Sermons

Summary: God will favor us with a combination of faith, hope and love in the forthcoming year of 2009.

Text: “For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth” (Psalm 71:5).

Story:

The school system in a large city had a program to help children keep up with their school work during stays in the city’s hospitals.

One day a teacher who was assigned to the program received a routine call asking her to visit a particular child. She took the child’s name and room number and talked briefly with the child’s regular class teacher.

"We’re studying nouns and adverbs in his class now," the regular teacher said, "and I’d be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn’t fall too far behind."

The hospital program teacher went to see the boy that afternoon. No one had mentioned to her that the boy had been badly burned and was in great pain.

Upset at the sight of the boy, she stammered as she told him, "I’ve been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs." When she left she felt she hadn’t accomplished much.

But the next day, a nurse asked her, "What did you do to that boy?" The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and began to apologize. "No, no," said the nurse. "You don’t know what I mean. We’ve been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live."

Two weeks later the boy explained that he had completely given up hope until the teacher arrived. Everything changed when he came to a simple realization. He expressed it this way: "They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?"

Bits & Pieces, July 1991

What is hope?

Hope is something we wish for or something we desire with full expectation that we will receive it or that it will come about.

An adult might hope that his or her job interview was acceptable and the available opening would be granted to them. A couple might have applied for a loan from a bank to purchase their dream house with the hope their credit score would be acceptable to the lending institution.

A couple might have a relationship with one another in hopes that someday the relationship would lead to matrimony.

A student in college has hopes of becoming a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or CEO of a company.

A high school student hopes that one day all his efforts will enable him to reach out and receive his diploma from his principal.

A young child snuggles down in bed on Christmas Eve in hopes that upon arising in the morning that special toy, bicycle, doll baby, or game will be under the Christmas tree.

In each of these scenarios something is desired with full expectation of fulfillment.

Each day of our life, we look to something in the future. Whenever we look for something in the future or something that has not yet happened or come about, we are hoping. Hoping is essential to life.

We can hope for something positive or we can hope for something negative. As a Christian, our hope is to be positive. God created each one of us with a positive mindset. Before sin entered the picture Adam and Eve did not have a negative outlook on life. Their minds were geared to all the good things God had provided for them.

Adam and Eve did not have to wish and wait for something because God gave them a perfect setting in which to live. They were favorable in God’s sight. They were blessed with all the necessities and essential of life.

When temptation entered the picture and disobedience occurred, mankind’s perfect life took a turn to the negative side. Hope now became a reality because sin showed its’ dark and dreary presence. Every person born after Adam and Eve is born with a sinful nature. Now mankind could hope for something better in the future.

You and I are here facing the year 2009. We have finished 2008 with its’ good times and its’ bad times. We have gone through some ups and downs. We have had trials and tribulations. We have had to make some detours down the road of life because of illness or unforeseen circumstance.

Each morning when we open our eyes the new day is like fresh fallen snow that has not been walked on. This year, 2009, we will be positive regardless of what happens. We will forget what happened last year or yesterday and keep our eyes and our minds set upon our God, as did the psalmist who said, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You” (Psalm 39:7).

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