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Would you join me in prayer?
\\ Grab your bibles and turn to the book of Matthew 9:18-26, if you need a bible just raise your hand and one of the ushers will get one to you.
it’s on page ??? in those bible’s being handed out.
The title of my message tonight is Hope for the Hopeless
Can you recall ever being in a hopeless situation?
Maybe you’re in one right now.
Hopelessness happens when you find yourself in a situation where there is no confident expectation for a positive outcome.
It’s being at the end of your rope.
Lots of things can bring us to a point of hopelessness.
The death of a spouse or child, the loss of a job, a chronic illness, a marriage on the brink of divorce, the potential of financial ruin, a prodigal son or daughter.
Some of you here tonight are in that place.
You have lost all confidence in the future; you have no confidence that things are going to work out.
You have tried everything, you have looked everywhere and things remain bleak.
I want you to leave here tonight understanding and believing that hope can be found in the power of Jesus Christ.
For others of you things are going well, everyone’s healthy, your job is secure and life is good.
And my desire is for your hope in the power of Jesus Christ to be strengthened; so that as times come in your life when the potential for hopelessness exists, you will trust the power of Jesus Christ to bring you through whatever it is /you will face/.
Tonight we are going to learn from the lives of a couple of individuals who find themselves in what appear to be extremely desperate circumstances but by trusting in the power of Jesus Christ they were able to have hope in their hopeless situation, and so can we.
Before this, Jesus had just been discussing the issue of fasting with some of his disciples.
And in the midst of this discussion, it says in verse 18 that, “While he was saying these things to them...” (Read through the rest of the passage.)
There are certainly some of you here today that have experienced similar situations; the death of a child or living with a chronic illness.
Maybe you are currently facing these situations in your life.
What Matthew wants to make very clear is that hope for these situations is found in the power of Jesus Christ.
But what is hope?
We use that word hope a lot; I was hoping that LSU would win the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Now, is that really hope or is that just my desire?
Because here is the mistake that we make.
We use the word hope usually to convey a desire that we have for something to happen, but were not really confident it will, we’re uncertain about it.
I wanted LSU to win, but honestly, I was not real confident that they would especially since their playing North Carolina in the second round.
But in the Bible hope is characterized by certainty.
One author defines it this way, “Hope is waiting in confident expectation for God’s promises in Christ.”
In other words, hope is being confident that the power of God is going to get you through whatever your facing.
We don’t say I hope Jesus Christ comes back as if it might happen or it might not.
We say that our hope is in the return of Christ.
We know that it’s going to happen.
We are confident it’s going to happen.
That’s real hope.
We should be confident in the power of God.
We should expect him to work.
But that’s where the problem lies for many of us.
We’re not confident in the power of Jesus Christ.
In whatever situation you are facing, if you’re not confident that God is going to act graciously and powerfully on your behalf, you don’t have hope.
You may really want things to turn out ok, but it’s not hope unless you believe confidently in the power of Jesus Christ to get you through, whatever it is you are facing.
So how do we get hope?
How are we to be confident towards the power of Jesus Christ during hopeless situations?
*/Hope is found in hopeless situations when we “Come to Christ.”
Take a look at verse 18, which says, “While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him.”
This ruler was a man named Jairus, we see that in Mark and Luke’s account of this story.
Jairus is a man of no small reputation.
He was a ruler in the local synagogue.
The local synagogue was not just a place of worship, but it was a major community building.
Although it was primarily used as a place of worship and teaching, it was also a place to collect tithes, local administration, hospitality and a place where disputes could be settled.
It also was a place where a group of elders at the local synagogue could judge offenders and deal out punishment.
So Jairus was a very well respected man in the community.
He was relied upon, and looked up to by the people.
And in the midst of his hopeless situation, he comes to Jesus Christ.
In verse 20 we see that there was another person that came to Jesus as well.
“And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him …” This woman is unnamed but is also very well known in her community, but for very different reasons.
This woman would have been known by many but it would have been because she was a social outcast.
She is not respected but degraded.
She is not looked up to, but looked down upon.
In verse 20 it tells us that this woman suffered from a discharge of blood.
Most scholars agree that this is understood to be some sort of blood disorder that caused hemorrhaging in between her constant menstrual flows.
A never ending menstrual cycle would certainly be a constant lack of comfort to say the least, but that’s not the reason for her desperation.
Her desperation was not so much caused by her pain, as much as it was caused by her isolation.
This blood disorder made her a social outcast because according to the Levitical law it made her perpetually unclean.
Leviticus 15:25-31 states, “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness…every bed on which she lies…and everything on which she sits shall be unclean…and whoever touches these things shall be unclean…”
And if a person became unclean, according to the law they had to go and purchase turtledoves or pigeons and present them to the priest to have a sacrifice made.
It would cost them time and money.
So you can imagine that nobody wanted anything to do with this woman.
She was not allowed to go into the synagogue to worship.
She wasn’t able to work.
No one came to visit; no one invited her over, because everything that she came into contact with became unclean.
If she was married, she most likely would have been divorced, and if she was never married, there was no prospect of that ever happening.
She was alone, and shunned from society for the last 12 years of her life.
Both of these people although vastly different both come to Jesus Christ.
*/Jesus desires for all people to come to him./*
He doesn’t care where you’re at in life.
He doesn’t care about your age or what you do for a living.
He doesn’t care if you have it all together or if your life is falling to pieces.
He just wants you to come.
I don’t know your specific circumstances, but the Bible clearly shows us that hope for whatever your facing can only be found in him.
In hopeless situations we are so quick to turn and try everything else first.
We are so quick to turn our attention to what Oprah has to say, or to read the latest best-seller because we are trying to find something to put some confidence in.
These individuals did the same thing before they came to Christ.
In Mark and Luke’s account of this story, he makes it clear that this woman went to every doctor she could find.
She spent everything that she had, and only got worse and worse.
Surely Jairus had called the doctors to see if there was anything that they could do for their daughter.
The Bible is not condemning them for going to a doctor.
That’s what they should do, because Jesus may use a doctor to heal.
But don’t put your hope in the method that God may use, but in the power of God itself.
If you are putting your hope in the solution and things don’t work out, you are going to be disappointed.
But when things don’t work out, if your hope is in Christ you can keep going because you’re confidence isn’t in the method, it’s in the power of God.
Jesus doesn’t care who you are, or what your facing, his power is sufficient to see you through and hope is only found in coming to him.
*/He wants all people to come to him, but he wants them to come humbly & sincerely…/*
Notice the posture of these two individuals as they come to Christ.
In verse 18 Jairus approaches Jesus and kneels at his feet.
Notice that this ruler does not come to Jesus throwing his weight around.
He does not come brazenly demanding that Jesus heal his daughter because of his position in the community.
Jairus puts aside his own position.
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