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Summary: You may feel as though all hope is lost...but JESUS offers hope! This message shares a simple secret to help the "Average Joe" find hope when life's circumstances are causing them to lose heart.

What is something you regularly lose / misplace?

Top Things People Lose or Misplace:

Parking Spots

Passwords / Usernames

Television Remote

Phone

Hair accessories

Socks

Keys

Purse / wallet

Pens

We can lose a lot of things in life and life will go on…things will still be okay.

But…what about if we’re losing heart and lacking hope?

What about those times when we’re losing confidence…we’re finding it hard to believe things will take a turn for the good? What about those times where you’ve experienced one defeat after another? What about when we’re feeling overwhelmed…growing discouraged…and life’s got us down?

We’ve all been there…some of us are there now.

I want to speak specifically to us as Christians in America. When we look at our nation…it’s easy to begin to lose heart.

I also want to speak to us as individuals & families. Life isn’t easy. Storms come our way that we never asked for. Troubles blindside us. Struggles threaten to sufficate what little hope we have left. Again…it’s easy to begin to lose heart. You may feel as though all hope is lost…but I’m here to declare…ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST. Today…Jesus offers hope…He’s sent me to share the secret to your not losing heart.

In Luke…Before Jesus’ death…He graciously takes the time to give His disciples a bit of a heads up. “Guys, there are some tough days in your future. I’m going to return and when I do…things are going to be incredible…but…before I do…life on earth is going to get rough. People are going to hate the things of God…they’re going to do whatever they please…things aren’t going to be easy.” Jesus is preparing these guys for the discouraging days ahead. And then in Luke 18:1…Jesus gives them the secret to not losing heart. It’s so uncomplicated…it’s easy to miss.

Luke 18:1 (ESV) - “He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”

Complicated problems don’t always require complicated solutions. Today…you may be here and you may be losing heart…lacking hope…growing discouraged…life may have you down. Jesus has sent me to remind you…Prayer is the secret to not losing heart.

Acts 27 & Ephesians 3 (two passages in which prayer proves the secret to not losing heart)

FIRST - ACTS 27 (This resonates with my spirit in relation to our nation)

Things start off fairly uneventful. But quickly…they’re making slow headway…the journey grows increasingly difficult. They find themselves blown off course by the wind. Before too long…there’s no real direction for their lives…they’re at the mercy of the winds. Time has been lost…and the days are growing increasingly dangerous.

So…Paul…a man with a discerning spirit…looks at the direction things are headed and it doesn’t take much discernment at this point to realize…if we keep heading the direction we’re headed…it’s going to be disastrous. The very foundations we’ve been standing on…the ship we’re sailing is going to crumble. Everything of value would be lost. And so…Paul…sees and he recognizes they’re headed for trouble…they can’t keep going the direction they’re going and expect to survive…and he warns them, “Don’t go that way.”

Like Paul…there have been voices that have tried to warn us. And as in this passage…we haven’t listened.

Paul told them what would happen…but they refused to listen. Instead they followed the advice of the so called experts. They chose worldly wisdom over Godly wisdom. They rejected and refused to listen to the Word of God. They allowed the Godless majority to set the course. It seemed as though they were bent on their own distruction.

So they chart their own course.

At first…they’re pushed along by a gentle South wind. Everything seems to be going okay…smooth sailing. In their eyes…at the moment…the man of God…appeared to be the fool. But they quickly learned…charting their own course would prove to be their downfall.

Before long…what began as a breeze leading to greater opportunity…became a storm that threatened to do them in. It swept down on them quickly. Everything seemed okay…but before they knew it…things were out of control.

They didn’t even see it coming. Now…they’re wondering how they ended up in this situation. They’re sailing along…convinced they can reject the Word of God without any consquences. But now they’re caught…they’re in too deep…they’ve lost control…they’ve lowered the sails…and they’re finding themselves driven deeper into the storm they were warned about. They’ve ended up in a place they don’t recognize…a place they never imagined they’d end up.

They’re experiencing the results of ignoring Godly wisdom.

By verse 18…they’ve taken such a battering that they’ve lost their good senses. Confusion has set in.

The sun hasn’t shined on them in so long…the storm hasn’t let up…things seem to keep getting worse every day. So much so that verse 20 tells us they, “finally gave up all hope of being saved.” They lost heart.

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