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Summary: This sermon is based on John 3:16 and describes how God in the midst of darkness and despair, He still has you in the palm of His hand – so that no matter what may happen in life, you are still the one He created for the sake of encouraging others.

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SERMON ON HOPE

Title: Realizing God’s Hope in the Midst of Chaos and Despair

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

- John 3:16

DESCRIPTION

This sermon is based on John 3:16 and describes how God in the midst of darkness and despair, He still has you in the palm of His hand – so that no matter what may happen in life, you are still the one He created for the sake of encouraging others.

OPENING PRAYER

Good morning. I’d like to start off today with a moment of prayer. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the time today that allows us to come to You, to ask You once again for forgiveness, to ask You once again to bring us together, to ask You once again for the hope that through Jesus Christ we have … that many times we have, in this world, may get confused, may not see solutions right away … maybe in despair, maybe discouraged … we know that you have us, that we’re not in this alone; that You’ve engaged us from heaven to earth and that there is a plan, You have a plan for us here. We thank you for the opportunity to be here now. We thank You for the opportunity that You hold us in the palm of your hand and that with that we can ask in Your name for love, we can ask for hope, we can ask for patience, we can the ask for the resources You have planned for us. Whether it’s that job, whether it’s that car that needs to be replaced, whether it’s our children – that You look after them, that You bless them and keep them, that You God pull them out of sickness, that You pull them out of despair, that you pull them out, Lord God, out of situations they may have gotten themselves into. We pray Lord God that You bless everyone here. That in the end, Your name be lifted and that we be humbled in realizing that no matter what happens, You have plans for us, You guide us, You protect us. We’re Your children. You’re our Father. Your our friend. You gave Your life so that we could have life. What a miraculous interchange. We thank you Lord God for this day. Forgive us our sins, God, and keep us right. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

SERMON

The late Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that only in darkness can one see the stars. Only in darkness can one see the stars. God has a way of illuminating Himself. Sometimes when we think things are going great it becomes really hard for us to see God’s work. And, sometimes, God does allow certain things to happen to us so that we realize Who He is, so that we can realize what He can do; we can realize what He is about. And not just in our own minds or in how we feel, but through His Word. The Bible, the Holy Bible, is His instruction to us, is His story to us, it’s His history, His story that allows us to read back in time and then reflect on past works, past faiths, past hopes, past dreams, past anything and everything humanity has ever gone through … God has laid it out in the Bible, in His Word. Our job as Christians, now, is to ask God what it is He wants from us. God, what do you want from us? What can we do? Where can we be? Now, granted, God’s love is by grace. You can’t earn that. God’s love is by sheer grace that calls us to realize just how powerful He is. It’s not a matter of what we can do … it’s not a matter of our own strengths, because in reality, we have no real power. When it comes to eternal items, we are at the mercy of God. And we sometimes see these difficulties that come in our lives, shootings that just happened, just not long ago, in Connecticut … and our hearts are with the families. Our hearts are with their hopes and their dreams. We are there with them. They are our brothers and sisters; we are our brother’s and sister’s keepers! And in that midst and in that time and in that conflict and in that time of confusion, God is still there. God is still helping us there to heal; God is still helping us cope with the tragedy that has affected so many lives throughout the world. God is helping us understand that these heartless things do happen, but that we should not lose hope. We should not lose our conviction about the power of God. When God Himself, the Father, lost His Son for the sake of humanity, for the sake of the world, when Jesus Christ Himself called out and said God, why have You abandoned me, why have you forsaken me? Why have You forsaken me, Jesus says, when He is laid up on the cross … it’s because He had taken on the sins of the world. God the Father had plans for that; that in the end on the third day, God, Jesus Christ, came back to life, was resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit that you and I have with us as believers of Jesus Christ – and where death itself could not hold Him back.


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