Summary: Whereas the English word “hope’ may have an element of uncertainty in it, the Greek words in the New Testament always speak of a sure expectation of some good outcome or positive result.
THE GOD OF HOPE
ILLUSTRATION - "I had something to look forward to."
The story is told of a muti-millionaire businessman who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in a poor downtrodden township. This was an area where most of the students would not finish formal schooling.
He had been asked to speak to a class of 60 children in the sixth grade. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could capture the attendance of these students.
He scrapped his notes and decided to speak from his heart.
“Stay in school,” he encouraged them, “and I’ll help pay the college fees for every one of you.”
At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.”
Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school. (Source Uknown)
1. HE IS THE “GOD OF HOPE”
YOU TOO CAN HAVE THIS GOLDEN FEELING.
Romans 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (NIV)
(VS 4: PRE-CONDITION FOR HOPE - ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE SCRIPTURES – Reading and meditating on it).
Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Our God is “the God of Hope”. He wants us to “overflow with hope”.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Whereas the English word “hope’ may have an element of uncertainty in it, the Greek words in the New Testament always speak of a sure expectation of some good outcome or positive result. (Frederick R. Howe, TH.D. – What’s in a Word?, Hope, Gospel Herald & Sunday School Times, Summer Quarter 1999, page 19)
Psalm 39:7 ’But now, Lord, what do I look for (KJV “What am I waiting for?”) My hope is in you.’
Sometimes we worry about a problem, we talk about it to others, we have sleepless nights:
All this without taking the matter to God in prayer;
All this without going to the Scriptures, the Word of God so that we might receive, joy, peace and encouragement from the Lord (Psalm 1; Rom. 15:4,13).
I have a golden feeling because:
The Scriptures (Word of God) give me hope [and builds up my faith (Rom 10:17)];
The power of the Holy Spirit gives me hope.
2. ELIJAH’S EXPERIENCE
Elijah Flees to Horeb (1 Kings 19:1-9)
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid a and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. (NIV)
Elijah discovered, that when everything seems hopeless, the God of Hope is at hand.
He also discovered that the promise that God had made to Moses and to Joshua, that he would be with them always, remains true.
3. AGAINST ALL HOPE, ABRAHAM BELIEVED
Ro 4:18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Ro 4:19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.