Summary: A message about two types of hope; one from Jesus and the other from Satan. And a cautionary reminder that, since we all seek hope, we must be very careful on which one we choose.
A man had not been feeling well and went to his doctor for a check-up. After the examination, the doctor left the room and had the nurse call the man’s wife into his office. She came in and the doctor said the husband was going to die, but there was hope.
He said, ‘Your husband needs constant care. If you cater to his every whim for about six months, he might live.’
On the way home, the husband asked her what the doctor told her. She said, ‘He told me you’re going to die, Honey.’
The trouble here was that she took all hope away from him. Christians always seem to talk about having hope, but we don’t always show it in the way we live, do we? And sometimes, we talk about it so much; we sometimes forget what having hope actually means. And in some cases, it gets even worse; we forget how much we need to have hope.
Let’s start today’s message by talking about;
1. THE TRUTH OF REAL HOPE
The dictionary defines hope as; to look forward to something good with great anticipation; and to confidently and fully expect to obtain that which we desire.
I like the second definition, or the one that says we ‘confidently expect to obtain that which we desire’. That should describe what we have found in Jesus, which is spending our eternity in Heaven with Him; confidently and fully expecting it to come about.
The Bible gives us many references to hope.
1 PETER 1:3 tells us why believers can have hope; because of the resurrection.
‘Let us thank the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was through His loving-kindness that we were born again to a new life and have a hope that never dies. This hope is ours because Jesus was raised from the dead.’
1 PETER 1:6 tells us what hope does for us, even during the bad times.
‘With hope you can have joy, even if you experience occasional sorrow and tests.’
Everything that God does, or everything God offers, the devil tries to copy. The key word here is ‘tries’. That is why we find true hope, which is found in Jesus Christ, and there is false hope, which is found in the world and is always offered by Satan.
When a Christian thinks about hope, it is very important that we remember how hope is described in;
‘Hope teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ’
Now, let’s talk a bit about;
2. THE LIES SURROUNDING FALSE HOPE
Here are just some of the false hopes that are given to us through the world.
··· People will like you if you drink this brand of alcohol
··· You’ll look beautiful if use our brand of make-up
··· You will lose weight & be healthy without exercising if you just take these pills
And if we don’t have the truth of Jesus Christ in our hearts, we succumb to those lies and false hopes. On most of these commercials, in very small print, you will notice it says those results are not common. That is your first clue that it is probably a lie.
PROVERBS 10:28 describes true and false hope.
‘The hope of those who are right with God is joy, but the hope of the sinful comes to nothing but eventual despair.’
All we need to do is look at what’s going on around us in the world and we will see just how much we need to have true hope. The Israeli-Palestinian War looks as if it has the potential of actually turning into WW3; the economic woes in our country alone could drive our taxes up to where 75% of everything we earn could be taxed away; and absolute godlessness can be seen lurking around every corner.
Old Charlie Brown looks to Lucy and says, ‘It’s no use. Our team has no hope of ever winning a game.’ Lucy replies, ‘Well, Charlie Brown, you win some and you lost some.’ Charlie’s eyes brighten up and he says, ‘That would be great!’
It seems Charlie had run out of hope, and without hope we are destined to have continuous failure in our lives. It is like the two construction workers who ate lunch at the job site every day.
The one guy opens his lunch every day to a cold meat-loaf sandwich. And with each passing day, he complains more and more about having the same thing for lunch. Finally, his co-worker tells him to just tell his wife to make a different kind of sandwich. The first worker says, ‘I’m not married. I make my own lunch!’