Summary: We all need hope. Here I’m touching on how Hope is like a light. It should give us optimism, transform our lives, and reminds us of our inheritance.
THE LIGHT OF HOPE
1. You always need to be skeptical when you are offered a “free ride.” If it looks too good to be true, it probably IS too good to be true. Example:
2. In Zimbabwe, a bus driver was transporting 20 mental patients from one mental hospital to another.
3. He saw an illegal bar on the side of the road and decided to stop for a few drinks. He locked his patients in the bus. After about an hour, he returned to find all the mental patients had escaped.
4. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone there a free ride.
5. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
B. THESIS: WHAT IS HOPE LIKE?
1. The coming of Hope is like lighting a candle in the darkness.
2. “Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in [sees] an endless hope.” George Beenken.
3. “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope [is] for the [soul] meaning of life.” Emil Brunner.
4. Today’s headline of the Houston Chronicle (reflecting on the 5 policemen killed in Dallas) was “A Nation Holding Onto Hope.”
5. We all need hope. Tonight I’m touching on how Hope is like a light. It should give us optimism, transform our lives, and reminds us of our inheritance.
I. HOPE IS A POSITION OF OPTIMISM
Optimism is defined as “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.” In other words, it’s a positive outlook based on the conviction that things are going to get better! We Christians have every reason for optimism. Why?
A. GOD IS A GOOD GOD
1. “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Ex. 34:6.
2. The God of the Bible is motivated by love in all He does. He wants to save and bless all humans with eternal life.
3. He is not motivated, as Allah, to uphold his greatness at all costs, but voluntarily humbles Himself to subject Himself to mocking and torture by His creatures in order to save them. His over-riding motive is His LOVE. Praise God!
B. GOD IS WORKING FOR OUR GOOD
1. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Rom. 8:28.
2. God is NOT working for HIS own good, but for OUR good! What an amazing statement. If God be for us, who can be against us? If we are mistreated in this life, still God will turn it around in the next life.
3. The beggars in this life, the under-privileged, the hungry, the sad, the persecuted, the disadvantaged – all will be reversed in eternity. They will not be the tail, but the head in God’s order. [See the “Beatitudes,” Mt. 25:35-43, Luke 16:19-26]
C. HE IS IN CONTROL
1. “For dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations” Psalm 22:28. “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” Dan. 2:21, NASV.
2. The world will have chaos because there are many people who are sinning & violating the will of God. But despite that, God is still moving history in the direction He wants it to go. He’s in charge and intervenes when He sees it’s necessary.
D. HOPE IN TRIALS
1. We don’t need to fret about the prosperity of the wicked (Ps. 73:3-20). There is and will be injustice in this world, but we must know that God will set it all straight.
2. Jesus said, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort” Lk. 6:24. “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you” James 5:1.
3. Those who are so famous & elite now will be despised in eternity. Be glad that’s not you!
4. Even in trouble, we have “hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” Heb. 6:19. We have the promises of God’s Word to cling to.
5. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” Rom. 15:4.
6. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phip 4:19.