Summary: Since hope is an assured expectation with a belief in the possibility that something will happen, it is sad when this is gone.
WHEN HOPE IS ALMOST GONE
Proposition: Since hope is an assured expectation with a belief in the possibility that something will happen, it is sad when this is gone.
Objective: My purpose is to give hope to those who have lost theirs.
INTRODUCTION: WHAT IF GOD HAD VOICE MAIL?
Illus: We have all learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of modern life. We call some one or place and we get an answering voice. Then we listen to a voice and get frustrated as we wait on and on hoping to talk to someone and then they go on and on…But you may have wondered, What if God decided to install voice-mail? Imagine praying and hearing this... "Thank you for calling My Father’s House. Please select one of the following options: Press 1 for requests. Press 2 for thanksgiving. Press 3 for complaints. Press 4 for all other inquiries."
What if God used the familiar excuse..."All the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. Your call will be answered in the order it was received." Can you imagine getting these kinds of responses as you call on God in prayer? "If you would like to speak to Gabriel, press 1. For Michael, press 2. For a directory of other angels, press 3. If you ’d like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you’re on hold, press 4. To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven, enter his or her social security number. For reservations at My Father’s House, press the letters J-O-H-N and then 3-1-6. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and where Noah’s ark is, please wait until you arrive here." "Our computers show that you have already called once today. Please
hang up and try again tomorrow." "This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again on Monday after 9:00 am." Thank God, you can’t call Him too often! "Then you will call, and the Lord will answer: you shall cry for help, and He will say, ’Here I am.’" (Isaiah 58:9 (quickview)  NKJV)
Imagine a person who has lost everything. Whose whole life has been turned completely upside down. Everything that was precious is gone: children, wealth, position in society, bodily well being. All gone. One day this person was on top of the world. Now all is gone. Your home is not your home. Your life is not your life. You are no longer yourself. This is the story of Job. Then your so-called “friends” come and go on and on. Eliphaz has launched his second round of strong words against Job. Listen to what he says in 15:7-9 (LB), “Are you the wisest man alive? Were you born before the hills were made? Have you heard the secret counsel of God? Are you called into his counsel room? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom? What do you know more than we do? What do you understand that we don’t?” Job’s hope is almost gone as we hear him cry out (17:2), “The end of my life is near. I can hardly breathe; there is nothing left for me but the grave.” What has happened to his hope in the Lord. His feelings were that his hope was all but gone and in vain. Now, hope is an assured expectation with a belief in the possibility that something will happen. He is wavering in his hope of a change in his future. This has been going on for months now. Listen to his words (7:3): “Month after month I have nothing to live for; night after night brings me grief.” Then in 29:2, “"Oh, how I long for the good old days, when God took such very good care of me.” A good definition for hope is: “Hope is an assurance based on the promises of God.” How many times have we heard someone say it this way, "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on." Determination and hope go together; determination and "stick-to-it-iveness" go together. To have hope means to hold fast during the difficult season. Hope says, "Ride it out. You’ve been through bad times before, and God has brought you through. (Note these verses: Job 4:6 (quickview) , 5:16, 6:11, 6:19, 7:6, 11:18, 11:20, 14:7, 14:19, 17:15, 19:10, 27:8, 31:24, 41:9)