Summary: Put your hope in God.
INTRODUCTION: Paul put it this way, “Christ in you the hope of glory,” (Col.1:27). “While we wait for that blessed hope” (Tit.2:13). The writer of Hebrews stated thus, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for (Heb.11:1). The Psalmist stressed, “I have put my hope in your word” (Ps.119:74).
Move from the scriptures to some sayings. It was C.S. Lewis who wrote, “Hope is a continual looking forward to the eternal world.” John Bunyan said, “Hope is never ill when faith is well.” Cicero penned these words, “While there’s life, there’s hope.”
Come with me to Jeremiah 30-33 and sermon number nine on a series called “A Journey Through Jeremiah.” Observe that up to this point one sees a faltering nation and a faithful prophet. Add to this a forgiving God. Now, there is hope.
I. THE REASON FOR HOPE – GOD
See 30:3, 17-18; 31:11, 18. Look at 31:34. Now go back to 31:17. Who is the “I” here? It is God.
Saved By Hope
An interesting item appeared in a Nashville newspaper, datelined Memphis (UPI): A woman named Hope pulled a man from chilly harbor waters after watching him drive his car off the bank in an apparent suicide attempt.
Hope Phillips, thirty-eight, said Monday she was sitting in her car with her husband and son Sunday afternoon when she saw the man drive down Riverside Drive into Wolf River Harbor.
Phillips said she saw the man climb on top of the sinking car. “His face was like, ‘I’m so desperate, please help me.’ All I could do was run into the water,” she said.
Phillips said she swam toward the man, who was about twenty-five feet off the bank, and used a tree branch to pull him toward the bank. Her husband helped drag him out of the water. The man said he was a student at the University of Tennessee.
She said: “He kept telling us he wasn’t worth anything. I said, ‘You are worth something, you’re here, aren’t you?’
“Then he asked my name. I said ‘Hope’ and he said, ‘What’s your name?’ He repeated it twice. He had a smile on his face. You knew he didn’t want to die.”
The police took the man to the Regional Medical Center.
Our hope in God is because of the God of hope. Picture yourself drowning in the sea of sin; going under in an ocean of regret; sinking swiftly in the deep waters of guilt. What does God do? He dives in to rescue us and give us hope. How can all this be?
A. His Compassion. See 30:18, 31:3, 31:20. Out of His great compassion he will restore:
1. Frailty (30:12,17)
2. Fortune (30:18)
3. Farms (31:5)
4. Future (31:17)
5. Favor (31:3)
He is a God who will pursue us to the end.
B. His Covenant (31:31). Refer to Lk. 22:14-20; Heb. 8:7-13. A covenant is an agreement between two parties. Now there was nothing wrong with the first covenant. It was the perfect law of God. The problem was the people were unable and incapable of meeting it. God initiated this new covenant. He would eventually come down to us (Jesus) so He could lift us up to Him. Jesus came to this earth and lived a spotless life and then died a sacrificial death. He lived the life none of us could possibly live and then paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary. The moment a human heart turns to Him He will come in to reside. He will give us a new heart. He writes a new law on our hearts. Now, we don’t try to keep the law because we have to but because we want to. Dr. Fred Wood says, “This chapter is one of the most important in the Bible.”
C. His Choice (31:34). “I will.” He is a pursuing God. He is a responding God. He is a willing God. By nature I am a forgetful person. I forget names and numbers. I forget promises and people. But God is not forgetful. Or is He? He never forgets His world. He does not forget prayers. But He does forget! He has the capacity to forget the one thing we want most forgotten – sins!
Jeremiah never lived to see this prophecy fulfilled but it was fulfilled in Christ
and therein is our only hope.
II. THE RESULT OF HOPE – GLADNESS
See 30:19; 31:4, 7, 12-13. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote these words on the night before his assignation in Memphis, “So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Where there is no God there is no gladness. Where there is no heaven, there is no hope. Where there is no cross there tends to be little concern.