Summary: To assist people through life we must always offer hope. With out hope discipline becomes destructive, with hope it is constructive.
HOPE THAT HELPS
1. Hope must be willing to face the reality of life (10)
o It takes time to get through hardships of life.
o For the Israelites it was a full 70 years.
o “This too shall pass,” but not before time has passed.
o From the beginning, life has been hard
o Right now, life is hard
o Until Jesus comes, life will be hard
o The hardness of life is sometimes dark, but the darkness of life allows God to shine bright (Thou are with me)
o The hardness of life is sometimes adjusting to loss or change. (Thy rod and staff comfort me)
§ It is hard when God makes an adjustment in our lives, but hope trusts in God and that he does know best and is in control.
2. Hope must be anchored upon the thoughts of God, not our dreams (11)
o It doesn’t always turn out like I planned, but God is never surprised.
o Jeremiah 29:8 – “For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.”
o I am deceivable
o I can be wrong
3. Hope must perform its part (12-13 & 5-7)
o I must show my dependence upon God by praying to God. (12 & 7b)
o I must show initiative by seeking peace in every situation therefore pleasing God. (13 & 7a)
o I must show dedication by knocking at every opportunity to increase my family strength. (14, 5, 6)
4. By relying upon God (15)
o Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5 – 6)
o Trust / Lean – Where you place you hope
o Acknowledge – Same word as Knew in Gen 4:1, means to see intimately