Summary: God gives a living hope that makes a difference in our lives
Hope that Makes A Difference
September 15, 2002
A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing--we’re behind."
"Boy," said the spectator, "I’ll bet you’re discouraged."
"Why should I be discouraged?" replied the little boy. "We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!"
I love the attitude expressed by the boy but it would seem that his hope might just be in vain.
Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all...As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.
G.K. Chesterton, Signs of the Times, April 1993, p. 6.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt that your hope was in vain? I think we have all been at that point at some time in our life. I think that our church should be a beacon of hope in a hopeless world. If there was anywhere in Crooksville that could be called a place of hope it should be our church.
As we begin this morning I want to remind you of three key facts about hope.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, 1 Peter 1:3-4
Three facts about hope
A. God has given us a living hope
1. God has given us new birth through Christ
2. This new birth allows us to have a living hope, a hope that makes a difference
3. A hope that will never perish, spoil or fade
B. Hope is more than just wishful thinking
1. Hope is based in fact – God loves you
2. Hope is based in firm conviction – God cares for you
3. Hope is based in final assurance – God wants to be with you
C. Hope can and must be a vital part of your life
1. We cannot make it through life without hope
2. Hope is our greatest asset in life
So where do we find this hope that makes a difference?
I. Our hope comes from an eternal person
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. Revelation 4:8
Jesus is pre-existent of us. He existed before time began. He was there before light was created. He was there before stars were hung in the heavens. He was there before Adam became the first man. He was there before sin entered the world. He was there before the solution was needed for the broken relationship between God and humanity.
Jesus is present with us. He is here in this very moment. He with us as we worship and praise His very name. He is here when we call on Him and when we don’t call. He is here as we walk with him and as we walk away from Him. He is here to call you back to following Him with all of your heart.
Jesus is preceding us. He is going to return to this broken and sinful to reclaim it in the name of the Father. He who was and who is will come again to fulfill the hope that rests in the hearts of those who follow Him.
Jesus always has and always will exist. There has never been a time that He has not been and there will never be a time that he will cease to exist. Jesus is your source of hope because He is the master of eternity and he is always there for you.
II. Our hope comes from an eternal promise
One night at dinner a man, who had spent many summers in Maine, fascinated his companions by telling of his experiences in a little town named Flagstaff. The town was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the use of painting a house if it were to be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, week by week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone. Then he added by way of explanation: "Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present."
Halford E. Luccock, Unfinished Business.