Paul prays in Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Hope can be a lifeline, a rope God throws to a despairing soul. Tahni Cullen, in an interview with Sid Roth, March 26, 2017, explains:
There is no coping in Heaven’s language. It is only hope. And even Abraham, it said, in the worst situations, against hope, he hoped. And you may not have the situation that I have. You may have a completely different situation, but the God of hope is extending this rope. In fact, “hope” in Hebrew (tiqvah) means a cord, a rope. Grab onto that rope. And I just pray right now by the power of the Holy Spirit, as you grab onto that rope that you will follow that rope and you will find the most amazing relationship with God the Father, with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in intimacy. And in that hope you will find faith like you have never known before and it will move mountains.
Tahni Cullen has co-authored a book with Cheryl Ricker about her family’s trials of faith in the face of the extreme autism of her son, Josiah. The description of the book on Amazon reads:
Where is hope when there is no hope?
First-time parents Joe and Tahni Cullen were thrust into the confusing world of autism when their toddler, Josiah, suddenly lost his ability to speak, play, and socialize. The diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder. In their attempts to see Josiah recover and regain speech, the Cullens underwent overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial struggles. While other kids around him improved, Josiah only got worse.
Five years later, Josiah, who had not been formally taught to read or write, suddenly began to type on his iPad profound paragraphs about God, science, history, business, music, strangers, and heaven. Josiah’s eye-opening visions, heavenly encounters, and supernatural experiences forced his family out of their comfort zone and predictable theology, catapulting them into a mind-blowing love-encounter with Jesus.
– Find hope in hardship.
– Catch a fresh glimpse of heaven.
– Learn to hear and trust God’s voice.
– Identify the roles of Father, Son, and Spirit.
– Become aware of the workings of angels, and much more!
Follow a trail of truth into Josiah’s mysterious world, and see why his family and friends can no longer stay silent.
In the book, Josiah explains to his mother his understanding of the triune God:
“In the Trinity, the Father is the manager. The Son is the lover of operations. Holy Spirit is worker. So it’s the three-in-one getting things done. The world was created only by three functions that went like this: Father thought it. Son loved it. Holy Spirit carried out the plan. That is how Trinity works, Mom.
Father, Son, Holy Spirit lack nothing. And they all talk together about how things should go. Life is simple if you know he is Papa. He is Healer. He is Helper. Man must voice, “Father, what do you think? Jesus, what do you love? Spirit, what should we do about it?” This is your mission: do what Father thinks and what Jesus loves and what Spirit tells.”
“To say you are seated in heavenly places with God is to say the Spirit of God is seated in heaven, but he is also seated inside of you.”
“You are the fullness of God in Christ.”
(Cullen, Tahni; Ricker, Cheryl. Josiah’s Fire: Autism Stole His Words, God Gave Him a Voice (Kindle Locations 2468-2475). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC. Kindle Edition.)
Tahni says she found encouragement in Psalm 30, describing how God gives new hope and strength when we go through the storms of life:
Psalm 30 (NKJV)
1 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
3 O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Josiah’s deep relationship with God exemplifies how God speaks to His own, and they are able to hear His voice while steering clear of others that would mislead. Jesus describes his role as the true Shepherd in John 10:
John 10 (NKJV)
1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
David Krause, email@example.com, https://compellinglove.net/