Summary: There are a number of places we can put our trust in. Only Jesus is worthy of our full complete and total trust.
HEY, I DON’T SWEAR BY YOUR NAME—GOD
September 6, 2008 Pastor Jim Bohrer.
Don’t you just love those white on black billboards someone started some time back that has God’s sayings on them?
12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Hope Anchors you through difficult times!
The Foundation of Hope is the Faith God gives us!
ILLUSTRATION: EUGENE LANG is a man who knows how to give hope.
Mr. Lang, born of immigrant parents in 1919, grew up in New York City during the Great Depression.
In 1981, businessman Eugene M. Lang returned to his roots. He returned to give a speech to graduating sixth grade students at P.S. 121, the elementary school he had attended in East Harlem 50 years earlier. He intended to tell the students, "Work hard and you’ll succeed." But he had a life changing moment on the way to the podium. The school principal shared with Lang that three-quarters of the school’s students never finish high school. His heart moved and he made an impromptu costly change to his speech: he promised college tuition to every sixth grader who stayed in high school and graduated. Lang told the class about witnessing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington. He urged the students to dream, and promised to do all that he could to help them achieve their goals.
Lang proved good to his word and the students clung to the Hope he offered!
By August of 1985, all of Lang’s Dreamers were still in school. From that class Lang birthed the “I Have a Dream Foundation.”
The Hope he offered them sustained them in the struggles and trials that consumed 75% of the people before!
Their faith in his word made them believe that his promise would be valid. And the hope pulled them through 6 years of schooling. Hope made a difference in their lives.
Why did they believe them? Well, Eugene was one of them. He found a way out a succeeded. He came back to them and offered desperately needed help. The rest of the story is that he developed a personal relationship with the 60 plus students he made a promise to and helped guide them in their decision making and planning for life.
The truth is that you are stuck in PS 121. And left on your own, you are not simply 75% guaranteed to fail. You are 100% guaranteed. You cannot do it on our own. When in the storms and struggles of life, you need a secured way. A safe passage. And Someone to lead you to victory.
Christian Hope Grows Out of Faith (Heb. 6:12) We are admonished to be "followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (6:12). The distinction of Christian HOPE is that is an OUTGROWTH of Christian faith. Hope produces a full assurance that in turn stimulates eager discipleship (6:11), Hope is kept alive because faith endures all disappointments.
Hope can be cultivated by an increase of Christian knowledge; its lack is due to neglect of Scripture
The Bible is a book of great Hope because it is a book of great Promises:
If Bible is a book of Hope and Promises, “Why then do I struggle pastor?” Because you have lost sight of your hope by not building your faith in GOD’S PROMISE and PURPOSE: Abraham doubted. He slept with Hagar and had Ishmael. God had not moved fast enough in his life. He needed to anchor his hope for a son in faith in God’s promise. God gave Abraham an oath!
- Oath (6:16). God has bound Himself by His nature to keep His promise. The Gk. word horkos indicates a solemn, legally binding pledge guaranteeing that a person will keep a promise. If God were to break His promise, then He would cease to be God.