Amen, thank you guys.
Welcome glad you are here this morning. This is the season of Advent Sabrina. What Advent was the word advent mean?
albino and that means You know, no Advent means coming. That's what the word means means coming. What so Advan. We're celebrating Advent. What coming are we looking forward to celebrating? What's coming what's coming up? Christmas is coming. So we're looking for the celebration of the Christ came to communion. The Bible that Jesus told his disciples as often as they did this they should do it in remembrance of him until he comes so we got it this morning worshiping and celebrating but we also we're looking for another answer in early because Jesus is going to come again and that's what we're looking for that for his coming again as well in that that gives us hope so in the season of Advent Sia is the season of advent is a season of anticipation. That's the purpose of Adventist to build this anticipation that Cole Christmas day when we celebrate the fact that God came into our world and just like the praise team saying we have a savior because Jesus came so it's building this anticipation reflective of the fact. That Israel had this anticipation right Rejoice Rejoice O Israel about a Manuel you will receive your Emmanuel the Messiah was going to come so they had to send this location of Christ coming the first time. So it's appropriate that we have this season of the anticipation is one of the things that we highlight during that season is the fact that this is a season of Hope now, they're Hope by the passage is from Isaiah the prophet and Isaiah. He said they're there for the Lord himself will give you a sign virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and you will call him Immanuel.
Trevor read the passage this morning from Matthew one where this Pat This Promise was repeated to Joseph by the angel. Because Mary was going to have a baby and Joseph thought she had been unfaithful. And because of that he was going to divorce her and quietly set her a side and the angel came to remote to tell Joseph. No don't do that the child that she's going to have is a miracle child. It's of God. And this is the Fulfillment of this promised that the Messiah would come. So basically Mary and Joseph told get told that
Well before the first Christmas, right they get told that you are going to be part of God's fulfillment of this promise that he made and the hopes it's involved in it.
Hope what? What is hope I liked what? Katie and Annabelle Had this morning about hope we hope about all kinds of things. Don't we I remember when I was a child. I anticipated Christmas coming and when I was a child most of the time my anticipation wasn't because I want to celebrate that Jesus came. What was my anticipation? My anticipation was there is some good stuff coming my way is Christmas time this expectation of gifts that we're going to receive and I can anticipate you were going to be out of school vacation is all this good stuff is really good food. And so there's all this anticipation over over stuff that we're going to get so there's all kinds of levels of Hope Awesome. Hope there's some hope it's kinda want some hope some some of his non-existent, right? I can't stay this morning that I hope that I will win the lottery. Because I don't hope that I win the lottery at all because I didn't buy a ticket now. If you bought the ticket, you might be here and you might have some level of hope that you're going to win the lottery. But how much hope is it? Not much not much. Some people go all out and some people, you know, they think they've got it figured out and they invest maybe 10 or $20,000 to buy multiple tickets to win the grand prize. That's the hope that's filled with a lot of anxiety, isn't it? Because now you've made a significant investment and something that you don't know for sure, but you kind of hope and wish that this takes place and if it doesn't it, because you made such a investment in it and all kinds of where does what is Hope How do you how do we Define what is ho where does Hope come from? What is Hope and where does it come from?
I think that's a pretty good definition. Hope there's an expectation of good things coming. I think that's probably pretty close. Where does Hope come from?
Faith comes from experience based on past experience. Why did I have this? Hope at Christmas time that they're going to be presents because I had parents to provide they made it a fun time and every Christmas there were gifts and there was food and there was so you have this anticipation. You know, I ain't and older I got the greater. My anticipation was because it always happens in the past. So yeah, sometimes it comes off of our experience where else does Hope come from.
Well the hope that we that we need is based upon a God who is real and he's reliable and he's faithful so and we're going to explore that little bit about what that hope feels like it looks like
Okay. Will see that pathogen in the Romans 5 here in just a little bit.
Hope also comes from
can I say revelation? It comes from what somebody says he comes from promises made or statements made on the basis of that. We we we we attain certain hopes that says like clouds Without Rain Is a man who does not give what he promises. We get that don't we clouds without rain clouds coming they look heavy and especially if it's in the time of drought you think the rains going to come in the passes over and there's no rain. That's what it's like for somebody to make a promise and that passes over and in the promises never fulfilled. Its a sense of kind of like a vein hope right? You know, there's a lot of hopelessness in our world today. I hope none of you are in that position, but let me make clear that many times its people in churches who are and places of hopelessness. And if you're in that place, please pay attention this morning and please interact with other fellow Believers as well. Cuz there's no reason that we should be without hope do you know that suicide and overdosing on drugs is at an all-time high in the United States of America where we have so much so many opportunities and so much possibility and yet there's this sense of despair. A Christmas, you know, I might have most of my memories, you know, it's related around joy and just so you know, I can't I can get this sense of hope that there was always there. But but I realized it for many people and even some in churches. It's not a it's not a time of hope maybe maybe things have happened at or have happened or are happening in your life that are not good and it's been going on and it's been going on and you've come to the Play Store. Concluding this will never change this will never this will never get better. This will never get easier. And you have the sense of north of not having hope or are you know it can I see some light Christmas can a survey this because maybe you're in a position where there are expectations that come with Christmas, you know, if giving gifts and that kind of thing and you're in a position where you can't give gifts and that gets to be very awkward, you know throughout the year as a pastor, right? There's always somebody who who comes and approaches me about needing help because there's gifts they need to get for somebody and they have no means with which to get those gifts knows these pressures can come these pressures can come up on us. God never intended for the celebration of the coming of his son to be a time that brought pressures up on us he meant for it to be a time that took the pressures away from us. And so how do I how do we get? Where do we get home? What are we going to hold mere fact in Hebrews? I think toward the end of the sermon we see if hers from Hebrews chapter 6. It says we have this hope that's an anchor for the soul. So my question to you this morning as do you have hope that is anchored your soul the something that will not change and something that can overcome circumstances that are difficult. I mentioned Mary and Joseph got this wonderful promise of fulfillment of a hope that the nation of Israel has the Messiah would come by the way it becomes our hope this well. I've only rejoicing of Israel that Emmanuel has come it's are rejoicing. God has come and God is with us. So Mary and Joseph got this news, but we all know that with the with the good news and the hope that Mary and Joseph had was it all easy for them?
for Mary and Joseph these chosen special people for of God life became difficult into we can all imagine. Mary had this wonderful visit from an angel. She was going to have the Christ child what an honor what an honor she rejoiced in that honor. But did anybody believe her? When are pregnancy started showing? Surely she told people you know that I am I haven't been a sinful person. This is God. God did this. Does anybody believe that? Not even Joseph believed it. That is why the angel had to come to Joseph. It's a Joseph don't put no rear side. This child is the Fulfillment of that promise and Joseph an honorable man of Faith. He stood with her, but for Mary and Joseph, it was a trouble time. It was the difficult time and then and then and I think all of the pressure that had to come on them from the community because of the questions about Mary's pregnancy, all of that gets Amplified right because the decree of Caesar that they have to register in Bethlehem. So now then it's time for Mary to give birth to have to make this difficult trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register and then they get there they get to Bethlehem. And there is absolutely no room to stay. There's no place for Mary to go and she's right on the verge of giving birth to the guys. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me if you were Joe if I was Joseph if I'm Joseph, you know I'm saying I'm saying to God. Are you kidding me? You're sending your son into the world. This is your idea and we get the best way. There's no room. lendup in a stable Are you kidding me? Ashley how have you noticed? Have you noticed? that was the promises of God and the great hope of being in a place where the god of the universe uses us and gives us purpose that's almost always accompanied by difficulty if you noticed that This s*** is this should help us. Because all of us come through times of difficulty and sometimes our first response when we come to difficulty is what have I done wrong? Why is God punishing me? Why doesn't God take this away? Let's remember that the wisdom of God is far above hours and God has purposes and what he's doing their way beyond what we see but you look through it and look through the Bible History. We see a diesel right? God called Abraham right here, and I'm going to make a few a great nation. I'm going to give you a promise land. Abraham leaves his people he follows God and gets to work at 11 and what happens when he gets there the very first thing he gets there. There's a famine and there's no provision. You killing me. God is with me God is really God is with me. I want Joseph that gives Joseph these make great dreams of how everybody's going to bow down before him and he's going to be something great. What happens to Joseph? He gets sold by his brothers. It's up in a caravan and sold into slavery at Potiphar's house in Egypt. The Bible says writing a text in Genesis. God was with Joseph really. Jobs with me doesn't feel like God's with me or when Joseph got thrown into prison falsely accused is cotton Gods with this God. This is part of God's plan story after Story. You can go through throughout the Bible and throughout church history of God calling people and it's God calls them and they begin to follow God they come in the times of trouble but we need a hope that helps us in those times of trouble. That's what got offers to us this hope this hope that's an anchor for the soul Jeremiah 29. 11 a lot of Christians memorize this first is a great verse, isn't it? God says, I know the plans I have for you there plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future the Great. We all come to places in our life where we need that verse right? We come back that verse God. I know this is what you promised. You know, the Bible says in Christ for those of us who are in Christ all of the promises of God are yes, and amen to the same guy that was watching out for Israel gave this promises the same guy that makes that he makes a promise to us. I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future. Now that the back up if you go back to Jeremiah 29 and read that verse what's going on in it? What's going on in Israel? albino Jeremiah what do we call Jeremiah Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet Jeremiah known as the weeping prophet.
There was bad news. What was the bad news?
They were going to be there juice was going to be destroyed. Judah was going to be overtaken and Israel eye of the Jewish people from from Jerusalem were going to be taken into babbling and into captivity and Jeremiah mirfak history chapter of Jeremiah says that the Babylonians would come and take them and they would be gone for 70 years. There's going to happen. So 70 years of problems were about to come and then God gives his promises. Don't don't you're going to be in but you're going to be you're in a foreign land. You're going to be overthrown. You're going to lose everything you have. But don't despair. I know the plans I have for you plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. This is the promise God makes it. There's another passage here and Isaiah chapter 40. If you have your Bibles, let me encourage you just open up there. Isaiah 40:31 is up there. We all know that verse right those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will Mount up with wings like eagles they shall run and not be weary. They will walk and not faint. We memorize ever sued because we all come to places that we need that verse. But look at the larger context here of Isaiah chapter 40 almost started verse 25, Isaiah 40 verse 25 guys are still home. Will you compare me or who is my equal says the Holy One lift your eyes and look to the heavens who created all of these? It's amazing in our world today. There's a lot of talk about the heavens how fast they are how it how I meant how unbelievably big the universe is. What God Said thousands of years ago. That I'm the one who made these. I'm the one who put all that in place. Middle verse 26 who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls each of them by name and then some that God's got a name for every Star. God knows every name of every human being there are what's the world population now?
So do smart people how many people in the world? over 7 billion people in the world God knows all of their names. Even those funny names that you and I can not come close to pronouncing. God knows every name. Knows who they belong to.
Knows how many hairs they have on their head.
for some of us DLC He Bailey readjusting that right. God knows God knows so the guy said who you going to compare me to because of his great power in Mighty streets. Not one of them is missing then verse 27 He says why do you say oh Jacob and complain? Oh Israel. My way is hidden from the Lord. My cause is disregarded by my God. Do you hear it? Do you hear it? Isaiah's right now just a little bit before Jeremiah did times of trouble for Israel and Judah signs of punishment judgement because of their unfaithfulness, but God's never Unfaithful and they and the hardships, That's the hardships come they come.
That's going to be too quick to judge them because we do the same thing. Don't wait when life gets hard and uncertain We complain and murmur they complained and take a look at the heavens. I created all this. Who are you going to compare me to and then you you come to me with your complaints in your your weariness? Verse 28 says do you not know have you not heard the Lord is the Everlasting God the creator of the ends of the Earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom. Wow.
Any hope we have is built on past experience and some promises that we were some Revelation that's been given to us. Some true, so we've come to know and so then on the basis that we build these hopes that we haven't sometimes our hopes are disappointed because we put our hope in the wrong sources, right? We put our hope in the wrong Foundation.
What God is saying is if you will put your hope in him, he will never fail he will always be there. Is he saying I will always make life Pleasant for you. God makes it clear Old Testament and New Testament. God makes it clear. I will not always make life easy for you. Why doesn't God always might make life easy for us? Because I've got always makes life easy for us than there is no need for hope there's no place for hope there is no development of Faith. There is no development of character. There is nothing that shapes us into the likeness of Christ if everything is always easy. So difficult, he's come. So then he says
even use grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength and mount up with wings like eagles. So these are sort here is our source of hope that we can have this. Hope they can give an anchor to the soul that comes from knowing a god whose real and a God. Who is there and The God Who is indeed with us? Right he's with us. So Gods with us Emmanuel God With Us Jesus came and lived in our world and he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. And then when he rose from the dead he gave the Holy Spirit, so now literally not only is god with us, but God is in us because of the provision that that he's made it so we have a hope that comes with that. I'm in the in the New Testament.
Yeah, this is from Mike from five Romans 5:8 figure bottles and turn to Romans 5. sweet CVS promise from Isaiah
Jesus provided salvation through Christ God With Us God died for us. Rose and God's power and Grace made available to us.
So verse chapter 5 Romans 5 verse 1 since we have been justified through faith. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we've gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. So he's definitely brought us into this hope and the God will do what he promised to do. But now look at how it develops not only so first $3. So but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance perseverance character and character. Hope And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts By His Holy Spirit who is given to us? We see the progression that takes place. We know that suffering produces perseverance perseverance means and endurance. So I go through something difficult. It makes my faith stronger and as my face become stronger endurance produces character character is when I really change inside. I really start to become what God wants me to be. So instead of being selfish. I become generous instead of being bitter. I become forgiving instead of you know, God changes me to take on his character and character. produces hope so this whole thing get some patients all comes as a as a process of living life with God and finally God's faithful even when life is hard even when life is difficult, even when there's everything inside. They're still wants to say no God's not with me. That's not with me because look at how hard my life is in God's there. He says I'm with you. I will help beer this load. My grace is sufficient. That's what God says. I will help you stand in that is in the Romans 5 SE talks about this grace in which we not stand. And so, you know God wants us to have this hope that he comes from just learning to trust him and learning to walk with him.
From from learning that God is with us again the verse in Matthew the Trevor read the Virgin will conceive to give birth to a son you'll call him Emmanuel and the New Testament gives us the princesses giving us the meaning of Emmanuel God With Us God never leaves you God's always there. His grace is always sufficient. And so here's the deal.
If we're going to have this kind of hope it is beyond Christmas gifts. It's beyond family. It's beyond it gets Way Beyond that the difficulties that we run into because of illness or because of bad habits or because of financial loss or because of just let life being hard goes way beyond that. Why doesn't go beyond that because God is there and God's real and God's Graces real. So Hebrews chapter 11 is the we did this last week. Did you buy remember what Hebrews chapter 11 is? It's the cave you remember Hebrews chapter 11 is the Great.
Faith chapter. That's right. So ready Faith Jeffrey, we have all these. Tremendous people of faith if you went through hardships and sells Us by faith Noah did this Abraham did this Isaac did this Daniel didn't tell us by faith with all these people did MMA needed face because they were going through trials to do what got it sold them to do an n in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6. It says without faith. It's impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that he is.
Let's just stop there first where I know we're in church and you're all here just believers. But there is believing and there's believing right? There's kind of having that. Yeah, I think yeah, that sounds right to me. and then there's really this believing that though the so the earthquake in the mountains fall into the sea yet will I trust him? It's that and there's that kind of believing he who comes to God Must Have Faith must believe that he is and he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek after him. Where do I get this? Hope they can be an anchor for the soul. It comes from diligently seeking after God. And may I just say that there are a lot of people in the world today who profess to know Christ and profess to be Christians, but they give no diligence in seeking after him. They think it's just all going to do magic. You know, I need God knows show up. It's magic. I ignore God forever. And then I pray a prayer and magically God's going to just make it. Alright. What does it what does it look like to diligently seek after God that's who God rewards. That's the people who have a hole that becomes an anchor to the stole. The nothing can shake that hope Comes from a relation comes where is Hope come from it comes from experience and revelation. God has revealed himself my goodness and creation and sending his son and Jesus resurrection in all this happened in church history in your life. God reveals himself he have this experience. He had this Revelation is come from God so we can put our trust in him. God wants us to put our trust in him. God wants us to seek after him. Hear o Israel the Lord the Lord Our God the Lord is one love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your strength. Do you love God with all your heart? We so we so fall short. No, yeah, I love God, but I love. I love my toys and I love my lifestyle and I love my house and I love my family in. And God just becomes one more of the I loves.
That's got to be first and we've got to pursue him. And here's the deal when we do that when we do that. God puts our life in order when we do that God is the one who works as work. When we do that. God gives us within our heart. Peace and hope and joy. And when we won we have that. Then it says we should always be prepared to give reason to anyone who asks reason for the hope that we have going to be a witness for Christ pursue God with all of your heart to love God with all your heart. It'll show your conversations will show in your response to problems when they come it'll show and everything in your life and when it shows when you're loving God with all your heart when he shows somebody will come and ask. Why are you the way you are? Why do you have This optimism why do you have this hope and you can say is because of God is real and what he's done in my life through his son Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit and he offers the same to you. God wants us to have this amazing. Hope I don't? Hope for the Depo not a hope is built on. You know. I hope there's a hope there's a new convertible in my driveway when I get home. Come on. Who needs a convertible winter time? How many states do we bring really? That's what you're concerned about.
Breath of the donkey hold that you listen to a child sometime. Just listen to the children. The things that are really a burden to them from a dud. All perspective is a really that's what you're worried about. Anopheles. I'm just wait just wait 10 years. You'll be there.
R Us adults were so smart the things we worry about the things that take his steal away our hope God in heaven look since it's really is that is that what you're worried about? Is that is that what you think's going to? Destroy you got some time so much bigger. I'm so much bigger than that. Our hope is built on nothing less. Then Jesus blood and righteousness.
So have hope of hope and trust God. Part of our hope is that we have this hope that Christ is coming again. We're going to come to the Lord stable here. We're going to remember what Jesus did for us in the hope that he's giving us not only for now and there is hope for life right now. Will give us the grace whatever we're facing. But there also is this wonderful. Hopefully we have Jesus is coming again, right? So let's prepare our hearts to come to the Lord.