Summary: Hope. For many who have placed hope in the wrong things, it is scary to put our hope in something. But hope is essential to life and to living. How can we experience a hope that doesn’t disappoint us and grow in hope so that it is not drowned out by our circumstances?
God helps us live in hope through His word (v. 15:4)
God helps us live in hope through His Church (v. 15:5-11)
God gives us hope through His Son (v. 5:12)
God gives us overflowing hope through His Spirit (v. 15:13)
Where is your hope?
There are probably some of you here today that have come and you aren’t feeling a lot of hope in your life right now.
Maybe you don’t even know why you came to church today because what is the point.
Nothing is changing. Life is bad, and it isn’t changing and you feel there is no hope.
Maybe you have had your hope in things that let you down.
Maybe you have had your hope in the wrong things.
Maybe you have had your hope in God, but what you expected God to do, didn’t happen.
Where is your hope?
Maybe you have lost hope or are afraid to put your hope in anything for fear of being disappointed.
Well, today, I want to give you hope and help you to live in hope because hope is absolutely essential for life and for living.
Wharf rats drowning illustration
I read about this experiment that some behavioral scientists did once with some rats.
These behavioral Scientists put some Wharf Rats in a tank of water, and observed them to see how long they would survive before drowning. The average time was 17 minutes. Then, they repeated the experiment, but this time they "rescued" the rats just before the point of drowning, dried them off and returned them to their cages, fed them, and let them play for a few days, and repeated the drowning experiment.
This time, the average survival time for these rats increased from 17 minutes to 36 hours! The scientists explained that phenomenon by pointing out that the second time around, the rats had HOPE. They believed that they could survive this, because they had done so before.
Hope is essential to life.
Hope is essential to living. Living with hope can truly change things going forward.
And that is not just true for Rats!
Eugene Lang gave hope
Self-made millionaire, Eugene Lang, who had received some help to go to college, wanted to be able to help those who were like him, coming from underprivileged backgrounds.
When he was giving the commencement speech to those graduating 6th grade at PS121 in East Harlem, the same school he had attended years earlier, “he promised the 62 graduates that he would help finance the higher education of any in the group who stayed in school and finished high school and wanted to continue on to college.
At that time, the high school they would be attending had a dropout rate of 60% and on average only 2 students from PS 121 went on to college. That is about 3%.
This was in in 1981. By 1985, when these kids were in their sophomore year, all 62 were still in school. It turns out that 90% of them graduated high school and 70% went on to college with half of those completing a degree!
What explains the change?
Those kids now had hope for a different life.
Before, it seemed they had no hope at all.