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REMEMBER 2: NEVER LOSE HOPE

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Opener: Fire is one of the most useful and powerful but also dangerous and destructive reactions that exists. Igniting a fire can bring warmth, allow for things to be disposed of and food to be cooked. Igniting a fire unintentionally even with a small spark can burn up things that are important.
states that the tongue is a fire…that can set on “fire the entire course of life.” We know from Jesus’ words that we speak start with a spark in our hearts. Those sparks in our hearts are the thoughts that we choose to focus on and give opportunity to catch fire.
Thoughts ignite words and attitudes: What we choose to focus on and think about has a huge impact on what we say and do. Our thought can ignite our emotions for good or bad, influence our perspectives, and motivate us move forward or not move at all. What we choose to think about and focus on can determine whether or not we look at life with hope and faith or with doubt, gloom and doom.
The mistake of looking only through the eyes of...One of the mistakes that we can easily make is looking at life through the eyes that only see all that is wrong with the world which inevitably leads to hopelessness. The reason that we are particularly susceptible to this is because we know from understanding right and wrong and God’s standard that our world and nation are in really bad shape.
While this has been true for a long, long time we see the difference in how it is and how it should be as God’s word shows and we want things to be right.
Satan can use that against us: While it is good to not be totally desensitized by the way things are Satan can use our zeal for good against us in that he can tempt us to hyper focus on all the wrong that is in the world until we are overwhelmed with the negativity that surrounds it all.
Two things can then happen…(1 we can turn from being a christian who is full of hope in God to a christian who is full of the pain and hopelessness of the world without God..2) we can become so engrossed in railing about what is wrong that we make our faith all about that.
Preaching all about the wrong: Please do not understand me. Evil needs to be preached about and against. Sin (our greatest problem) needs to be talked about, frequently, people need to be warned about hell. People need to hear that the sin that the world promotes as good is wrong. Jesus preached “repent or you will likewise perish.”
Preaching God’s goodness: But that is not all Jesus preached either. Just look at the sermon on the mount. As with many of the prophetic books the bible has many warnings and proclamations of the wrongs but it is also full of hope and in scripture there is a balance.
Imagine if every Sunday the preacher talked about the evils of a particular sin. Every week you knew it was going to be the same. The evils of a particular sin or wrong in the world, nation and community. It would be a different sin every week but there was never anything else. Most likely you would start to dread coming because you were going to leave feeling discouraged. (I heard one complaint that this was what one preacher did.) We know that God’s word is ultimately a message of hope...
This is an illustration not of preaching about your thinking and outlook...We can go to far the other way as well and never talk about sin but my point is that we do not need to be a people who are only focused on what is wrong in the world and not focused on what is right with Christ and the goodness He gives and offers in blessings and salvation.
Both/and: We need to be people who are willing to “speak the truth in love” about what is right and wrong and tell others what scripture says…but also we need to be people who are wrapped up in and excited about the goodness of God so much so that He is the one we talk about often.
In my experience many in the church are much better at the pointing out the wrong in the world and in people that talking about what is good and right about God (and specifically the good that He is doing in their lives.)
I say this because I have been one of them…and I realize why as well. If you are hyper focus on the wrong then you have no vision left to focus on the goodness of God. Also, I am nowhere near as good as I want to be or should be at talking about the goodness of God in my everyday life to those in my life who I interact with.
TRANS: So how can we allow God’s good and the hope that He has given us become an ingrained part of our outlook so that we naturally talk like a people who have hope and know what a blessing it is to live the abundant life in Christ as God’s children.
It starts with our mindset and what we choose to focus on and remember about God!
One of the reasons that God tells us in and what we need to focus on. We should notice that it is not this world but greater things.
If we do not remember God’s wonders and works we cannot have a proper outlook on life. -;
We may become bitter and seem only like complainers instead of hopeful.
We may lose focus on God’s goodness in our lives because we are so focus on the bad in world.
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We may forget or act as if God in not in control
We may be ineffective witnesses for Christ because we cannot tell others about God’s goodness.
We may have a hard time being people of hope like our Father who is the God of hope.
One of the reasons that God tells us in and what we need to focus on. We should notice that it is not this world but greater things.
Colossians 3:2 ESV
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
God did not tell them them these things because the world was in such good shape and it would be easy to. He told them this for the same reason He tells us. The world is fallen and we are in a spiritual war much of which is fought in our minds and they needed to think on good things and have a hopeful outlook and attitude!
We have to be careful what we allow to influence out thinking and therefore our outlook on the future and life. The mistake that many people make is that they do not make an effort to filter the information and the contagious attitudes that they encounter.
News and Social media: For example if we are not careful and we let the news, social media, toxic habitually negative people influence our thinking and outlook we may end up hopeless.
This is really important for the Christians because we are called to be different than the world. We are called to be like God. This means we have a different outlook on the world and life. We think and live differently.
God’s word and God’s Spirit should influence our thoughts and outlook more than anyone or anything else. We serve the God of hope so we should be a people of hope!
Unfortunately that is not always true. We all know that Christians can be some of the most negative, gloomy people you can meet. It makes sense as to why this is true. They see all that is wrong with the world, the church, families, politics, the economy, and a whole lot of other things that we all see. You know what…they are right about a lot of it.
But the way some talk you would think their hope was in politics, the economy, the president or government, the country, and other things…as if God needed these things to be right to still be in control.
Do not get me wrong there are many things to be upset about, mourn and even be against and try to change but these things cannot become a part of our identity as if God created us to...
BUT…knowing these things and dwelling on them without the hope and truth and victory their is in Christ as His follower is a mistake. This is true for a number of reasons. The truth is...
Christians should be characterized and known by how they talk more about how good God is than how bad the world is getting.
We can make the mistake of only focusing so much on what we are against that we forget how to be excited and talk about what we are for.
This is why it is so important that remember God’s greatness while living in a world where so many things are so bad. Again this is true for a number of reasons. But the core reason is that we cannot be who God has called us if we forget the greatness of the God who we serve.
Trans: and when we remember God’s greatness it can ignite a fire in our hearts so that we can do what God has called us to…so what can happen if we remember and let God’s greatness be one of the main things we think about?

Remembering God’s Wonders Ignites Praise

Enthusiastic praise is connected to remembering God’s works!
Psalm 105:1–3 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
(When as the last time you were so grateful and excited about what God has done that you enthusiastically anticipated worshipping Him?)
It is easy to see the connection between praising and giving thanks to God and His deeds.
Let’s read : Notice the incredible amount of enthusiasm in this Psalm for praising God. The enthusiasm is directly linked to what God has done. We have reason to praise God. In fact there is not time that we will ever not have reason to praise God.
Psalm 105:1–3 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Notice the incredible amount of enthusiasm in this Psalm for praising God. The enthusiasm is directly linked to what God has done. We have reason to praise God. In fact there is not tie that we will ever not have reason to praise God.
Psalm 105:1–3 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
It is easy to see the connection between praising and giving thanks to God and His deeds.
When as the last time you were so grateful and ex
This kind of passionate praise can only come from the heart. As verse 3 says, “let the hearts of those who seek the Lord Rejoice.” Passionate praise comes only when our hearts are in it.
This kind of passionate praise can only come from the heart. As verse 3 says, “let the hearts of those who seek the Lord Rejoice.” Passionate praise comes only when our hearts are in it.
When we remember what God has done, our hearts should be so full of praise that it easily comes out of our mouths when we have the opportunity.
- No matter how much we praise God it will never add up to what He really deserves.
No amount of praise is enough: No matter how much we praise God it will never do justice for what He has done. We will never fill up the level f praise God deserves. We will never run out of reasons to praise Him!!
Psalm 106:2 ESV
Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?
What an incredible verse right! We can never declare all of His praise. This is suppose to be our attitude toward praising and worshipping God. (Sometime we act as if the short time that spend together praising him is enough or sometimes too much.)
So let me ask to questions regarding this: (1 Why do people (even us sometimes) lack the motivation to praise God and (2 Why do we have such a hard time remembering what God has done?
First, Why do people lack the motivation to praise and worship God as they should? One reason and motivation we should have for worshipping God today and everyday is because of what He has done in our lives! (Not to mention what He did for us before we were ever born.)
On the flip side perhaps one of the reasons that people are not so interested or moderately interested in worshipping God with His people is that they have lost sight of all that God has done, is doing and is going to do.
It seems that in our culture we have trivialized worship with the church (as many are only mildly interested in it) because we have trivialized just how awesome our God is and what He has done for us in Christ.
But even for us who are here to worship every time we can have half hearted worship because we forget just what an privilege and honor it is to worship the awesome God we serve. Which brings us to the next question: why do we have a hard time remembering?
Remembering God wonders must be intentional for it to have an effect on our praise!
Why is it that we have a hard time remembering what God has done?
We are to busy to take the time to remember.
While there are other reasons I know that this is a major one. (and I know it because it is the reason I often forget) We are so busy! We go from one thing to another so quickly that we hardly have time to remember what we just did. (Ha, right.) How many times have you gotten to the end of a long day and thought, “what all did I do today.”
To mentally busy to worship: This is true mentally as well. Our minds are so busy that we do not think about one thing long enough hardly to remember it. That translates over to time in study and our worship. If we quickly go through our bible study so we can move on the the “more pressing things” of the day we will get little out of it because we did not take time to really internalize it even apply it. The same is true of worship as well. We can be so used to going all over the place mentally that when we get in worship, we have a hard time focusing on the words we are singing to God and the message.
We need to be intentional to not forget by meditating on God’s word. Ps 105:5-45
However if we are intentional as the Psalmist is here in remembering can lead to focused praise. Because when we have rehearsed God’s wonders in His word and in our lives to the point that we not only remember but that our hearts are filled with the desire to want to worship and praise God.
meditate on God’s wonders! -
This is what the Psalmist does. has the Psalmist starting off saying praise God and tell of what he has done and then that is exactly what he does. Verse 5 through the end of the chapter is a telling of God’s wonders from Abraham to Israel in the Promised Land.
This shows us that when we intentionally rehearse or meditate of just how awesome God is and his works then we have no problem remembering and praising God passionately!
Intentionally remembering and meditating on God’s word consistently will not only fill our hearts with the desire to praise but to tell others!

Remembering God’s Wonders Ignites Evangelism

What naturally comes with praising God for what He has done?
Psalm 105:103
Let us look at our main text again. As we read this I want you to notice what naturally comes after and along with the praise for Gods works. -
Psalm 105:1–3 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Psalm 105:1
Experiencing God’s works and telling other go hand-in-hand!
God’s works/deeds are mentioned in the context of telling others about them. Give thanks for them…make them known…sing praises about them tell of all of them.
Talking about God’s wonders is a natural product of experiencing and/or remembering them.
This is what we see all over scripture and Psalms. - ,
We talk about other things we are excited about…without a problem…example...
Barriers to evangelism are broken down this way.
One major barrier to evangelism is that we feel as if it always involved being unnatural or awkward when we talk to others about God and scripture. Why? It will be unnatural if we do not think about it much or are not aware of God’s work.
Evangelism can seem unnatural or awkward but when we are used to talking about God’s work in our lives it will be a much small step to telling others about him.
It is hard to talk about God’s greatness and how awesome it is to be in a relationship with Him if we do not remember what God has done in our lives.
We can’t tell what we do not remember: If we do not take the time to remember, thank and rehearse what God has done in us, for us and through us we will not have a desire or ability to tell others about Him.
This is true because we talk about what is on our hearts. We talk about what we have been thinking about most. What has been on our minds most comes out of our mouths.
Again we do not intentionally neglect remembering God’s goodness often we simply are focused so much on other things that we have no time left.
Gratitude for what Christ has done ignites our desire to tell others: Let us look at two examples in scripture about how God’s work in the lives of two individuals ignited a desire to tell others about Jesus.
The Woman at the well tells her town others what Christ did. -
John 4:28–30 ESV
So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.
The Man formerly possessed by legion proclaims “how much Jesus had done for Him”
Mark 5:18-20
Mark 5:18–20 ESV
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
We should never underestimate just how powerful the stories of our experiences and knowledge of God’s work can be. We get intimidated because we think that we have to convert people on the spot quickly…but with the woman, she simply said something that make the people wonder and check it out themselves…with the Demoniac He led people to be amazed and interested...
Trans: One of the reasons that remember God’s wonders and telling other about them is so powerful is that it touches on a basic human need…the need for hope in our lives.

Remembering God’s Wonders Ignites Hope

Remembering God’s wonders when times are difficult can bring hope!
, - Just as the Psalmist in this passage people are starving for hope.
Just as the Psalmist in this passage people are starving for hope.
God is the source of the source of hope, literally the God of hope. Hope is one of His main things. Hope is what God is all about. He gives hope when nothing and no one else can! And we know that because we are His children and people of hope.
God is the source of the source of hope, literally the God of hope. Hope is one of His main things. Hope is what God is all about. He gives hope when nothing and no one else can! And we know that because we are His children and people of hope.
But we cannot show them that hope if we forget God’s goodness and works. You cannot fake being hopeful very well. If we have it deep in our hearts it will come out in our attitudes and outlooks.
The world needs that hope that we have in God through Christ! When hope is created in the hearts of people lives begin to change.
Hope focused marriage counseling…it is not very effective if a couple comes in and is at the end of their rope as far as marriage goes and I just start talking about how marriages are crumbling everywhere and the divorce rate is so high and…do you see? What would that do? Would it help them. But when you present an attitude of hope they they can make it…their willingness begins to change.
God gives us hope all through scripture. He gives us words and stories of hope so we will press on.
- through the encouragement of scriptures we have hope.
Romans 15:4 ESV
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 ESV
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Our default should be hopeful not cynical or complainer even when things get difficult. Just look at the Apostle Paul and his attitude in the letter to Philippi. All these things said in a Roman prison.
Positive verses in Philippians...
All these things said in a Roman prison…quick description
We have a living hope -
- living hope verse...
Our hope is not something that depends on the state of the world, no matter how bad. This is how Paul could be so positive in prison.
How can we practically apply the principle of remembering God’s works in our lives?
When God does something great stop and thank Him for it! - Luke 17:11-19
Tell others about God’s goodness in YOUR life!
Slow down and take note of what God has done each day!
PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
How can we intentionally remember what God has done so that we are constantly in awe of Him and drawn to Him. (1. WHEN GOD DOES SOMETHING GREAT STOP AND THANK HIM FOR IT. It will build your faith and relationship with God and help you remember His work. (2. TELL OTHERS ABOUT GOD’S GOODNESS IN YOUR LIFE! Start with those closest to you. For example, if God answered a prayer, talk about it when they ask how your day was.
Making it practical: how can we intentionally remember what God has done so that we are constantly in awe of Him and drawn to Him. (1. WHEN GOD DOES SOMETHING GREAT STOP AND THANK HIM FOR IT. It will build your faith and relationship with God and help you remember His work. (2. TELL OTHERS ABOUT GOD’S GOODNESS IN YOUR LIFE! Start with those closest to you. For example, if God answered a prayer, talk about it when they ask how your day was.
(Lilly asked me how my day was. I said, “it was great, I prayed this morning that God would help me to be productive and it was a very productive day. God really helped me. You know what? I quickly thought of that when writing this sermon because something that was just a thought became a short event in my life.)
We remember things much more when they influence what happens. When you tell someone you remember because it is attached to an event. Also guess what those you tell remember something about God as well. For example think of the things that she could have potentially learned or been reinforced with. (That God answers prayer, works in our lives, cares for us and our everyday lives, helps us in our work or school…)
But the crazy thing is that God has answered that very prayer many, many times before but because I did not stop and think about it or thank God I did not tell anyone. (3. WHEN GOD DOES SOMETHING GREAT STOP AND THANK HIM FOR IT. (This should be number 1.) It will build your faith and relationship with God and help you remember His work.
But the crazy thing is that God has answered that very prayer many, many times before but because I did not stop and think about it or thank God I did not tell anyone. (3.SLOW DOWN AND REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE EACH DAY! What blessings did God give you today. What prayers did He answer? How did He work in your heart or life? Make this a part of your daily routine of prayer and study.
Closing Prayer: Help to remember, help to change, help to tell others
(Ill: Thanking God on the spot: When we think about building our relationship with God what are the things that we typically think of doing? Study and prayer right. These things are essentially yes but they are not the only thing. Our relationship with God does not freeze when we put down our bibles, come out of worship or prayer. Our relationships with God are constant and hopefully we feel and understand that God is constantly with us and we are constantly connected to Him through His Spirit that lives in us. So just as with human relationships we can constantly converse with God through prayer and having His words on your minds. We constantly have opportunities each and every day to interact with God. These interactions improve our relationship with Him just as the more interactions with another person brings us closer. So for example, when worry hits us we can stop and have a conversation with God about it and ask for His help. When we recognize God’s work in our live whether in the form of a blessing, answered prayer or comfort we can stop and thank Him for it and praise Him. I thought about this in reference to how it has helps human relationships. Meg and I have tried to be generous with thanking one another when something is done for the other or the family or around the house. It does have to be something huge. It can be anything from washing the dishes to making the bed. This might seem unnecessary but it actually reinforces the relationship. It says thanks for caring. It says I’m thankful for us being in this together. So with God it can say some of the same things. God, I am glad you love me and are involved in my life in the little things even.)
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