Summary: While hunting, Larry and Elmer got lost in the woods. Trying to reassure his friend, Larry said, "Don’t worry. All we have to do is shoot into the air 3 times, stay where we are, and someone will find us." They shot in the air 3 times, but no one came. Af
Text: Romans 15:1-6
Introduction: While hunting, Larry and Elmer got lost in the woods. Trying to reassure his friend, Larry said, "Don’t worry. All we have to do is shoot into the air 3 times, stay where we are, and someone will find us." They shot in the air 3 times, but no one came. After a while, they tried again. Still no response. When they decided to try once more, Elmer said, "I hope it works this time. We’re down to our last 3 arrows." APPLICATION: Larry and Elmer were putting their hope in the advice of others, even though they did not understand that that advice did not apply to shooting arrows.
People in difficult circumstances often rely on advice of friends, neighbors, and experts. Just like Larry & Elmer, they will listen to others, placing their hope in the wisdom and experience of those they trust.
Hope is vital - in fact, it is critical - for our every day survival in life. God understands that.
Romans 15:4 (NASB) 4For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
God’s kind of "hope" could best be described as an attitude of confidence, expectation, and trust.
Job 6:11-13 (AMP) 11What strength have I left, that I should wait and hope? And what is ahead of me, that I should be patient? 12Is my strength and endurance that of stones? Or is my flesh made of bronze? 13Is it not that I have no help in myself, and that wisdom is quite driven from me?
Job was saying that if he had Godly hope, he would be confident and he would live expecting good things to happen. Without hope, people huddle up in the corner and die.
Hebrews 6:17-20 (NASB) 17In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Our hope, as Christians, is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 13 tells us that one of the three greatest gifts that God gives us is hope. Hope is a valuable gift from God. Let us examine how we can get that kind of Hope.
I. We gain hope by perseverance.
A. Romans 15:4 (NASB) 4For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
B. It is God’s good pleasure to give us the desire of our hearts.
1. However, it is God’s practice not to always give us what we want when we want it.
2. Thus, we learn to wait upon God and learn perseverance.
C. Why would God delay fulfilling that which we hope for?
1. One possible reason would be so that we would gain "appreciation" for what He gives when it arrives.
2. For example, when God created Adam, He did not immediately give him Eve.
3. Genesis 2:18 (NASB) 18Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
4. Then, almost inexplicably, God asks Adam to name all the animals.
6. Couldn’t God figure out names for all these creatures?
7. Sure, He could.
8. But God wanted Adam to see and review all the rest of creation BEFORE Eve was taken from his side.
9. Thus, when Adam first sets his eyes on Eve, he declares: Genesis 2:23 (NASB) 23The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
10. God delayed in creating Eve, so that Adam would fully understand and appreciate the value of that he was to receive.
11. Another possibility for God delaying that which we hope for would be our need for purification and strengthening.
12. Romans 5:1-5 (NASB) 1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.