Summary: Certainly the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ should give us hope. A two part series for Easter that looks at the importance of hope in our walk with God.
Our Hope in God Pt 1
Hope on Empty
As we enter the Easter season- talk about hope.
Certainly- resurrection of Christ- should bring us hope.
1 Cor 15:20-26
Jesus came to give us life- eternal, abundant life.
Abundant- beyond, superior, over and above, more than necessary.
Because Christ died and was then resurrected we can share in the hope of resurrection as well.
1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, NASU
It is a living hope because Jesus was resurrected and is NOW (present tense) alive in heavenly places!
Rev 1:17-18 … "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. NASU
Jesus Christ holds-key to our HOPE of life after death.
What makes it a living HOPE is that
Col 1:27 Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.
I have hope because I have a relationship with God that comes through my faith in Christ who died for- sins- resurrected/overcame death. Through the power of the HS-God’s life is alive in me.
That can only happen if we have a supernatural Encounter w/God, and
appropriate that reality in our everyday life.
Psa 42:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
HOPE in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. NASU (Psa 42:11; 43:5)
Regardless of- difficulties- I always have- hope of God’s presence with me and my presence w/Him in heavenly places forever.
A Story of Hope Lost
Paul- prisoner- being taken to Rome- snapshot of his journey from Jerusalem- where- arrested- to Rome.
No small storm was assailing us- perhaps this is a description of
what is happening in your life, or the way you view what is happening in- world.
Today we see storms of financial uncertainty, unemployment, recession violence, terrorism, genocide,
cancer, school shootings, collapse of moral values, child abuse.
Even in our own families-experienced difficult storms.
Like Paul’s companions we struggle to hold onto hope,
make sense of life’s storms.
These storms prompt questions like
Why did God allow this?
Why did this happen to me?
Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions- instead of the WHY questions that have no answers
Does God even notice?
Does God really care?
How do we Restore Hope?
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things HOPED for, the conviction of things not seen.
In the middle of a storm, faith may seem impossible.
Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. NASU
If that is true then we should
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you … NASU
Reflection: Have you ever lost hope in your life?
Have you taken time to look back and celebrate
the evidence of God’s faithfulness in your past?
(God parted Jordan River-Joshua-12 memorial stones)
How do we regain hope when it slips away?
1. Look around
Act 27:22 ship/cargo lost, people saved
In- storm- may be loss, but what is really important?
We must embrace that which is eternally significant.
God is eternal
Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." NASU
We may lose all possessions, even loved ones, or even our own life-but we must remember-God is eternal.
Because He-eternal, our HOPE- in Him- holds our life.
God’s Word is eternal
Isa 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. NASU
People are more important than stuff
Gen 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. NASU
In our culture- put way too much value on things.
2. Look up
We will never regain hope if- do not look towards God
God had a purpose for Paul’s life and the ability to control circumstances to bring about that purpose.
Interesting- God also honored Paul’s intercession for the lives of the people on the ship with him.
The reality is God does notice the storms in our lives, and
God does care!
God may seem slow, but He is never late.
3. Our Response
How do we respond to life- to regain hope we must
Keep our focus on God
Make an effort to turn our hearts toward God.
2 Chr 20:1-4, 12