Living in Hope (Rev. Dr. E. Wayne Hanks)
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and (Psalms 42:5 NLT)
"Hope springs eternal in the human breast." "Hope is to the human soul what oxygen is to the lungs." (Swiss philosopher) God did not make us to be a people without hope, but that sense of hopelessness seems to pervade today.
David, in our text, wrote these words while at a point of being downcast, disturbed, disquieted. The door to anxiety was wide open, but David held to the edict later expressed by Paul, the Apostle.
In preaching to his own soul, David repeated these same words in 42:11, and again in 43:5. "Put your hope in God."
Hope anticipates something good is ahead, sees into a future that holds something better.
3 Dimensions of Hope
1) Grounded in God
"Put your hope on God." Regardless how stable they may seem, anything earthly can be taken away or lost. Karl Mrx & Sigmund Freud both led attacks on faith in God. They both died in despair and hopelessness. C.S. Lewis held tight to and expounded the hope we have in God, through the lost of his wife.
Lasting hope is based in God's assurance - "All other ground is sinking sand."
Hebrews 6:19 - This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. (Hebrews 6:19 NLT)
2) Realized and Nurtured in the Fellowship of Believers
Campfire or fireplace - logs almost dance in their burning together. A single ember that rolls out soon burns out. The negative things we know about one another don't detract from the vital need we have to be a part of one another's lives.
Hebrews 10:23-25 - Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25 NLT)
I need. You to help me and you need me to help you. Ecclesiastes 4:10 - If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. (Ecclesiastes 4:10 NLT) Poem about the sweetness of hope - candy for the soul.
The church must be a place to find hope. New Testament is full of "one another" instructions, 51 times, especially in Ephesians.
3) Will be Ultimately Fulfilled in Heaven
This isn't all there is. Hope always faced the future, never looks back. Hebrews 11:1-3 - Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. (Hebrews 11:1-3 NLT)
Hope and faith must exist together - they cannot be independent. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the L ord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
I know the plans I have for you. Good can come, even from evil things God allows.
1 Peter1:3 - All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. (1 Peter 1:3-6 NLT)
Anecdote of World Series listeners cheering at football game, though their football team was losing. Listening to another game.
If in this life we have no hope. 1 Corinthians 15:19-20 - And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. (1 Corinthians 15:19, 20 NLT)
D.L. Moody - "One say you will hear that D.L. Moody has died. Don't youi believe it! shall be more alive on that morning than at any point in my life."
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