Summary: Part of "A Christian's Heart" series this sermon deals with a heart that is filled with hope. A hope-filled heart is a heart that senses and knows God while rejecting what the world places its hopes upon.
A Christian’s Heart
“A Hope-Filled Heart”
It safe to say that all of us have had bad days, and some of us have had a long line of bad days and it doesn’t seem like they are ever going to end.
It’s been said that a person can go 40 days without food, three days without water, and three minutes without air, but we can’t last a single second without hope. Hope is to our spirits what oxygen is to our bodies. When we don’t have enough oxygen to breathe, we die. When we don’t have hope, our spirit dies. Hope is then an essential to life, because when hope is gone then life, for all intents and purpose, is over.
Hope, good solid biblical hope can help change our outlook on life.
Have you noticed that life comes with list of side effects. It can be full of fun, adventure, excitement, and joy. But it also comes with illness, abuse, broken relationship, betrayal, sorrow, loss, injuries, disappointments, heartache, crime and death.
Like any product, therefore, life should then come with a warning label, which is actually what Jesus gives us.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
Yes troubles, trials, and tribulations are going to come, but Jesus tells us to have a heart filled with hope because He has overcome. Jesus’ plan and purpose for our lives far exceeds our understanding and expectations, and supersedes our present reality, that is, our present difficulties.
There is hope because Jesus is an overcoming Savior.
Hope Springs Eternal
The reality is that most of us don’t deal well with life’s disappointments. We tend to draw a curtain of protection around us trying to the keep the hurt out and bury our troubles and difficulties in the process. Further, we question everything we’ve done along with our motives for doing it.
Every one of us, however, have dreams and plans as to what we want to become and what we want to in life. The problem is that life just seems to get in the way, and hope gets lost in the process, and things just kind of goes downhill from there.
Solomon tells us
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV)
When hope is lost or deferred, our dreams are shattered, left dormant, imprisoned, manipulated, or paralyzed due to heartbreak.
The unfortunate part of this is that people don’t turn to God during these times to have their hope restored. Rather they turn to methods to alleviate the pain, which in turn does greater damage by exasperating the problem bringing on depression. Or they turn to such things as alcohol and drugs.
But this doesn’t need to be the end of the story. God has great dreams and plans for our lives, dreams to give us a future and a hope.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
Abraham had this hope and he held onto this hope when circumstances would have led most to despair.
Abraham had been promised by God descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven and sand upon the seashore, Genesis 22:7. But he and his wife Sarah were well past their child making years. And on top of that, Sarah was barren.
But Abraham never lost hope because his hope was in God’s promise.
“Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’” (Romans 4:18 NKJV)
Abraham could have easily fallen into despair and depression. He would have no one to carry on his name, his legacy. But Abraham knew where his hope lay, and in Who his hope was in. So instead of turning to wine to numb his lost hope, he turned to the Lord, remembered God’s promises, and his hope was restored.
Abraham’s hope was in the Lord and he continued to believe giving his frustrations and fears over to the Lord knowing God’s thoughts and plans were to give him peace, a future, and hope.
All of us have dreams and visions. God Himself put them within us. God created a dream inside all our hearts. He created us with a divine design in mind. Therefore, it is in the Lord God and in Him alone that hope springs eternal.
When looking at a hope-filled heart, there are three characteristics that stand out.
1. A Heart that Senses God
In this world hope seems to be in short supply.