Summary: #6 in a series focused on the foundational biblical truths found in The Peace Prayer of St. Francis: Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.
Where There Is DESPAIR, HOPE
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
This week, we are going to look at: Where there is DESPAIR, HOPE.
Before we start....is God starting to USE you? Intrument of His peace? His pardon, His faith?
Let’s PRAY. LORD...more than info. WE WANT TO CHANGE OUR LIFESTYLES.
Maybe I shouldn’t ask for a show of hands, but how many of you have ever found yourself in a HOPE-LESS situation?
If you’re a CUB FAN or long-standing IOWA fan...you know DESPAIR!
Pr 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
DESPAIR is one of lowest places in life.
Depression = despair hope-less-ness. dictionary loss of hope; hopelessness.
You can’t be talked out of despair.
You can’t be cheered up out of despair
It’s dark. storm clouds, gloom, heavy.
In it’s worst cases...death & suicide are serious options.
Some people say that Christians can’t have depression or despair....LOOK AT THIS SCRIPTURE...
Ps 88:13-18 But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Why, O LORD, do you reject me and hide your face from me? From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death; I have suffered your terrors and am in despair. Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.
If you haven’t experienced DESPAIR in your lifetime..PRAISE GOD...but most have and certainly you’ve had people around you who struggle with despair.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
Maybe today...you’re feeling DESPAIR. Hope-less. Even suicidal.
You say...what a joke. Here the pastor is talking about ME being an INSTRUMENT OF GOD’S HOPE...I can’t even get out of my own despair.
If that’s YOU. I’m glad you’re here today.
I have good news & bad news for you.
Bad news: COMING TO CHURCH will not break your despair (in some cases, it might make it worse!)
Good news: COMING TO JESUS WILL.Because Jesus is the KING of battling DESPAIR.
Look at Jesus & His Ministry:
The Year of the LORD’S Favor
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Isa 61:2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
Isa 61:3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning,and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Certainly, God in all His wisdom, knows every generation needs a good dose of HOPE that drives away the DESPAIR.
Every generation has it’s INSTRUMENTS OF HOPE that drive away DESPAIR
Moses. when things are the darkest for the Jews, God sends a humble deliverer
David. When Israel needed a god-centered leader & king.
Peter & Paul & John...each in their own way...giving HOPE to the early church.
FRANCIS & LUTHER, WESLEY & WIMBER: giving HOPE in the midst of dry religion
Even in the secular world..God sends INSTRUMENTS OF HOPE
Lincoln when the nation was torn in two
Roosevelt & Churchill when the world was torn in two
Billy Graham in the turbulant 60’s & 70’s
Martin Luther King & Desmond Tutu in a world of racial war
Mother Theresa of Calcutta when no one else cared.
the list continues....WHERE ARE THE INSTRUMENTS OF HOPE TODAY?
Willing to take on DESPAIR as the enemy it is...and say...DON’T GIVE UP...HAVE HOPE.
so....maybe YOU! ARE YOU CALLED OF GOD TO BE AN INSTRUMENT OF HOPE in a depairing world?
If you believe the answer is possibly YES but you’re afraid you’re not up to the job...let me tell you this...Let’s talk about what AN INSTRUMENT OF HOPE is NOT.
1. Name-it-claim it Christian.
2. Praise God, be happy Christian.
3. If you really loved God, this wouldn’t be happening to you Christian.