Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God wants to resurrect hope in your life today!

Seasons of Hope

Intro: It seems that one of the vital components of this life we live is the ability to hope and to dream. You might call it having ambition, aspiration, vision, plans, goals, endeavors, or whatever, but it usually starts very early in life. Even as children we dream of the way things could be – if only our dreams would come true! The optimistic idealism that is often found in children gives them hope for something bigger and better than what they are experiencing right now.

-Experts tell us that too much television can limit or reduce the creativity, and perhaps the ability to dream, in a child. I think this could be because we are settling for someone else’s dream when we watch TV. There are some very creative shows and ideas out there, but nobody can dream the way you can! Sometimes I think our ability to hope and dream big from our own heart is short-circuited or at least crowded out by our fascination with someone else’s idea of what is grand and glorious. Now I do believe that the hopes and dreams of others can stimulate your ability to dream, but only to the extent that they line up with who you are as the unique creation of God. God gave you the ability to dream dreams that are unique to you! He also gives the capacity to hope for the fulfillment of those dreams!

-Now, as most of us know, life sometimes has a way of killing our dreams. Things can happen that bring such deep disappointment that we give up hope and settle for bleak reality. Or, if we face enough obstacles we might lose heart and resign ourselves to the idea that our dreams will just never come true!

-But every once in a while, we hear of someone’s dreams coming true. Even better, sometimes things happen in people’s lives that are way beyond what they had dreamed could happen!

-I’d like to talk a little about the cycles of hopes and dreams that often occur in our lives. I’m calling them seasons of hope. Just as our lives begin at birth, so every dream and hope has a beginning. However, something often happens along the way to squash that dream, making it seem unlikely or even impossible. But if this dream truly came from the heart of God (and I believe this happens more often than we think), then that dream will find new life again- perhaps in a different context or form. We are talking about the birth, death, and resurrection of hope. Here’s the one simple thought I’d like to share today:

Prop: God wants to resurrect hope in your life today!

I. Hope is Born

-People clamor for all sorts of things to happen in their lives that might be considered dreams coming true! If the ability to hope and dream is nothing more than the desire to have more things, have more fun, and do our own thing, then dreams are certainly not in short supply today! However, as we talk about dreams and hope today, I would like to eliminate the things that are short-sighted and self-serving. Any dream that is all about me will be void of any lasting fulfillment.

-So please allow me to reclassify hopes and dreams as those aspirations and longings that were transferred from our Creator to us when he wove our DNA together and made us who we really are. Getting more stuff is no dream! That is just one way people try to fill the time and satisfy the void that remains when our true hopes and dreams go unfulfilled. Material things are simply tools. Material things might be a means to an end, but they are not ends in themselves! They were never intended to fulfill us on a lasting basis, only to meet basic needs along the way.

-I am convinced that true hopes and dreams are born long before we are, because they originate in the heart of God. Sometimes it takes years for a person to discover their dreams because they have to cut through all the distraction and stuff of this life that is choking out their dreams. Others seem to have a sense from early on what they want to be and do the rest of their lives. Most of us go through a process of discovery as we begin to realize what really makes us tick.

-The greatest dreams in life always tie in with relationships. We were wired for relationship! Imagine if your life dream was to find the mother of all mother lodes of gold, and you found it, but had nobody to share it with. What an empty dream! Sure you could buy companionship and pleasure, but there would always be strings attached. Friendships would always be in question because you wouldn’t know who was a gold-digger and who truly cared about you.

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