Sermons

Summary: To encourage believers not to lose hope no matter their circumstance.

Rev. D. Joseph

May 4, 2007

Text: Jer. 17:7; Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

Topic: Keep Hope Alive

INTRODUCTION

Contrary to popular belief, Jesse Jackson did not coined the saying: ‘keep hope alive.’ The Bible has been admonishing and encouraging humanity to keep hope alive since the creation of Adam and Eve. In fact, one of the central themes of the whole story of Abraham’s relationship with God is that of hope. Indeed the theme of hope is woven throughout the tapestry of the journey of the Israelites from slavery to the promised land.

The central role of hope for the viability and fruitfulness of Christian living is unquestioned. Sadly however, while there are countless sermons written and preached about faith, there are not enough sermons on hope. Perhaps it is because believers don’t really understand or appreciate the relationship between hope and faith. But I believe the more we know about hope the more we will appreciate its usefulness in the battle against powers and principalities, spiritual wickedness in high places.

Let us then begin our homiletical odyssey on the theme of hope with a proper definition of the word itself. What is hope? “Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. Hope implies a certain amount of perseverance — i.e., believing that a positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.”

One of the worst things that can happen to a person-especially, a believer- is the lost of hope. “Hope is often the result of faith in that while hope is an emotion, faith carries a divinely inspired and informed form of positive belief.”

The writer of Hebrews declare; faith is the substance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1). Notice if you will, the relationship between hope and faith. It is impossible to have one without the other. And yet there are a lot of believers who claim to have faith while living a life of despair and hopelessness.

The English word hope is from the Greek elpis {el-pece’}: to anticipate, usually with pleasure. In the New Testament hope occurs 129 times in 121 verses. In the Old Testament it is the word yachal {yaw-chal’} 1) to wait, await, tarry 2) to wait for.

We all need to live our lives with a healthy sense of anticipation (hope). This sense of anticipation is what motivates us to tarry in the midst of hardships and to wait on God for our breakthroughs. It is only when we are hopeless that living becomes a chore instead of a blessing. It is only when we lose our hope that our faith loses its potency.

The challenge before us all is to keep hope alive in spite of… That means “hoping when things are hopeless. 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.” Paul says it this way in Romans 8:24-25

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

We have to learn to keep hope alive when the enemy comes against us. We can’t live life without hope. We can’t walk around with a bleak outlook on our condition. For as long as God is alive we have a reason to keep hope alive. That’s why Lamentation 3:26 says; “[It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

The absence of hope is despair and depression. Indeed, hopelessness leads to a sense of meaninglessness which can be fatal. We have to fight ourselves if we must, in order not to lose hope. For it is a lot harder to regain hope after it is lost, then it is to keep hope alive.

There are three things we can do to keep hope alive

1. Practice Spiritual Optimism

2. Position Yourself around hopeful people

3. Pray with an expectant spirit

PRACTICE SPIRITUAL OPTIMISM

Spiritual optimism has to do with looking at our situation with a hopeful outlook no matter how bad things maybe. It is seeing the providential hands of God working for our good even when things aren’t looking good. It is living with spiritual 20/20 vision. It is trusting that God will make a way out of nowhere.

There are plenty of verses in the Bible to help us practice spiritual optimism. I can do all things..(Phil. 4:13). They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength(Isa. 40:31).. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: Phil. 1:6

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Phillip Davis

commented on Apr 24, 2014

Great message and well developed.

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