Faithlife Sermons

Hope when all seems hopeless

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I have struggled with what to say today. I have so much running through my head. There is anger. There is sadness. There are even tinges of hopelessness.
I feel anger for the officer who killed the man.
I feel anger because of the reaction of many Americans who decided to judge the intent of his heart, rather than the evidence in front of them.
I feel anger because of the senseless violence and bloodshed across our nations.
I feel anger because of the pointless destruction of public and private property.
I feel anger at the irrational opinions of people who are judging based on preconceived notions, rather than facts.
I feel sadness for the loss of life.
I feel sadness that one man’s horrific actions have spurred this domino effect.
I feel sadness that the victims are far more than the Floyd family, but now families all across America.
I feel sadness because we have raised up a generation that feels this kind of behavior is justified.
I am saddened because many church goers have bought into these lies.
Yes, I even feel a sense of hopelessness.
I feel hopelessness for society
I feel hopelessness for America
I feel hopelessness for the racial divide
I feel hopelessness that real solutions are being looked for
I am not insensitive to what took place in Minneapolis. That was a tragedy that should have never happened. As former law enforcement, I am appalled by the officers actions. I must say, I have seen worse brutality from officers, towards those who were in their custody, but thankfully no one died. Objectively, I can say that the officers actions were stupid. I think most of America (black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and any other people groups) agree that the officer should be arrested and prosecuted. I think we all agree that there should be no cover up. We want to see justice. So, this begs the question, why are we fighting?
Jeremiah wrote:
Jeremiah 17:9-11 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.
Right now, people are following their hearts. That is a problem. God, speaking through Jeremiah, said that our hearts are wicked. They will lead us astray. When we trust our hearts, we will get what we sow. While passions blaze, and cities around them, great injustice and evil is being done. Because of violence and criminal activity going on, police are having to return force with force. This further fans the flames of passions and protests. Without leaders standing up and following truth, rather than passions, this will be a bloody cycle that will see no end.
There are those who are profiting off of this evil. Believe you me, they are not the ones whose business are being burned. They are the politicians and political influencers behind this mess. The ones who pay the instigators every 4 years to stir up strife. Jeremiah said that their wealth would be like eggs that did not hatch. It would bring no joy.
Lets go back to verses 5-8.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 (KJV) 5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
I. Cursed is the man who trusts in man (5-6)
A. When we trust in ourselves, or other men, we will fail.
George Duffield worded it this way:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own: put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with pray'r; where duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there.
verse 6 says, “For he shall be like the heath in the desert”. Heath means destitute. A person who does not have food or water in the desert will die.
- He will not see when help comes because of his destitute condition.
He will wander farther and farther into danger and the harsh conditions of the desert
Salt sucks up water. It parches and dehydrates. That is why ocean water will never quench thirst.
II. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD (v. 7-8)
While trusting in man leaves us parched and hopeless, trusting in the LORD provides for our needs.
He sustains us.
We become like a tree planted by the water.
Egypt is desert. There is sand for miles and miles. If you wander off into the desert without supplies, you can die. Yet, running through Egypt is a wonderful source of life. Plants, animals, and people alike flock to this life sustaining source. It is the Nile River. Without it, Egypt would be uninhabitable. Not only does it provide the necessary water for life, but during the time of Moses and for centuries before and after him, the Nile provided the fertile silt necessary to plant crops in the desert. Because of the Nile, Egypt was a rich agricultural area.
That is what God is to us. He provides all we need to be sustained in this world.
- Whether we recognize him or not, he is our source of life and eternal life.
However, when we trust in him, we will find so much more hope in life.
That is what we need today. We need people to stop taking matters into their own hands. We need people on both sides to stop spewing hate. We need people on both sides to stop thinking that they can fix a problem by their own means. We need people to trust God and to follow his word. We need saved people to be Christians - which means Christ-Like.
We need to remember to Love our enemies
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Peter said:
1 Peter 3:8-17 8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
It is time for Christians of every complexion to act like Christ!
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