Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God says, “Behold I will do something new and now it will spring forth. I will make a roadway in the wilderness and a river in the desert.”

The prophet Isaiah lived during a time when God’s chosen nation of Israel was completely turning away from God spiritually. He preached and prophesied in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and foresaw the coming Babylonian captivity of Judah because of this departure from the Lord. People of that time were heavily into idol worship, shutting out their need for the one true God. Familiar verses in Isaiah’s book point to the upcoming birth of Jesus Christ found in the ninth chapter, “For unto us a child is born; for unto us a Son is given.” Or from the seventh chapter, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel.” To sum up Isaiah’s words into one word….Hope. Hope that would be fulfilled in the birth of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Isaiah’s words were to teach the people of Judah, that if they trusted God, they would always have hope.

There are many times in our lives today that seem hopeless, and today is one of them. We as a church family are hurting once again. Recently, our church family embraced the Van Riper and Miller family, holding Eric and Marybeth in the loss of their little baby Raegan. We didn’t understand, and we still have no answers. But we have not given up hope. In the long few days when we were praying for a miracle, Eric and Marybeth knew her legacy would be one of life, love and faith. They hold on to this every day. Eric and Marybeth’s faith is stronger today, they continue to experience a deeper love and they value life more than ever. Just ask them? In the midst of despair, this family refused to give up hope. And Raegan’s legacy and God’s promises will live on.

The Mester family is clinging to their faith more than ever today. Kati is suffering from severe deep depression and the medical doctors are doing everything possible to pull her out. She knows how important faith is, and to never give up hope, but she is quite ill at this time and Zoltan treasures your prayers, because he knows, through prayer there is hope and there is healing.

And although our hearts are broken this morning, we surround the Robinson family with our love and prayers, and it is so vitally important that we do not lose hope. We don’t understand the decisions made in the court system, but we must trust that God has His Hand on Baby Taylor, Rod Janelle and Luke. There are many, many things that are confusing, but we mustn’t give up our faith or our trust.

There are no real words of comfort. In times such as these there are wonderful, beautiful scripture verses, but even they don’t take away the pain. Yet we trust and we keep strong our faith. We remember when Job was being tested and had lost everything that he had, including his health. We know his three best friends came from their own places to be with him. In chapter two we read; “So they sat down with him on the ground, seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw his grief was very great.” Yeah!! No one spoke a word, they just were with him as if to say, “You’re pain is in my heart.” And then they opened there collective mouths, and you can read all the rest of the encounters. Job never lost hope in God, through it all. Never! He questioned, he was angry, he didn’t understand, but he refused to give up his faith and hope.

There is a tiny, powerful verse found in the middle of the book of Isaiah, chapter 43, verse 19; God says, “Behold I will do something new and now it will spring forth. I will make a roadway in the wilderness and a river in the desert.”

Singer, songwriter Don Moen had this to say: I think that’s a verse that brings hope to a lot of people because they’ve got to believe that there’s a way out from what they’re going through and what they see all around them, to know that God is able to cause something new to happen, it should bring hope. To believe that he can make a roadway in the wilderness, a river in the desert, do things that are impossible with us, but with God all things are possible. So it’s a verse that I think has brought hope to a lot of people and certainly brings hope to me. It’s also a very personal scripture to me. I wrote a song called “God will make a way” when my nephew was killed in a car accident, and didn’t know what to say to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law during this time, and all the scriptures that came to my mind seemed to fall short of what I wanted to say. I got an airplane to fly the next day and I was going to sing something at the funeral, and I sat in the airplane reading from Isaiah 43, and in fact the whole chapter that I got to, that God’s going to make a roadway in the wilderness and a river in the desert.

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