Summary: When God is involved in the equation there is always hope. This sermon talks about where hope comes from and what it can do for us.
A. The story is told of a certain retired man who volunteers to entertain patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
1. One day he went to one local hospital in Brooklyn and took his portable keyboard along.
2. He came to one patient’s bedside, and told some jokes and sang a few funny songs.
3. As he was about to leave the hospital room, he said to the patient, “I hope you get better.”
3. The elderly patient replied, “I hope you get better, too.”
4. What are you hoping for?
B. One day Snoopy could be seen laying on his doghouse in a depressed state. He said to himself, “Yesterday I was a dog. Today I’m a dog. Tomorrow I’ll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There’s so little hope for advancement.”
1. How much hope do you have for advancement?
C. On August 12, 2000, the largest submarine in the Russian fleet, named the Kursk, suffered an internal explosion and went down in 350 feet of water in the Barents Sea.
1. 118 men were aboard.
2. Deep sea divers went down to assess the situation and to determine if anyone had survived.
3. As they were circling the ship deep beneath the sea, they heard a pinging sound and began to listen more closely.
4. What they were hearing was a type of Morse Code coming from some of the men in the sub.
5. The divers deciphered the code, which turned out to be a simple question: “Is there any hope?”
D. “Is there any hope?” - That’s a question a lot of people are asking today.
1. That’s a good question to ask as we close the curtain on one year and pull back the curtain on the next - Is there any hope?
2. Day after day, month after month, and year after year – there are people who seem to be trapped in a hopeless situation.
3. They look out into the future and they don’t see any change on the horizon.
4. They are convinced that life for them will never get better, and despair begins to rule their days.
5. They are onboard the ship called “Hopelessness,” and are surrounded by a sea of despair.
6. Someone has said that hopelessness is the most difficult and dangerous disease a person can have – and I would have to agree with them.
E. In Luke 24, we read about two men walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus – about a 7 mile journey.
1. Their faces are solemn and downcast.
2. The events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus have left them feeling despondent.
3. They are speaking to each other with weary words because they believe that Jesus is dead, and even though they have heard the report of an angelic visit and a missing body, they were doubtful.
4. As they were talking with each other, Jesus joined them, but they did not recognize who he was.
5. Jesus asked them what they were talking about.
6. The man named Cleopas spoke up saying “Are you the only one in the world who doesn’t know what has just happened in Jersualem?
7. Jesus played dumb – “What happened?”
8. They explained: “About Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:19-21)
9. Do you hear their despair – “We had HOPED…”
10. These men had lost their hope.
F. Proverbs 13:12 says: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
1. So many people have hearts that are sick because of hope deferred.
2. For one reason or another, so many are struggling to hang on and not give up hope.
3. Many people have financial hopelessness – they’ve overspent and have overcommitted their resources, and now they feel like “They’ll never be able to pay their bills, never be able to get out of debt, and never be able to get ahead.”
4. Others are suffering from relational hopelessness – They sense that their unhappy situation will never change or can never be reversed. They are trapped in a hopeless marriage or a hopeless family and they’re hanging on by their fingertips.
5. Others are suffering from career hopelessness – They’ve lost their job and can’t find another one, or they are stuck in a job that they absolutely despise or one that does not provide enough income for their family.
a. But with their lack of credentials, the poor economy and struggling job market, they have no hope of changing their situation.
6. These people may feel like they are swabbing the deck of the Titanic as it is sinking.