Summary: Only when Christ is the OBJECT of our hope can EXPECTATION be realized. Find your hope in Jesus this Christmas.
Dakota Community Church
December 2, 2012
Hope for the Season
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace.
So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead. We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away.
The problem is not inability on God’s part. His arm is not too short to save!
The problem is man’s sin - vividly illustrated in verses 3-8
Ignoring the problem we still look results as though there were no problem! “God how could this happen to me?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.
He doesn’t plow but he still looks for a harvest! This is how we are regarding righteousness.
THE FALL HAS LEFT US WITH A KIND OF BROKEN/SKEWED VERSION OF HOPE
1. We are a people of (false) hope
Hope is hardwired into us; we cannot help ourselves – as the poet Alexander Pope says – “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”!
All of our choices are fueled by the hope of a better future.
We begin or end relationships based on hope, hope that the decision will lead to something we now lack – something better.
We choose a course of study, or to drop out and stop following that course of study; because of hope.
We gather as families at Christmas – regardless of the family track record – in hope, “This year will be different.”
Your happiest moments in life are moments of realized hope – longings fulfilled!
A wedding, a graduation, a house warming, the cool blue water washing over your vacationing toes – hope realized = happiness!