Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: When it feels like you’re going nowhere in your pain, put your hope in God’s salvation, God’s fairness, and God’s faithfulness.

In October 1909, Vancouver, British Columbia purchased its first motorized ambulance. In 1909, a new ambulance was a rare thing, but the city spared no expense to get the best available vehicle – a Model 740 Ambulance from New York, costing $4,000, or more than $100,000 in today's money. Just hours after being on the streets, the ambulance transported its first casualty –an American tourist from Ohio who had been out shopping in downtown Vancouver, hit by the ambulance itself. One of the wealthy women who had worked hard to get the new ambulance summarized the facts in the simplest of terms: “It killed him outright. So the first passenger for the ambulance went to the morgue.” (Chuck Davis, The Chuck Davis History of Metropolitan Vancouver, Harbour, 2011, page 64; www. PreachingToday.com)

Sometimes, a person’s hope is misplaced. So where should you put your hope especially in hard times? Where should you place your confidence? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Hebrews 6, Hebrews 6, where the Bible tells you the best places to put your hope.

Hebrews 6:9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. (ESV)

In the context, Paul had warned his readers about the consequences of not going onto maturity. If they didn’t put God’s Word into practice and grow, then they would get to the point where it would be impossible to change their minds (Hebrews 6:6). They would become stubborn in their disobedience and their lives would be wasted (Hebrews 6:8).

However, Paul says here in verse 9, “We are sure of better things” in the case of his readers. Paul was convinced that his readers would go on to maturity, because of their salvation. You see, spiritual growth belongs to salvation like the sun and its light, or like fire and heat. They’re inseparable! So when it seems like your life has been stalled, when it seems like you’re going nowhere in the midst of your pain, then 1st of all…


Put your confidence in the redemption God offers through faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, and be sure that your salvation will bring about your sanctification. Be sure that your deliverance will produce your development into all that God has called you to be.

You see, when you put your trust in Christ, He not only saves you from hell; He saves you from the bad habits that keep you from growing.

A couple of years ago, I told you the story of Tammy, a homeless woman, who lived under a bridge in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Justin Borger, a pastor, heard about her situation and provided her with some basic hygiene supplies. After that, he didn't hear from her for a few weeks—until she called and said that she had been raped. Borger brought Tammy to the hospital, and she started attending Borger's church. The church also started providing vouchers, so she could buy food and other items.

But Borger said that created a problem: Tammy kept giving the vouchers to other people. Borger told her, “Tammy, you need to keep this for yourself. Otherwise you'll run out of food.” But living under the bridge meant living with other needy people, and it was unthinkable for her to receive a gift and then not share it with others. So, with an incredulous stare she asked Borger, “Why can't I give some too?”

He gave her a very pragmatic answer: “We're giving this to you, not to everyone else you meet.” Yet, he recognized the deeper problem: to only receive and never give back is to be belittled – to be humiliated. Over time, Borger had begun to think of Tammy as a kind of pet project in which HE was always the giver and SHE was always the recipient… But the good news is that God not only made us to be recipients of his grace but also participants in the movement of his own generosity. (Kelly M. Kapic, God So Loved, He Gave, Zondervan, 2010, pp. 147-148; www.PreachingToday.com)

When God saved you, lavishing His grace so generously upon you, you can’t help but grow in sharing His generosity with others.

So, if you’re not growing, check to make sure you have truly received God’s grace through faith in His Son. Make sure you are not depending on something you have done, but that you are depending on what Christ has done for you on the cross. If you are depending on yourself, stop the foolishness and transfer that dependence to Christ, who died for you and rose again. Trust Christ with your life and let Him save you not only from hell, but from a wasted life lived only for yourself.

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