Is Anyone Holding On To Hope?
Hope – It’s a small 4 letter word that carries such great weight and significance. But because of all that is going on around us, sometimes we forget to look for it, and we forget we can bring hope into our world.
Elections will soon be right around the corner and I don’t care what your political party is, who your preferred candidate is or what your world views are, we are all looking for some HOPE in this world we live in. HOPE!!! We need hope every day, and we in the family of believers must find that hope within us so that we can spread it everywhere we go! HOPE! Say HOPE!! We’ve got to know that we are the ambassadors of HOPE in the earth because of whom we represent and then present to the world.
What is hope? Webster defines hope as this- wanting something to happen or be true and expecting to obtain it. To expect with confidence, to desire with an expectation of getting it.
So the question becomes what are we hoping for? I want to share briefly with you today what the Bible teaches us about hope. Some people who operate from a religious place may say to you as a believer, you’re not supposed to hope, you’re supposed to have faith. Have you ever heard that? You might say Oh I hope we have enough people to come to our event and make it a success, and they may respond, don’t say hope, say I pray we have enough people or say I have faith that we will have enough people. If you say you hope that means you don’t have faith. Well, I want to show you in the bible where HOPE is given, hope is expected and hope is encouraged.
Jeremiah 29:11 says this 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. God, Himself says I will give you a future and a hope. Hope for the things that you desire and want to be true, I will give those to you because they are My will for your life. God’s desire is to give us HOPE, hope when we can’t see the end, hope when we can’t see the way out, hope when we can’t feel Him close but God says, I will give you a future and a hope.
David says in Psalm 31:24 be of good courage, He will strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 71:5 says for you oh Lord are my hope, my trust, O Lord even from my youth.
Lamentations 3:24 says The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in Him.
Psalms 71:14 says but I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. And finally, Psalm 33:15 says behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in his steadfast love. Does it sound like we are in good company when we have HOPE? Yes, absolutely. Have HOPE, so we can be HOPE for the world we live in!!
Why do we need hope today? Because the world has gotten further and further away from desiring anything to do with Jesus or church or religion and therefore the light, the light of the World has been getting pushed further and further back and as a result, we see chaos and calamity and violence and bloodshed.
Shooting in movie theatres, houses of worship, grocery stores, and schools are on the rise. Pipe bombs being sent to people in politics and high positions simply because they oppose the political views of the current administration. Why do we need HOPE? Because hatred and bigotry and disregard for human life are running rampant and the only thing that will get us back in line is getting back to HIM, Jesus the Christ, I have to have hope!!! I have to hold on to HOPE, wanting something to be true and expecting that it will come and looking to our Father with n expectation that He will bring it or I will get consumed by what I see!!
I’ve got to hold on to HOPE with JOY!! I’ve got to pray and wait on the manifestation with patience and joy because the world needs to see another model and it is the model of Jesus. Love your enemies, bless those who hate you, help those who call you names. Have Hope! Oh, how I hope I can do that!! But with Jesus as our model and Holy Spirit as our teacher, we can be the HOPE that the world needs to see and receive.
Paul says this to the church in Rome in Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
We need the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God to teach us how to have hope, how to abound in hope, to live in hope, or we will die hopeless!!
Finally, let’s look at one of the most quoted scriptures in Hebrews that also deals with this hope. Hebrews 11:1 says “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. For all those who would say you should have faith and not hope, here is the lesson for that thinking. Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the substance, the stuff that is made, of things hoped for. All the stuff we hope for, all the things we want to be true and expect to happen because of whom we believe, all that hopping is the substance, the basis, the matter from which faith is formed. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, it is the evidence of things we have not seen or cannot see. Romans 8:24-25 says this that I can add to Hebrews. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
I hope for peace, have I seen it? NO, but because I am hoping in God who is Shalom, He is my peace, I can hope for peace.
I hope for all sickness and disease to be put away, have I seen it? No, but because I am hoping in God, who is Jehovah Rapha, my healer, I can hope for healing.
I hope for the world to find their way, find their direction and path, I am hoping for the end to fake news and lies from the white house, have I seen it? NO, but I can hope for it because I am hoping in Jesus the Christ who is the Way the Truth and the life.
I hope for starvation to be stamped out all over the world, have I seen it? NO, but I hope in God who says I am the Bread of heaven, the Manna that will feed you every day, I can hope for an end to world hunger.
I hope for clean water in every corner of the earth for people to be sustained in their natural bodies, have I seen it, NO, but I can hope in Jesus who says whoever drinks of this water that I give shall never thirst, for the water that I give will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
I hope for a city where the poverty levels will be destroyed and every person will have access to all that they need, have I seen it, NO. But I can hope because I hope in God who is more than enough, He is Jehovah Jireh.
I hope for a country that will turn back to God and come back to the church and come back to a place of honour and reverence for the things of God. Have I seen it yet, NO but I can hope in God who is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. I hope in the Christ who came to the earth to redeem man from sin and destruction on the cross and then rose again with all power in His hands, I hope in the Living Christ who sits at the right hand of God praying for you and me and weeps at the conditions of the world, and if He can weep so can I, and I can have HOPE!!!
Do you see now why we must have hope? Why the body of Christ must continue to sing the songs of Zion that say my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, on Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.
Beloved, we must never lose hope, we must never lose heart but always pray. And we must stay in God’s will as we pray so that we pray and believe and have hope for the things that reflect the mind of our Father.
It is His will that we live in HOPE, that we trust in Him by His word so that we can speak life in those places that seem to be dead. Hope in God, and let Him lead you to intercede and pray for those matters that affect His heart. Have HOPE, keep HOPE alive and never ever let anyone take HOPE away from you. It is the thing from which your faith is formed and made strong, HOPE IN GOD!!
Grace and peace, Pastor G