Summary: “We can live forty days without food, eight days without water, four minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope”....How do we understand and therefore respond to the kind of world we are living in today?
Our world is experiencing an uncertain time, a defining moment in the history of this planet. That is not an over dramatization of the events of the last month but rather a prophetic perspective of the years ahead.
It seems summed up by the lament of a volunteer rescue worker in New York City, who said in a short interview with MSNBC TV, ‘The world is evil. This world is evil’ as he staggered around shaking his head.
One TV pundit said on 11th September (2001) ‘the world will never be the same again’.
I believe this is true. During the century that ended 5 years ago we saw more major fulfilment of prophecy than all the generations before us.
The events unfolding around the globe TODAY are another significant step closer to the conclusion of history as described in the scriptures. I am not seeking to sensationalise the political and military actions being taken but to share with you my conviction that we must not overlook their significance to the spiritual climate of the world.
Many non-Christian people are sensing for the first time a genuine hopelessness. An anxiety as to how this escalating conflict will radically change life on this planet. A fear of increasing terrorist attacks, political fanaticism and social unrest.
What hope can there possibly be for a better world for our children?
Where can we find new hope for the present, let alone our future?
Where can our friends, family, neighbours & colleagues turn for hope?
Read: 1 Peter 3:8-15
Note: verse 15 ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’
I want us to consider this dream of HOPE in a HOPE – less World.
LIVING IN A HOPE-LESS WORLD
The Bible fully understands that hope is vital to all living people.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
There are so many ways that HOPE is shattered.
Broken bodies – sickness, disease, disaster
Broken homes – divorce, violence, debt, death
Broken lives – drugs, alcohol, crime, bereavement, desertion
Broken dreams – ambition, failure, defeat, disappointment
These all seem to be symptoms of our modern society and today are affecting millions of people, depriving them of peace, happiness and ultimately hope.
Q: “We can live forty days without food, eight days without water, four minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope”
UNDERSTANDING HOPE IN A HOPE-LESS WORLD
What do we mean by HOPE? What did Peter mean by HOPE in his letter?
The word used in the Greek is Elpis and means ‘a favourable and confident expectation’. It has to do with a positive vision of the unseen and the future.
It’s most frequent use in the NT talks about the ‘happy anticipation of good’
Titus 1:1,2 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness-a faith and knowledge resting on the HOPE of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.
Hope is not wishful thinking, or a vague aspiration. It’s not wanting things to turn out well, whilst remaining uncertain that they actually will.
Hope is the absolute certainty w have that God is good and that His promises are true.
Hope is actually personalised in Jesus himself, He is our hope!
Colossians 1:27 …….Christ in you, the hope of glory.
POSSESSING HOPE IN A HOPE-LESS WORLD
This world needs people with a confident hope. Not a misplaced hope but a secure hope.
The words of Jesus himself teach us that things are going to get worse before they get better, especially for the Christian.
Matthew 24:6-8 (read)
The reasons the world around us has for hopelessness are our very reasons for HOPE!
We see these happenings as distressing as everybody else yet we see a reason to them and what they are pointing towards.
Matthew 24:6 & 8 See to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
To convince others that there is hope we need ourselves to be convinced. God’s people are not expected to live dictated to by world circumstances but by the principles and promises of God’s kingdom.
We have the greatest hope of all ….Titus 2:13 We wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:35-39 (read)
Psalm 65:5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.