will make the Lord to work with it to bring in miracles and breakthrough that you have never think about.

TODAY’S WORD: Romans 5:1-5, NKJV

Faith Triumphs in Trouble

5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.


“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  (Romans 5:5)


Reading and meditating God’s Word is one of the ways for your hope of faith continues to grow.


Hope in Jesus does not put to shame.

[Taken from Today’s Word by Ps Djohan Handojo and Team]



Morning: Acts 23:1-15

Night: Psalm 29-30


7 Apr

Psalms 33:12-22

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. 13 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Today’s Inspiration

“Hope” something that we sometimes we are hard to accept in our lives. But then the Bible clearly states for us to hope in the Lord. Our hope needs to be biblical. Our hope must not be separated from a strong faith. On other words faithful men will always hope to the Lord in every circumstance. With faith, we can still believe in the Lord in every situation.

Do not believe to the noble men, for men will never be able to give salvation. We have a sure hope and will never disappoint us. Our hope is the strong thing in the midst of this hard life.

The right foundations of hope are as follows: Firstly, it is based on the Lord. God has proved Himself to be faithful in the past. For example, God has lead His people out of Egypt into Canaan. People who live without God have no hope at all. Secondly, based on Jesus Christ. For us believers, Jesus came as the Son of God to eradicate the work of the devil and idols of this age. By the death and resurrection, He destroyed them all. Jesus Christ is our hope. We can put our hope in him through the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, based on the Scripture. God revealed His Word through the prophets and apostles in the past through the inspiration of Holy Spirit. We can put our hope to His everlasting Word that will never fails.

With the right hope we can be in a process of God with full submission to the Lord. We can serve Him because He longs for us.

Today’s Reflection

  1. All of us hope for something. What is your hope then? Is it a wrong hope?
  2. How can we stay hopeful in the middle of hardships?

Today’s Action

Build your hope on the right foundation, the genuine truth!

Today’s Word

18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.’ [Psalms 33:18-19, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]