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The Scarlet Cord

(Today, we are going to take communion together. You may want to pause the video and get your communion elements ready.)

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” (1) These are the opening lines of the song, Solid Rock, written in 1834 by Edward Mote, a Baptist pastor from England.

The well-known refrain states:

“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.” (2)

The refrain of this hymn is based on Matthew 7:24-27, which anyone who’s attended Sunday school will recognize as the parable of The Wise and the Foolish Builders. The passage says:

Anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!” (GNT)

Most of the words of this song, not just the refrain, are based in Scripture. Edward Mote must have been a man who loved God’s Word. He had come to understand that hope was found in Christ, and clearly embraced this truth in his life. I’m sure Mote had no idea the powerful song he ended up writing would become a classic, reminding the millions who would sing it that hope is found in Jesus.

The Lord tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has good plans and a hope-filled future for us. The hope He gives motivates us to pursue the future He has planned. This allows us to also impart hope, which puts wind beneath the wings of others. Hope looks past any fog or darkness that may encroach on our path and lights our way forward.

In my book, The Power of Hope, I state that “Hope does in our hearts what seeds do in the earth. Without hope, life is sterile and unfruitful; dreams won’t be conceived; destinies won’t be realized. Hope is essential because it is the seed, the starting line, the genesis, and the launch pad. It is, in fact, the incubator where faith is birthed: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for,” God tells us (Hebrews 11:1 KJV, emphasis added). If there is no hope for the future, there will be no faith to face it - let alone build it.” (3)

Strong’s concordance tells us the word “hope” in Jeremiah 29:11 is the word “tiqvah”. It has two meanings: “an expectancy;” and “a cord, as an attachment.” The second definition is especially fascinating. Hope connects us to our future.

This brings us back to the words of Mote’s song, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” At some point, while walking along life’s path with the Lord, this powerful truth became a revelation, and he shared it with all the world in his hymn.

Tiqvah’s definition as a “cord or rope” is used this way in Joshua 2:18. A woman named Rahab hid the Israelite spies when they came to check out Jericho. Because she helped them, they agreed to save her and her family from the destruction coming to Jericho. The spies gave her a red cord and told her to hang it in her window. They cautioned her to be sure all of her extended family members were in the room with the cord, and all would be saved. In verse 21, she accepted their offer. It was a very good thing she did. The entire city and its inhabitants were destroyed; only Rahab and her family survived. The passage reads, “When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet cord [tiqvah - hope] hanging from the window through which you let us down… ‘I accept your terms,’ she replied. And, she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope [hope] hanging from the window” (verses 18-21 NLT).

Rahab was being asked to place her hope in these men and the God she knew was with them. Their promise to her was a covenant expressed in the blood-red cord. Most biblical scholars see this as a prophetic picture of Christ’s shed blood, which is where we place our hope and trust. This symbolism seems even more likely when we realize Rahab later married an Israelite from the tribe of Judah, Salmon, and became the mother of Boaz. Boaz and Ruth gave us Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. King David was one of Rahab’s descendants; she was part of Christ’s lineage! That Jesus descended from Rahab makes it almost certain that the scarlet cord symbolized the redeeming, covenantal blood of Christ, through which we are saved.

One verse of Mote’s song says, “His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” Let’s put all our hope in God’s covenant with us, knowing we are saved by, tethered to, and anchored solidly in His love and plan.

Communion is our declaration that when all around us gives way, Christ is our hope and stay. We are foundationed on Him, our rock, which will never fail to support us. His blood, the scarlet cord, “hangs” from the windows of our hearts and is the surety, the guarantee, of our covenant with God (Hebrews 7:22). He cannot and will not fail.

Christ’s blood grafts us into God’s family, just as the cord grafted Rahab into Israel. And not as a second-class citizen - Rahab became a carrier of the royal seed, one of the mothers of Messianic redemption. Put your hope and faith in the blood of Christ - it will not fail!

Pray with me:

Father, we ask You to restore Your people from hope-deferred. You tell us hope-deferred makes our hearts sick (Proverbs 13:12). Heal them, spiritually and emotionally, so they can be hope-givers to those around them. Many have been in a season of disappointment; some have even abandoned hope, and lost faith in You. They’ve allowed circumstances to determine how they see and relate to You. But hope can spawn faith, correct our vision, and bring us into right relationship with You! You are good, faithful, and have a plan to bring us into a hope-filled future.

As we take the bread of communion together today, we break off of Your people fear, disillusionment, hope-deferred, weak hearts, and confusion. We declare Your promise of “no fear,” and release “power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). We declare over them the spirit of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13). Through Your covenant, our hope and faith are strong for ourselves, our families, and our nation. (Eat the bread)

And as we take the cup today, representing Your blood, we declare, as Rahab did for herself and her family, that we are no longer outsiders, outcasts. We’re in the family now, the household of faith, Your family. As Your kids, we’re Your heirs, joint-heirs with Christ. We stand in this truth today, declaring that we and our families, like Rahab, shall be saved, by the scarlet cord, the blood of a better and eternal covenant - Christ’s. (Drink the cup).

Our decree:

We declare that a hope-filled church will reflect Jesus, rejoicing in hope, standing patient in tribulation, and remaining constant in prayer.

Click on the link below to watch the full video.


  1. “My Hope is Built” by Edward Mote. Public domain.

  2. Ibid

  3. Dutch Sheets, The Power of Hope, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Publishing Group, 2002), p 3.

Reject Shallow Living, Refuse Small Dreaming

A study reported in the May 2010 issue of Atherosclerosis, said participants who were persistently depressed had a twofold increased risk of narrowing of the arteries. The study took place over a period of ten years, with participants being assessed at least three different times during that ten-year period for depression symptoms.(1) “This is the same magnitude of increased risk that one sees in comparing a pack-a-day smoker to a nonsmoker. (2)

Incredible. Hopelessness, if not checked, is a death sentence.

A recent study in the British Medical Journal confirms this, reporting that people with serious depression were two-thirds more likely to die prematurely; even those with mild depression had a 16 percent higher risk of dying compared to individuals who were distress free.(3) You can die from sorrow!

God told us this a long time ago. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Most of us think only of our emotional or spiritual heart when we read this, but science is now proving that the verse is true of physical hearts as well. Hope deferred creates a diseased heart, both emotionally and physically. And with a diseased heart, no one can run life’s race effectively.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” we are exhorted in Hebrews 12:1. Lack of endurance, however, is one of the first results of heart disease. We may run, but we won’t run far. The loss of hope is crippling, making us little more than spectators in life. “Run in such a way that you may win,” the Lord urges us through Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:24. You’ll never do that with a diseased heart. When hope deferred sets in, not only are we unable to win - sometimes, we can’t even finish the race. There’s no doubt about it: hope-deferred “heart disease” is a killer.

The Lord doesn’t want the pain, frustration, or disillusionment of hope deferred to affect our hearts in any way. He wants us to run the race of life enthusiastically, effectively, and with pleasure, enjoying the journey.

We live in an era of incredible challenge and unprecedented change. Technology is increasing at astounding rates of speed; the global landscape is in an unstable and volatile state, with the possibility of nuclear war once again in the news; famine, disease, and violence are on the rise. The number of humans trafficked and enslaved is higher than any time in history; the insanity and depravity of leaders in America and around the world have reached shocking levels; the hearts of people are failing them from fear. Thoreau's famous quote, “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation,” has never been more apropos.

And yet, desperation - humankind’s inevitable realization that there is no human answer - always becomes the womb of God’s opportunity. His unstoppable march through history forces its way through the chaos and resistance of fallen humanity and into the opportune time of breakthrough and harvest. When this occurs, the body of Christ must recognize it and take action. Every generation of the church must have its own “for such a time as this” epiphany, a corporate revelation of a corporate purpose, and that this reason for their existence has arrived. You and I have come to ours.

The church of 2023 is now staring at the greatest opportunity ever afforded the body of Christ. The stage is set. The full restoration of Christ’s gifts and anointings has been accomplished; the revelation being released from Holy Spirit is at profound levels; our incredible technology and modes of travel give us the ability to reach all the world with the gospel; and the desperation of a confused and hopeless populace has created a ripe harvest. We’ve been called to participate in the greatest Kingdom expansion in all of history.

Like Esther, we must recognize and accept our moment, rise to our reason for existing at this specific time, shake off all fear, and cast off all limitations. We must reject shallow living and refuse small dreaming. We must not measure success by temporal, human goals, nor bow to the reprehensible idol of personal kingdom building.

Determine that you will be part of God’s answer, a difference-maker, an agent of change. Be a voice - He must be heard through you. Be a giver of life - part of God’s answer to a desperate and hungry world. Stay low, but dream high.

There is no Plan B.

Pray with me:

Father, decades of complacency, disengagement, and lack of discernment in the church allowed evil forces to gain strong footholds in our land. Through the catastrophic election of 2020, these forces intend to finish off America’s strength and her partnership with You. Once again, we repent on behalf of our nation for 50 years of choosing darkness over light. We repent for electing people who do not know or honor You. And we repent for acquiescing to satan’s strategies. Forgive and cleanse us.

In these troubling times of darkness and abounding evil, our hope in You anchors our souls. Our faith in Your love and grace is steadfast and immovable. You are using the difficulties we’re experiencing, the lunacy of seared consciences, and the fragile state of the world to create great desperation. This is producing a ripe harvest. You told us that when we discern the time for spiritual rain, an outpouring of Holy Spirit, we must ask for it (Zechariah 10:1). We do so now: send Your rain.

And we pray for a great awareness to come to Your people, an awareness of the opportunity of our times. We pray for faith to arise in the church regarding Your heart and purposes. Help us keep our focus on You. We ask You to awaken in the church a sense of destiny. We join our faith for this now, and also for the breaking of fear and hopelessness off the body of Christ. We bind spirits of fear and confusion, and release the spirit of revelation to the church.

In Christ’s name.

Our decree:

We decree that hope, faith, and strength are rising in the Ekklesia. Fear will not rule us.

Portions of today’s post were taken from my book The Power of Hope published by Charisma House.

Click on the link below to watch the full video.


  1. Mark Hamer, Mika Kivimaki, Avijit Lahiri, Michael G. Marmot, and Andrew Steptoe, “Persistent Cognitive Depressive Symptoms Associated With Coronary Calcification.” Atherosclerosis 210, no. 1 (May 2010); 209-213, http: // (accessed October 1, 2013).

  2. New York Times, “Despair and Risk of Artery Disease,” September 3, 1997, (accessed October 1, 2013).

  3. Tom C. Russ, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Mark Hamer, John M. Starr, Mika Kivimaki, and G. David Batty, “Association Between Psychological Distress and Mortality: Individual Participant Pooled Analysis of 10 Prospective Cohort Studies,” British Medical Journal 345 (July 31, 2012): e4933, (accessed October 1, 2013).

We Must Play Hope’s Song

America is mourning another senseless shooting. The shock of innocent children, as well as adults, being mercilessly killed is hard to cope with. The reality is that America is diseased on the inside. More of our kids will die today of overdoses; others will be killed in gang-related violence; still, others will take their own lives. As I stated yesterday, no human can fix us; only God, through a spiritual awakening, can heal America. We must continue to contend for this. To foster hope, I am sharing some thoughts today from my book, The Power of Hope. We must continue to believe, even as we grieve.

People sometimes refer to their difficult times as “winter seasons.” There is a powerful picture associated with this in Ezekiel 47. The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of the river of life. The river produced life and healing everywhere it went. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “river” in the passage is nachal, and means “a stream, especially a winter torrent.” (1) Some streams and rivers are dry during parts of the year. They fill up, however, when there is rain or, as in this case, the spring thaw melts the snow and ice on the mountains. Tiny rivulets develop, coming together to form streams and, eventually, becoming nachalim (rivers). Though Ezekiel’s “winter river” began as a trickle in verse 1, it eventually became a mighty, unfordable river by verse 5.

God’s healing river often begins as a trickle. We can be confident, however, that it will deepen, that God will use the snow and ice of our winter to bring a deep flow of His healing power to us. Our season will change.

  • For those who are confused and disillusioned…

  • For the heart grieving from pain and loss…

  • For the faithful but weary soldier whose streambed is dry…

  • For those who have lost their first love connection to Him…

  • For the rejected of the world who are heartsick with hope deferred…your season is changing…

The warmth of spring will do its work, summer is coming. Thank God winter doesn’t last forever. The river of healing will flow to us, and we will drink of its healing power.

As the following story states, there is a song in you.

One night a discouraged man in London was on his way to drown himself. At that moment, his life did not seem worth living. As he walked along the street, he stopped and looked at a painting in a shop window. It was George Frederic Watt’s Hope - a woman, blindfolded, sitting on top of the world, holding a lyre with but one string. Yet still hoping and believing the instrument will make music, she is ready to strike it. The man, as he stood looking at that painting, said to himself: “Well, I have one string - I have a little boy at home.” So he returned home to his son. (2)

When we feel there is nothing left, we must look again. The prophet Habakkuk said the flock might be dead and gone, there might be no fruit in the orchard, and the hillsides might be bare. But still “I will exult in the Lord,” he said. “I will rejoice in the God of my salvation” (see Habakkuk 3:17-19). There was music possible yet!

And there is still music in our nation. We must play hope’s song, even in the dark night of the soul. Job, in his hellish suffering, said the Lord “gives songs in the night” (Job 35:10). David, during his time of exile, said, “His song will be with me in the night” (Psalm 42:8). Paul and Silas, beaten, bleeding and in chains, “about midnight…were praying and singing hymns of praise to God” (Acts 16:25). There is hope in the night, and there is music somewhere in our broken nation. Don’t give up!

A passage in the Song of Solomon speaks of the end of “winter”:

“My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. The fig tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!’”

(Song of Solomon 2:10-13 NASB)

Working Things Together for Good

Psalm 51 was written by a man experiencing hope deferred. King David had lost his first-love connection with God, which resulted in sin and a winter season. The following prayer he offered was answered: “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life…Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails” (vv. 10, 12, The Message).

God wants to do that for America and for you. A fresh start…a Genesis week…out of exile…a fresh wind - that’s what He wants for us.

A well-known verse in Romans speaks of God taking our pain, hurts, and destruction and bringing good from them. It is actually one of the most famous verses in the entire Bible: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This verse packs an even greater power than most people realize.

The phrase “work together” is from the Greek word sunergeo, from which we get the English words synergy and synergism. Synergism is “the working together of two or more to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.” (3) In choosing this word, God is promising He will take all of the bad, all of the pain, and every attempt of the enemy to destroy our faith - “all things” - and then put Himself in the mix, infusing the evils with His miraculous power. I will synergize with them, He says, and the good in Me will overpower the bad in them. Amazing! Disappointment, plus pain, plus loss, is used for something good when God’s river of healing enters. Believing in this truth is part of restoring hope.

When complimented on her homemade biscuits by Dr. Harry Ironside, the cook responded, “Just consider what goes into the making of these biscuits. By itself, the flour doesn’t taste good; neither does the baking powder, nor the shortening, nor any other ingredient. However, when I mix them all together and put them in the oven, they’re transformed. They come out just right.”

Much of life can taste bad. But God is able to combine these “ingredients” of our life in such a way that when He is finished, the result is good. (4)

God is going to send His river to America. It is, even now rising. He will heal, save, and restore. Keep your appeals strong - they are saving our land.

Pray with me:

Father, grief does not contradict or negate faith. We pray for Your comfort to those experiencing unspeakable pain. And though we grieve for our broken nation, we believe You are coming to release Your river of healing. Yes, we have been in an icy winter. Without a doubt, there is no hope for us but You. However, You are merciful, and You don’t abandon people or nations in their times of wandering. Your heart is always to redeem, and our hope is in You.

As many well-meaning people today formulate plans and discuss ideas to try and fix America, we are keenly aware that unless You build the house, they labor in vain. Bring the awakening we cry out for. Convict millions in America over our rejection of You. Help them see that our sick condition is due to this, and that the only cure is to return. Bring Your warmth and thaw frozen hearts until the winter in America is over, and the river of Your healing flows with its full force.

Strengthen the intercessors. Keep them strong, hope-filled, and full of faith. Remind them that You bring good even out of evil and can even use the plans of evil people to do so, just as You did for Joseph. We draw on You for strength, and we will persevere in our prayers.

Our decree:

We decree that the level of God’s healing river is rising, and He will heal our land.

Today’s post was taken from my book The Power of Hope

Click on the link below to watch the full video.


  1. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), s.v. OT:5158, “nachal.”

  2. Oden, 100 Meditations on Hope, p 72.

  3., Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, s.v. “synergism,” (accessed October 2, 2013).

  4. Adapted from Edward K. Powell, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1997), p 118.

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