FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Greeted by applause and a standing ovation, Beth Moore welcomed almost 7,000 women to the first National Christian Women’s Convention, meeting in her home state of Texas.
“I am so glad to have an audience that understands my twang and doesn’t need a translation,” said Moore, author of several in-depth Bible studies for women and founder of Living Proof Ministries, based in Houston.
At the three-day meeting sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Moore spoke on hope.
She introduced the topic with the Scripture passage Ezekiel 37:1-14, the account of the Lord bringing Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones and commanding him to prophesy over the dry bones. As Ezekiel preached, the bones came together and were brought to life.
“Ezekiel preached over these bones because God desired to raise up a vast army, but the enemy was trying to make a valley of dryness,” Moore said.
“If the enemy can convince us that something is hopeless, life will begin to drain from us.
“We can’t let the enemy talk us into losing hope. Hope is not a feeling for Christians. We have biblical hope that is different,” she said.
Many Hebrew words exist for the word hope, Moore said, focusing on three of the most frequently used in the Bible.
The first reference was Psalm 130 and the word hope used in verse 5, “… And in His word do I hope.”
“Use of hope in this passage is the simplest Hebrew word for hope, and it can be translated expectation,” Moore said.
“Do you have absolute anticipation and expectation for God? Hope means my God is showing up. He is on his way. I am anxious and expecting him. Have we quit looking?” Moore queried her audience.
Another Hebrew word for hope found in Psalm 62:5 means a cord or an attachment, Moore said.
“Think of it as my attachment is to God. Every single one of us is hanging on to something.
“What is your biggest attachment? If it is anything but Jesus Christ, you are dangling by a thread,” she said.
Moore also challenged the women to take it another step and answer the question: “Who is hanging on to you?
“Anxiety is always attached to the fight for control,” she said. “If you do not have control, you do not worry. Retire people from being god to you and you being god to them. Being god is not fun.”
Another biblical reference using that same Hebrew word for hope is the familiar passage Jeremiah 29:11.
“In this passage God is telling us that he has plans for us that offer a future and a hope,” Moore said. “This is a hope you can hang on to. Right now many of us are hanging on to things we can’t guarantee will stay in our grasp. The Lord Jesus Christ is someone you can dig your hands into.”
The third Hebrew reference to hope is in Isaiah 40:28, and means “to bind together by twisting, to be joined, to collect or to be gathered.”
“I want to help you get the word picture of that,” Moore said. “I remember walking around the house with a preschooler standing on my feet, hugging my thighs and hanging on for dear life.
“Right now picture yourself grabbing on to the leg of God and hanging on for dear life. All the work you need to do is hang on to God and let him do the walking.
“Bind yourself around God, and wherever he goes, you go. Hang on,” she said.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: BETH MOORE, CONFERENCE BOOKSTORE and MARGARET BECKER.