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Hope is what frees us to live joyfully and courageously for God in the face of hostility and uncertainty.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Gospel hope is an objective reality before it is a subjective experience.
“at that time, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of His army said to Abraham, ‘God is with you in all you do…” Gen.21:22
This is Gospel Hope: God will do all that He has promised.
Abimelech – even when you are acting like a doofus, Abraham, God is with you!
“At the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted my eyes to heaven,a nd my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored him who lives forever,
For his dominion is an everlasting dominion and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. And he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say to him ‘What have you done?”
“Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in the earth: ‘Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree that in all my royal dominion, people are to tremble and to fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.”
“I saw in the night visions and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days, and was presented before Him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”
What is the paradigm? God is with you in all that you do.
Romans 8 – If God is for us who can be against us?
Habakkuk’s perspective – Hope is the objective reality that triumphs over and transforms our subjective experience.
Habakkuk 2:14 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Habakkuk 3:17 “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on high places”
Gospel Hope is what powerfully impacts a hopeless world.
“These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that his may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” Gen. 21:30
Ephesians 1:18,19 “… having the eyes of your heart enlightened that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe.”
Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
Illustration: Elizabeth Elliott – Going back to the Auca Indians in Ecuador after the slaughter of her husband Jim Elliott and seeing them change.
“There is nothing worth living for, unless its worth dying for.”
Hope is what gives us courage to make stay meaningfully engaged in hard places and at hard times.
Prayerfully live out the power of the resurrection and the promises of God.
“Abraham planted a tamarisk Tree in Beersheba and called on the Name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.” Genesis 21:33
El-Olam – The Ever living God
Tamarisk Tree “botanists have identified it as the leafless tamarisk tree, an evergreen whos numerous branches possess very small leaves. The tree is dedicuous, however, providing good shade and extending twenty to thirty trees.”
“Trees especially held symbolic religious significance in the ancient near east indicting fecundity… the tree expressed Abraham’s devotion and recognition of God as the source of his prosperity.”
Abraham was making the point that God was able to eternally prosper his people.
Abraham’s hope was in no one else but God.
Put your hope anywhere else and you will be disappointed.
Linnea studying a course on the great ideas… Tolstoy and others. I asked her what she thought. She said that she liked some of the ideas but was disappointed with most of the great thinkers. Their lives contradicted their ideas.
“We have seen more than Daniel could. We know the name of the rock; we can look back in history and around in our world and see how the rock became a mountain. Yet we find ourselves complaining about everything, looking back to the good old days and worrying that the church cannot survive the empire of an aggressively secular post-Christendom. Too much of the public face of evangelicalism is characterized by angry venting or panicking—rather than prayerful, humble, calm, and confident belief in a sovereign God who is in control of things.” Alistair Begg
Hope in God is what we pass on to future generations.
Engage the Promises of God throughout Scripture.
“For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written…” (Romans 15:8)
Exult in the Purpose of God throughout Scripture.
“… making known to us the mystery of his will, according to His purpose that He set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth.” (Ephesians 1:9-10)
“I became a minister according to the stewardship of God given to me for you, to make the word of God, fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is:
Christ in you, the hope of glory!”
Recognize the Providences of God throughout Your Life.
“But I received mercy for this one reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Tim. 1:16)
Glorious Day //
I was buried beneath my shame
Who could carry that kind of weight
It was my tomb ’til I met You
I was breathing but not alive
All my failures I tried to hide
It was my tomb ’til I met You
(‘Cause when) You called my name (and)
I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness into Your glorious day
You called my name (and) I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness into Your glorious day
Now Your mercy has saved my soul
Now Your freedom is all that I know
The old made new Jesus when I met You
I needed rescue my sin was heavy
But chains break at the weight of Your glory
I needed shelter I was an orphan
Now You call me a citizen of Heaven
When I was broken You were my healing
Now Your love is the air that I’m breathing
I have a future my eyes are open
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