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Living With Hope

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Living With Hope – Getting Ready for Your Future 3 (NV 1/12/03am)

OS: A Today the single most important word (attitude) for getting ready for our future. Even when you do it poorly, it doubles the chances of joy in the future. In 2003 you can look forward to enjoying the year, rather than just enduring it.

I.       This attitude is entirely different than many we face when considering the future

A.     We see the attitudes of apprehension, excitement, apathy, and real fear when facing the future.

B.     Last week – we talked about fear of the future.

II.    The attitude above any other, that can change anything when we face the future, is the attitude called B HOPE.

A.      Jeremiah 2911 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

                       1.       Promises = God’s future / God’s Hope (always go together)

B.     “HOPE” – not like we use it today (wimpy)

                       1.       Biblical hope is not “wish”

                       2.       Biblical hope is “fact”, “confidant”

                       3.       I hope…so I have confidence. I hope…so I’m not afraid. I hope…so I can walk into the future.

C.     Don’t confuse hope with just being optimistic.

                       1.       An optimist sees the glass as half full, and the pessimist sees the glass as half empty.

                       2.       A person of hope sees that the glass is firmly held in the hand of God.

                       3.       Definition of hope – God is in control.

III. We are all in need of hope!

A.     Listen to the radio – lost love songs, but few if any hope songs.

B.     Go to the movies – volcanoes destroying cities and asteroids destroying the world. 1998 the most popular movie, the ship sank. We all knew it would, but we went anyway.

C.     Let’s consider what happens when we have hope and how God brings that hope into our lives, the benefit that God’s hope brings, and how He uses the process to develop hope in and through our lives.

D.     What happens if I have hope? How does it change me?

I.       If I have hope…

A.     C I can get started. (I can get started again if I have hope)

                       1.       Illustrate with car (good on outside, but if the starter doesn’t work …)

                       2.       Some people are like that – They look real great on the outside. They’ve got some real power on the inside. But they wake up in the morning and just can’t get started.

                         3.       þIsaiah 4031 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

                       4.       God’s hope helps you get started.

B.     D I can live with _______ (you fill in the rest.) Whatever burden is in your life right now.

                       1.       You can make it. It is hope that enables us to handle tremendous pressure.

                       2.       Paul understood – þ 2 Corinthians 18 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

                       3.       We were hopeless until we learned to put our hope in God who raises the dead.

C.     E I can slow down. Hope is what gives me the ability to slow down this busy life.

                       1.       We always run faster when we’ve lost our way, and it is hope that shows the way.

                       2.       Illustrate with boat ride

                       3.       Life gets out of balance when too much becomes too important.

                       4.       Illustrate (going to the grocery store for one item, pass by the baskets and carts, and end up standing in line with an arm full aggravated by the slow person in front of you writing a check.)

                       5.       That’s a parable about what happens with our schedules. Without hope we are always in a hurry.

                       1.       We always run faster when we’ve lost our way, and it is hope that shows the way.

                       6.       Vacation time after working one year with a company:

a.  Brazil & Austria (30 days)

b. Sweden (25 days)

c.  Germany (24 days)

d. U.S. (10 days)

                       7.       With God’s hope I don’t have to rush through life so fast because I know exactly where life is headed.

                         8.       þPsalm 625 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

D.     F I can say no. Hope gives me the power to say no.

                       1.       I can get started, I can live with whatever I’m facing, I can slow down, and I can say no to the temptations of life.

                       2.       Hope is the foundation for integrity. If I have no hope of the future, if I think there’s nothing out there for me, then truthfully there is no logical reason to have integrity.

                       3.       Just eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we die.

                       4.       þ1 John 3 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

E.      G How does it happen? I’d like to get God’s hope in my life. I’d like to be able to go on when things are tough. How do I have hope? God’s process – God’s assembly line for hope in our lives. þRomans 5 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

                       1.       There is going to be some things about this that you don’t like.

                       2.       I would have done it different.

H How do I have hope?

I.       Get a Problem (easy! We’re ¼ of the way there already!)

A.     Are you going to have problems in 2003 – YES!

B.     God uses the very problems we think are sent to steal our hope and uses them to produce hope in our lives.

C.     Philosophy of problems

                       1.       Problems are inevitable. (Why me? Or Why not me?)

                       2.       Problems are unexpected.

                       3.       Problems are used by God to develop us and grow us.

II.    I Practice patience with that problem. (suffering produces perseverance)

A.     Growth requires both problems and patience. If all it took was problems we’d all be mature now.

B.     Typically we try to skip this step.

                       1.       We try to run from our problems. We try to get as far away as we can. When you run, you just run into the same old problems. Different names, circumstances – same problem.

                       2.       We try to hide from our problems. We pretend they don’t exist. We lie to ourselves, and we are good at it. We hide behind our anger, or we blame everybody else. Sometimes we hide behind our optimism – just pretend everything is going to be okay.

                       3.       Sometimes we just point at other people – we have a pity party, and think we are the only people with real problems.

C.     How do we change it? þRomans 825 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

                       1.       This is where we begin to see the seeds of hope in our lives.

                       1.       J Check transcript for paragraph.

III. Develop Character (hopeful patience leads to character)

A.      James 1 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

                       1.       New Christian said, …

a.  “God what are you doing to me?”

b. “Satan, what are you doing to me?”

c.  “God what are you doing in me?” How do you want to take this problem and use it to develop me and grow me? = Attitude of hope.

                       2.       Character emerges out of the fire – If you find someone with great character, I’ll guarantee you they’ve patiently endured some great trials in their life.

B.     Take a look at the false hope we often try to build in our lives.

                       1.       Instead of trying to build character in order to build hope, we try to build our bank account in order to build hope.

                       2.       “If I can get enough things in my life, then I can build a foundation of hope on those things.”

                         3.       K 1 Timothy 617 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

                       4.       Illustrate with PBS baby in the crib experiment – mobile with a couple of toys on it (baby was happy) / mobile with 12 toys (baby was happy) / mobile with two (baby was upset).

                       5.       Satisfaction will never be achieved in the things of this world!

C.     Hope doesn’t come through acquiring things, It comes by developing character. That’s what God does as we’re patient through the problems of our life. Then as He does that…

IV.  L Enjoy Hope

A.     You don’t have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy the hope God wants to give you.

                         1.       1 Peter 13 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,

                       2.       NT – “hope” (1 time before the resurrection / 70 after)

B.     The cross – symbol of our faith – dark and dreary yet turned into light through the resurrection of Jesus.

                       1.       The cross says God not only understands your pain but He can transform your pain.

                       2.       Hope can begin right now because of what God has for us in the future.

C.     M It is hope that enables the person…

                       1.       whose job seems in jeopardy to face the future anyway.

                       2.       who has been victimized in a terrible way to not only find healing in their life but have the ability to help someone else in the same way.

                       3.       who is just not sure about the future to just put one foot in front of the other knowing God has a future for them even though they can’t define it at the time.

                       4.       to take a dream that has been shattered and watch God put it back together piece by piece one more time.

                       5.       who sat across the desk from that doctor who said, “It’s not going to get any better, there is nothing else I can do for you” to look for a better day even if it’s beyond this life.

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