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Summary: The "Lack of Hope Kills" But God Gives Hope! Hope in All Things, All Ways, At All Times! Jesus said, “I’VE COME TO GIVE YOU LIFE & LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY!” THERE’S HOPE!

“GOD STILL GIVES HOPE”

LWC - 6/24/09

Bro. Sharp is not able to be hee this evening as something has come up unexpectedly. He’s been speaking on “GOD GIVES HOPE” & I’m going to continue with that. Last week I wasn’t able to be here nor was Bro. Sharp and I really appreciate Juselin stepping in for me at the last minute.

Last Wednesday one of church family’s grand daughter was laid to rest after having been killed in a car wreck as a drunk driver hit her car flipping it several times landing on the roof killing her instantly. I spoke with the family expressing our grief and concern as a church.

Helen spoke out of a broken heart. She told me she didn’t know how she was going to carry on. That she had almost raised her grand daughter from birth. I told her I know there’ a “HOLE” in her heart that no one can fill except JESUS! She spoke to me that she hoped Jesus would fill that “HOLE” quickly!

Folk, I want to dispel some common ideas and myths if you will. It’s not uncommon for us to FEEL HURT, DOWN, DISAPPOINTED & SOMETIMES FEEL EMPTY!

Some people would tell you that it’s not the CHRISTIAN WAY! Christians aren’t supposed to GET DOWN, DISAPPOINTED, HURT OR SOMETIMES FEEL EMPTY! BUT FOLK, WE’RE HUMAN! WE GET HURT, DOWN, DISAPPOINTED SOMETIMES EVEN EMPTY!

It happened to one of the great prophets of the Old Testament when Elijah cried out in Kings 19: 10 when God spoke to Elijah and He said, “What are you doing here Elijah?” Elijah answered him...

“I’ve been zealous for you Lord, the Children of Israel have torn down the altars, they have killed your prophets with the sword! I alone am left, & they seek to take my life!”

After all I’ve done & all that has been accomplished now look at me! Now look at where I am! Even Elijah got down, depressed!

I get disappointed sometimes, believe or not WE CAN EVEN GET DEPRESSED & STILL BE CHILDREN OF GOD! AM I SAYING IT’S RIGHT? NO! NO I’M NOT SAYING IT’S RIGHT BUT I AM SAYING IT’S “HUMAN!” & IF THERE IS ANYBODY IN THE WORLD WHO UNDERSTANDS “HUMAN” IT’S GOD!

NOBODY UNDERSTANDS “HUMAN” LIKE GOD UNDERSTANDS “HUMAN!”

THAT IS PART & PARCEL OF WHY GOD SENT JESUS TO DIE FOR MANKIND, TO DIE FOR “HUMANITY” BECAUSE HE “UNDERSTOOD HUMANITY” LIKE NO ONE CAN! THANK GOD FOR HIS UNDERSTANDING OF US & OUR “HUMAN NATURE & CONDITION!”

Psalm 36:1 David tells us..

“GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH. HE IS A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE!”

FOLK, I FIND “HOPE” IN THAT STATEMENT! HIS BEING A “REFUGE & MY STRENGTH” GIVES ME “HOPE” THAT NO MATTER WHAT I FACE I CAN & WILL GET THROUGH IT W/GOD’S HELP! W/HIS STRENGTH IN HIS “REFUGE!”

I. REFUGE!

“GOD IS OUR REFUGE...!”

“REFUGE” would indicate someplace to “HIDE!” Folk, every single one of us need a “REFUGE” from time to time a place to “HIDE!” To “HIDE” from storm, turbulence, turmoil, struggle, intimidation, battle, weariness!

During the hurricanes we all needed a “REFUGE!” Some went north, south, others west! Because they needed “REFUGE” from the storm!

We all know this but GOD, JESUS is our “REFUGE” in the midst of it all!

As I spoke to Helen I looked for the right words, I even told her I just didn’t have any words but then God spoke to my heart to speak to her these words!

I thought to myself and said to God in my mind, “GOD SHE ALREADY KNOWS THAT! GIVE ME SOMETHING PROFOUND THAT WILL CAUSE HER TO SING WITH JOY” BUT HE SPOKE TO ME TO SPEAK THAT TO HER! So I did! When she said she didn’t know if she could ever get through or over this I told her...

“SHE WOULD NEVER GET OVER IT, BUT SHE WOULD GET THROUGH IT! JESUS WAS THERE TO HELP HER GET THROUGH IT! BUT AS FAR AS GET OVER IT? I DON’T KNOW THAT WE’RE SUPPOSED TO REALLY GET OVER IT! WE LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT, BUT WE NEVER REALLY GET OVER SOMETHING LIKE THAT! BUT THROUGH IT ALL WE LEARN TO LEAN MORE ON HIM THAN EVER BEFORE AND HE COMFORTS US

GIVING US A PLACE OF “REFUGE!”

FOLK, WHEN WE CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE, WHEN WE CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE, WHEN WE CAN’T FACE IT ANYMORE, WHEN WE CAN’T DEAL WITH IT ANYMORE.....WE CAN RUN TO THE “MERCY SEAT OF JESUS” AND CRY OUT! HE “HEARS” HE “UNDERSTANDS” & HE “RESPONDS!”

II. STRENGTH!

“GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH...”

Folk, I don’t know about you but I find “HOPE” when I find “STRENGTH!”

“STRENGTH” tells me I can go on another step another mile, “STRENGTH” tells me I can make it when others cannot & when others fail! “STRENGTH” tells me most of all it’s not MY “STRENGTH” THAT CARRIES ME ON BUT IT IS “HIS STRENGTH!”

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