19(Psalm 031,23-24)Never Lose Hope
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
How should NT believers respond to the trials and temptations? Fight the good fight. Fight without ever losing hope.
I want to encourage you to never lose your hope. Everyone has a hope that has Christ. If you don’t have hope – no need to have any faith.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Story of submarine: coming to surface to restock oxygen tanks; large crew – hit by big ship as it surfaced, quickly sank to bottom (before two-way radios). Diver sent; heard a tapping noise – Morse code – “Is there any hope?”
That is also the cry of humanity today. – The Cry of those thinking suicide; splitting families; drowning in substance abuse.
I have good news – we serve the God of all hope! As long as God is alive, there is hope.
Luke 18:27 Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
1. Get Your Hopes Up!
The world says, “Don’t get your hopes up.” – I want you to get your hope up. I want you to leave here flowing with hope, knowing that God can do anything.
Some have given up that a spouse will ever come to church – don’t give up hope. Don’t leave him/her alone. God can still change that life.
Some have settled for a life of depression, downcast, disappointment. Your lot in life? NO – Satan’s attempt to ROB you of God’s best for you.
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
2. Get Your Eyes off Your Present Circumstances.
Whatever you dwell on, you magnify. If you dwell on how bad life is treating you, how bad you have it, you will make it even bigger.
But, if you are always thinking about the goodness of God, dwelling on His greatness and His power and His majesty – then He is magnified in your life
Result: you will be filled with hope, and that means you will turn to your faith in Him.
The bigger you make your God, the smaller you make your problems!
Exodus: Moses comes to God and asks what name to give the people.
God: Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord their provider?) No, I’m more than that.
Jehovah-Rapha (the Lord who heals?) No, too limiting.
Jehovah-Shama (the Lord who is always present?) No more than that.
Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord their peace?) No. I know – “I Am that I Am.”
Isn’t that powerful? – We serve the Great I am. In other words, I am whatever you need.
Need salvation? “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be …”
Need healing? “By His stripes we were healed.”
Need power? Jesus, “I give you power over the enemy”
Need strength? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
We serve the Great I Am: I am power, I am love, I am help, I am your provider.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
We have got to get our eyes off present-day circumstances – turn to the all-knowing, all-powerful, creator of the universe. the great I am.
Our God is a Present-tense God!
Matthew 28:20 “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Our God is a “present-tense God”. Not “I was”, “I used to be”, “I may be again.”
He is the Great I Am: He’s available now to meet your needs.
4. Another Name – Father.
Are we to call Him the Great I Am? He has given us another name: “Father”. Imagine!
We are no longer slaves, but God’s own, dear children.
You will never lose your hope if you will remember that the creator of the universe is your very own Heavenly Father.
And He knows what you are going through. He is your father, He is responsible for you.
All of us as parents can relate to that. We would do anything possible to provide, care for and protect our children.
Say what you want to me, try to hurt me, try to harm me. That’s one thing. But when you start to deal with my kids, that is a different story. We rise to a new level.
Why do we think God is any different? Sometimes we think He has turned His back on us, does not hear our prayers. When will we learn God is not like that? He is as close as your next breath.
My hope is that every one of you will go out of here like flames of fire, so hoping and trusting in God that every sucker that crosses your path will be changed by power of God. My hope is that we impact every neighborhood represented, every workplace, every school.
And more than that, that you will never lose hope of God’s plans for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
People that have a hope in the Lord have a firm foundation to live their life upon.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
These are roots that go way down deep. When adversity comes, they not only survive, they thrive (“nor will cease from yielding fruit”).
So today I challenge you to never lose your hope. To never lose faith in the Great I Am.
If you are ever tempted to ask that little simple question, “Is there any hope?”, let this answer ring down through the corridors of time. Jesus said -
Mark 9:23 “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”