Hope for the Hard Times
Walter Damrosch, the former conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, had a live weekly radio broadcast many years ago called “The Music Appreciation Hour.” One night after a very stimulating performance, he announced that during the concert, all of the lights had gone out. Those listening by way of the radio did not know what had happened because those in the orchestra knew the music so well they were able to play by heart and never missed a beat.
Life is a symphony or mess. The secret is in knowing the purposes and values of life without having to see the physical. There are times when the lights go out on us; but when that happens, a child of God can go on and not miss a beat. God has provided a wonderful script that you can do by heart and not by sight. Here’s what makes this possible.
1. The light of Hope - Faith (Romans 8:24-28)
A. We are surrounded by a world of darkness. 1. Darkness of the mind. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2. Darkness of the spirit.
A. No light from Heaven so millions worship dead gods.
B. B. No divine guidance so millions are led by blind believers who “fall into the ditch.”
The Christian hope is made to endure the night 1. The Christian hope is not dependant on human conditions.
a. It is how we see when we walk by faith b. When the captain is taking his ship through dark seas in the middle of the night, the passengers sleep easy because they trust the captain who sets the course. The word of God is our compass.
2. The Christian sees victory in the night.
a. Paul and Silas were prisoners with hope. While others feared, they sang. b. Some of the greatest songs ever written came from those who went through the deepest valleys and the darkest nights. (1) John Newton, from the bondage of a slave trader to the freedom of a soul set free, wrote Amazing Grace.
(2) Charles Spafford, lost three daughters at sea, then retraced their journey with the request that he be woke up when they came near the spot of their watery grave. In the middle of the night he is awakened, and when he returns to his stateroom, writes the immortal hymn, “It is Well With My Soul”
2. The Power of Hope - Purpose (Romans 8:28) A. It is a living hope. 1. All too many put their hopes on dying things.
a. Financial investments
b. faithfulness of family and friends. c. Government programs
d. Dead gods and false religions.
2. The hope of the believer is in a living God: “Because I live ye live also” (John 14:19)
a. Our text says clearly
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
b. Those who do not hope see only things- not things working together
c. God is not limited to some things; He is the master of all things!
Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Psalm 23:4 (KJV)
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
John 14:3 (KJV)
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.