Summary: In these times, many of us are losing hope. As children of God and brothers and sisters to Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, it is important to remember who we are and who loves us. All that we "need" will one day be given to us at the time we need it most.
How many of you are losing hope? I suspect, with all that is happening in our world, probably quite a few. I must admit, there are times I feel the same way as you might today.
I am only human and I do have my doubts about certain things. You’ve seen all the posts on Facebook and other social media… its all negative and it most certainly would be most people in a bad state of mind.
It seems like we can’t trust the mainstream media; we can’t trust the local press; and we can’t even truly trust our own government. Sad, but true today.
This morning I would like to talk about hope. What hope is to the rest of the world and what hope should me to Christians like you and me.
Okay, you know me… lets first go to the Internet…
Wikipedia – “Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: ‘expect with confidence’ and ‘to cherish a desire with anticipation.’”
Above you see where “hope” is commonly used to mean a wish: Its strength is the strength of “the person’s desire.”
But Biblical hope is more precisely defined as, “the confident expectation of what God has promised, and its strength is ‘in His faithfulness.’”
In other words, as a Christian, we don’t put “hope” in our own hands. Or at least we shouldn’t. We don’t depend on this world to give us the things we need but, instead, put our “hope” in all the promises God has given to us… we put our “hope” in HIM!
I believe, especially in these times, we’ve forgotten some of those promises and we’re forgetting our faith and turning our backs on God. In doing so, we’re losing “hope” and suffering with despair.
This isn’t unusual… lets look back into the Old Testament. More specifically, in Psalms.
The Sons of Korah (Moses’ Nephews) were at this stage at one point in their lives where he had done exactly what we might be doing in these times. They had lost their “hope.”
After realizing what they were doing (turning away from God), they sets themselves right again as they wrote…
Psalm 42:5 – “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
This is something we should be asking ourselves today. I know things aren’t easy but why, especially today, would we want to forget about our faith (hope) by turning our backs on the one person in everyone’s life that has never turned His back on us?
We are stronger than most! We have a God that Loves us for all eternity and has promised us so much more than we think we have today. The Apostle Paul asks the question…
Romans 8:35-39 – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
How true are these words? How much meaning can you put behind them? Look at the way our world is changing. Soon, very soon, they may be taking our God away from us.
What would you call the greatest “destroyer” of “hope” in our lives? I think we would all agree, its “fear!” I get that… I really do!
But when we’re afraid, we have to remember, as Paul goes on…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That’s “hope” right there… and we need to remember who we are in Christ Jesus! We are conquerors! We are warriors of God!
I’d like to remind all of you of one of my (and Cookie’s) favorite versus in the Bible, once again from The Apostle Paul. You should remember these words and read them out loud every time you feel as if you’re losing hope or are afraid.
Say this every time you are afraid and let it remind you of who you are and who you should put your “hope” or “faith” in…
Ephesians 6:11-18 – “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”