Summary: Last of the 4 part series Power for Living, based on Romans chapter 8. Last week’s message looked at statements that God put an end to suffering and struggling, this closing message contains promises and assurances that will happen.

Promises That This Too Will Pass

Power for Living, part 4

Wildwind Community Church

David K. Flowers

August 19, 2007

People can’t live without hope. And they shouldn’t have to. People can’t live without hope. And they shouldn’t have to. One way we say that here at Wildwind is in the phrase, “Hope is your birthright.” In other words, you were created to be a creature of hope. You were designed on purpose by a loving God to run on the fuel of hope, and hope belongs to you by virtue of your status as a creation of God. I have a weed whacker at home that runs on two-cycle gas. Two-cycle gas is just regular gasoline mixed with a small amount of oil. I have tried before to run my weed whacker on regular gas, and it will run that way. It runs. But man, it smokes and sputters and never quite gets as revved up as it does when I use the proper fuel. I believe we live in a world full of people who are not running properly on the fuel of hope. They either have no hope at all, or their hope is in the wrong things. Either way, a human creature that is not running properly on hope will sputter and snort and just never get as revved up, never live as effectively, as they will when they are on the proper fuel – when they have learned to hope effectively in something that can legitimately be hoped in.

See, that matters a lot. Some people will say, “As long as you believe in something, it doesn’t matter what it is.” “As long as you are sincere.” We talked about worldviews a few weeks back – how each worldview has its own system of wisdom that springs up around it. Some people will say, “Just pick one. Just pick a world view, subscribe to its wisdom, and you will find peace.” But just because there are many worldviews and many systems of wisdom coming from them, that does not mean they are all the same – that one is as good as the other. Are we prepared to say that teenage romance wisdom is every bit as good, as whole, and as complete as adult romance wisdom? Of course not, in fact our aim with teenagers is to help them come to understand romance better, and as they do this, they will increasingly set aside their teenage wisdom and embrace a more mature wisdom. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for them to think like teenagers – just that we want to see them move past it eventually, right?

1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Every worldview is not equally valid. Some reflect reality better than others. And those that best reflect reality are those that give birth to the truest and most dependable wisdom. What you believe, what you embrace, what you hope in matters.

There are many people in our world clinging to many things that they are certain are going to pan out for them. They’ll say, “Your beliefs are right for you. Mine are right for me.” But if the things we are hoping in are part of a system that is going down, that is headed the same direction we’re headed, we’re in for a big shock one day. The Christian gospel story, the Christian message says, “Everything you could possibly hope in except Jesus will let you down. There’s no relationship you won’t eventually lose through distance or death. There’s no chemical that will provide anything more than a temporary peace. There’s no form of currency accepted in the next world. There’s no accomplishment which will not eventually be forgotten. This entire world system is getting sucked down the drain, and everyone and everything that is part of that system is going with it. Even the religions and belief systems.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Everything is going down. There is one hope for this world, and that’s Jesus. Not a religion called Christianity, but Jesus. Not a church called Wildwind, but Jesus. Not a denomination called Catholic or Free Methodist or Baptist , but Jesus.

John 14:6 (NIV)

6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

What you believe in, what you hope in, matters more than anything. Having said that, I want to spend the rest of this message reviewing with you the hope we have in God, through the Holy Spirit, because of Jesus.

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