Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: How to stay in hope while waiting for the promise?

More Sermons & illustrations of Rev. Shine Thomas on www.cityharvestag.org

Waiting in Hope!

Introduction: We all have dreams and goals in life. We are waiting for a breakthrough to happen, we want a situation to turn around etc. But when things do not happen as we want them to be, most of us get frustrated and lose our joy in life.

Are you waiting indefinitely for something? Have you ever asked God for something very genuine and you seem to get no answers for it?

Well, we have come to yet another season of Hope. Christmas is round the corner. There is a message of hope related to Christmas in the opening pages of the Gospel of Luke. Here, we find an elderly couple waiting indefinitely for an answer from God.

Luke 1:5-7 5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Zechariah and Elizabeth believed and followed God. They did everything right and walked blameless in God’s presence; however, they never had a child. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into years, and years turned into decades. Now they are very old and absolutely no hope for a child.

Their request to God had been a simple prayer that every married couple has prayed at one time or the other – “Oh! Lord, grant us a child.” But for some reason, God had remained silent on this issue.

Today, maybe you are praying for a breakthrough to happen for a long time. You are saying, “Lord, 2014 is ending, but I still find no change in my situation.” May be you are trusting God for a breakthrough in your career, in your ministry, about your child, breakthrough in your family etc. Deep down you know God has spoken that to you. But so often because it is taking a long time and you are not seeing any sign from God, you are getting discouraged. By every passing day you feel the task is getting near to impossible.

I want to tell you to:

1. Trust God when you don’t understand.

Many times you may not understand why things are happening against you and that is where you need faith to trust God.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

You may be facing a dead-end situation right now—financial, emotional, or relational, but if you will trust God He will make a way for you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

For Zechariah and Elizabeth, to be childless often brought a lot of shame and sorrow. Children were considered a blessing, and childlessness was seen as a curse or disgrace. Elizabeth even called her childlessness, “A disgrace among the people.” She does not understand why. Maybe you are in the same situation today.

But the Bible says that they were upright in the sight of God. Luke 1:6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.

God is looking at certain people this morning. You have been doing the right thing. Coming to church, being as good and kind as much as possible, living a holy life the best as you can but deep within you are disappointed because of unanswered prayers. You don’t understand why this is happening to you. I want to encourage you to trust God even when you do not seem to understand.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, (Before the first gleam of dawn is a long and dark night) The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day.

Inspite if being good, you may be enduring a dark night, totally confused about your future; you just got to trust God and move on. The Bible says when you do right; your path is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day. Keep moving on, God will take those dark nights away, and put your life in a place of perfect light.

The Bible says: Psalm 30:5 Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. I see seasons of joy and rejoicing coming upon the people of God in Jesus’ name.

Moving on: Zechariah not only trusted God when he faced the impossible but he continued to do good in God’s presence.

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