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(08-07-20) Patience & Hope in Christ - Isaiah 44.6-8; Romans 8.18-25; Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43

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Patience & Hope in Christ – Isaiah 44:6-8;

Romans 8:18-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

·      Wedding Anniversary! – 6 years!

o  three men story

o  Cher: “The trouble with some women is they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him!”

o  Naomi’s patience with my foibles, mistakes and bad habits!

§  patience of a different sort

·      Romans and parable in Matthew (keep both open!)

·      Jesus and “the right time”

§  this is patience…

·      in suffering

·      because of hope which is in Christ; in God

§  each deserves a sermon!

·      Why things are the way they are…

personal tragedy; global disaster and suffering; ‘the way the world is going…’

·      These things are wrong, unequivocally, in God’s sight

o  God doesn’t like looking out on a field of weeds

seem to go unpunished, perhaps even unnoticed by God

·      Paul in Romans speaks of creation…

subjected to frustration (v20)

bondage to decay (v21)

groaning as in the pains of childbirth (v22)

·      Why doesn’t God just do something?!

o  asking God to intervene at our discretion is not the answer

§  God’s holy and righteous judgement will come to all things

§  if he were to judge every thought and action instantly

·      I know I wouldn’t be around any more!

o  God’s patience with us shows the patience we should have

§  we have not been wronged as He has been wronged

§  difficult to hear, making the idea difficult to stomach

·      friend whose image of God, self and world is damaged

o  being patient is always hard, otherwise it’s just waiting

§  patience in suffering

·      Gardeningparable imagery

o  green things and other coloured things

o  Naomi spending yesterday pulling up weeds

§  nothing to keep!

o  weeds grow among a crop you must protect the crop (v29)

§  maybe modern farming has by-passed this problem, but…

o  the owner’s patience saves the crop

§  the field is restored; the weeds removed (v30, 43)

·      there is hope

§  when it is harvest time, not now

·      But sometimes we like to focus on the here and now

o  all that God has done for us

§  cross, empty tomb, forgiveness, salvation!

o  what that means now!

§  giving of the Spirit; discipleship

o  curious line at the end of the Romans reading (vv24-5)

§  we have hope in Christ (Eph; Phil; Col)

·      is Jesus finished; has he performed the final act?

o  if we’re asking ‘why be patient?’

§  hoping for what is to come

·      Kingdom come; harvest time (Matthew v43)

·      new heaven, new earth; fulfilment of creation

·      restored order; glory ‘for us’ (Romans v18)

§  the salvation story isn’t finished

·      complete, achieved and available

·      but not fully seen (v24)

·      peace after WWII

·      Patience in suffering and hope in Christ

o  ‘do not be afraid’ (says the God of Isaiah!)

Sunrise (Tom Wright p170)

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