Sermons

Summary: Without hope we will continually find our faith subject to the whims and haphazard circumstances of this fallen world.

IHOPE #1

November 30, 2008

Introduction

Saw IHOP sign. Add an E and you get HOPE.

Had Cina make a powerpoint. Henriann thought it would make people hungry for pancakes.

Sorry, no pancakes.

We need to talk about hope

Especially relevant in this time of the year leading up to Christmas and understanding the real meaning of his birth

Also relevant now because a lot of us are struggling with some degree of lost hope as we have seen our savings diminish

Remind you – Christianity is about having hope

Hope is one of the Big Three

Faith, Hope, and Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor. 13:13

We continually recall before God our Father the things you have done because of your faith and the work you have done because of your love. And we thank him that you continue to be strong because of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

(NCV)

1 Thess 1:3

Let’s define hope

Hope is an alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do.

Let’s make three observations about biblical hope:

Hope is indispensible to Christianity

As Paul teaches about the resurrection he affirms that hope is essential for Christianity

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

1 Corinthians 15:19

If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.

MSG

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Hope

Without hope you become either

A cynic, skeptic, a doubter

Melancholic, sad or miserable

Suicidal, despaired of life

Hope changes everything

Hope keeps us going – we’ll talk more next week about the power of hope

If Satan can take away our hope he as just about succeeded in fully deceiving us.

Man was given a tour of the Devil’s workshop. Had all his tools he used to deceive Christians. There was hatred, jealously, deceit, lying, and pride--all well worn. But over to the side of the yard on display was a tool more obviously worn than any of the other tools. The tool was labeled DISCOURAGEMENT. When questioned, the Devil said, "It’s more useful to me than any other tool. When I can’t bring down my victims with any of the rest of these tools, I use discouragement, because so few people realize that it belongs to me." Satan is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness.

Hope is indispensible to live a powerful Christian life

Hope = waiting and watching

Romans 8:18-25

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:19, 25

Another reason we need to be reminded of hope is because hope involves the future and waiting and many of us aren’t real good at that.

Millennial Generation

Positives

are exceptionally tech-savvy,

adaptable

multi-task

Negatives

Even Many Gen Y Think They Feel Entitled

Gen Y lacks willingness to pay their dues

Gen Y Wants Instant Gratification

Grew up eating fast food

Movies on demand

Internet – research much easier

Text messaging – communication revolution

This is no doubt affecting our thinking of Christianity

We want it all, we want now

These may be more descriptive of Gene3ration Y but there’s a little in every one of us.

We must acknowledge that Christianity is a forward looking faith

Romans 8: 24 We were saved, and we have this hope. If we see what we are waiting for, that is not really hope. People do not hope for something they already have.25 But we are hoping for something we do not have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.

NCV

1,0000 days is like a day

1,000,000 is like a penny

Can I have a penny

Wait just a second

Hope keeps us from drifting

Without hope we will continually find our faith subject to the whims and haphazard circumstances of this fallen world

One day we will believe, the next day we may not

One day we will be faithful, the next we will not

One day we’ll thank God, the next we will curse Him

Hope keeps us stable

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews 6:19

Hope keeps us on course regardless of the circumstances

With hope…

When things are good we need to remember that this is not as good as it gets.

Some of you are having a real good life

Especially this time of year

Kids are enjoying Christmas

Parents are well

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