Sermons

Summary: WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF GREAT TURMOIL AND DANGER. CHRISTIANS ARE BEING BRUTALLY EXECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH. WHERE CAN WE FIND HOPE IN THE MIDST OF TRIALS? WHERE DO WE FIND HOPE IN THE MIDST OF OUR DAILY LIVES?

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WHERE DO I FIND MY HOPE

1 PETER 4:12-18

WE HAVE BEEN TALKING IN THIS SERIES ABOUT THE HOPE OF THE CHRISTIAN. I’VE SHARED WITH YOU SOME THINGS THAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID WE CAN DRAW HOPE FROM, AND I’VE SHARED DIFFERENT PLACES IN THE BIBLE WE CAN TURN TO FOR ENCOURAGEMENT.

WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF GREAT TURMOIL AND DANGER. CHRISTIANS ARE BEING BRUTALLY EXECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH. EVERY ELEMENT OF CHRISTIANITY IS COMING UNDER ATTACK IN NORTH AMERICA. IT LEAVES MANY CHRISTIANS AFRAID AND WITHOUT HOPE IN A WORLD THAT IS WITHOUT HOPE. WHERE CAN WE FIND HOPE IN THE MIDST OF TRIALS? WHERE DO WE FIND HOPE IN THE MIDST OF OUR DAILY LIVES?

IT HAS JUST OCCURRED TO ME, THAT I HAVE NEVER SHARED WITH YOU WHERE I FIND HOPE AS A CHRISTIAN. WHAT IS IT THAT KEEPS ME GOING ON?

THIS IS THE LAST WEEK FOR THIS SERIES, AND ALTHOUGH THERE ARE OTHER AREAS WE COULD LOOK AT, I THOUGHT FOR THE LAST SERMON OF THIS SERIES, I WOULD SHARE WITH YOU WHERE I DRAW MY HOPE FROM.

POINT ONE: I DRAW MY HOPE FROM MY FAMILY HISTORY:

IT MAY SURPRISE SOME OF YOU TO KNOW THAT THE REASON FOR MY HOPE, AS WELL AS FOR MANY OF YOU DOES NOT START WITH GOD, BUT WITH MY FAMILY.

THE BIBLE IS CLEAR THAT GOD LOVED US WITH A SUPERNATURAL LOVE, EVEN BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. BECAUSE OF SIN THOUGH, WE DID NOT SHARE THAT LOVE WITH GOD, UNTIL WE BECAME CHRISTIANS.

1 JOHN 4:19: “WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”

SO MY FIRST REASON FOR HOPE IN THIS WORLD, CAME FROM THE LOVING RELATIONSHIP OF MY PARENTS. MOM AND DAD WERE MARRIED FOR OVER FORTY YEARS. IT WASN’T PERFECT BUT IT WAS SOLID. AS CHILDREN WE DID NOT WANT FOR ANYTHING, AND IF WE WERE POOR WE DIDN’T KNOW IT.

WE ALWAYS THOUGHT DAD TO BE A TOUGH RUGGED MINTO MINER, BUT I WAS TO LEARN DIFFERENT THE LAST YEAR OF THEIR LIVES. DAD DIED IN SEPT. OF 1986, AND MOM DIED IN DEC. OF 1986, BOTH FROM DIFFERENT FORMS OF CANCER.

AFTER MOM’S FUNERAL ONE OF MY SISTERS WAS LOOKING IN HER CLOSET FOR SOMETHING AND SHE FOUND A SHOEBOX FULL OF LOVELETTERS THAT MY DAD HAD WRITTEN TO MY MOM. SHE HAD KEPT THEM ALL THE TIME THEY HAD BEEN MARRIED. WE READ THEM AND LAUGHED AND LAUGHED AT HOW CORNY DAD WAS IN HIS LETTERS.

I LEARNED THAT DAY TO HOPE IN A TYPE OF LOVE THAT COULD LAST FOREVER, AND NOT TO GIVE UP OR SETTLE UNTIL I FOUND IT, WHICH I DID EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO IN LESLIE.

POINT TWO: I DRAW MY HOPE FROM MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:

THE SECOND PLACE THAT I DRAW HOPE FROM, AND THE ONE THAT I DWELL ON NOW, IS MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

MY MOTHER WAS A DEVOUT PENTECOSTAL CHRISTIAN. SHE TAUGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL, IN THE BAPTIST CHURCH. WE ONLY HAD ONE CAR WHICH DAD TOOK TO WORK AND THE BAPTIST CHURCH WAS CLOSER FOR THE FAMILY. SOME MORNINGS SHE WOULD PICK ME UP AFTER SUNDAY SCHOOL AND TAKE ME TO CHURCH WITH HER. SHE ALWAYS HAD A LUNCH FOR ME AND TOYS TO PLAY WITH, AS THE SERVICES OFTEN WENT LONGER THAN 1:00, BUT NO ONE SEEMED TO NOTICE.

WHAT I NOTICED WAS MOM AND DAD PRAYING EACH NIGHT BEFORE BEDTIME. I NOTICED MOM READING HER BIBLE EACH EVENING IN ON THE COUCH. I NOTICED HER LISTENING TO GOSPEL RECORDS ON THE OLD ELECTROHOME STEREO. I NOTICED HER RAISING HER HANDS IN CHURCH AND HER STANDING AND TELLING PEOPLE HOW SHE LOVED GOD.


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