Many of God’s people have lost this vital ingredient of the Christian life, particularly in today’s volatile and ever increasingly godless world. This can be through family circumstances, job loss, divorce and sadly even through Church politics or having to leave a Church or Fellowship through increasing apostasy or unbiblical practices or teaching. 1 Corinthians 13 v 13 gives the 3 backbones of the Christian life. FAITH, HOPE and LOVE.
There are not many messages preached on the second one. Hit a man and he can recover. Take away HOPE and he can be finished. Proverbs 13 v2 describes many – “HOPE DEFERRED MAKES THE HEART SICK “.” But when the desire comes. It is a tree of life “. Many never reach this second part. For the Christian, we need to believe and affirm what our HOPE is in the longer term. Ephesians 2 vs 12-13 gives the foundation. NO HOPE without Christ.
No basis for HOPE. We either have an endless hope or a hopeless end! 1 Peter 1 v 3 tells us that we receive the basis of HOPE by the new birth. V 4 tells us what that HOPE is long term. Ephesians 1 v 18 desires that “the
eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may KNOW what the HOPE of His calling is and what is the riches of His inheritance in the saints “. NO CALLING = NO real HOPE.
In Ephesians 6 we find described the ARMOUR we need to be soldiers of Christ. One piece is the HELMET OF SALVATION (5 v 17). The helmet covers the HEAD and represents our minds and though life and involves the following —fear of failure, doubt, indecision, unbelief, negative thoughts all of which contradict HOPE. 1 Thessalonians 5 v 8 describes this helmet as “The helmet of HOPE”. 1 Corinthians 13 v 13- Faith is in the heart (Romans 10 v 10), but HOPE is in the MIND.
A definition of HOPE is “A confident, unwavering expectation of good-that God will fulfil His promises and bring us to our desired haven.” Pessimism is a denial of faith – Rom 8 v 28. Observe Isaiah 41 vs 1-4-The Servant of the Lord JESUS CHRIST. It says “He shall NOT fail, nor be discouraged. Hebrews 11 v 1 tells us that FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for. Faith is for NOW and HOPE is for the FUTURE.
Hebrews 6 v 19 tell us that “HOPE is an anchor of the soul “. A ship needs an anchor to stabilise it. We pass the anchor through the water to the ROCK which is JESUS CHRIST. Hope is also like an ALTAR (Hebrews 6 v 18 reminding us that when Adonijah feared King Solomon in 1 Kings 1 v 50, he fled to the altar and held on to it, thus making himself safe.
Here some Scriptures for readers to dig out on this theme.
THE PROMISE OF HOPE : Col 1 V 5 – Col 1 v 27 – 1 Thessalonians 4 v 13 – Titus 1v2 – Titus 2 v 13 – Romans 8 vs 24-26 (Remember that the Holy Spirit HELPS our infirmities.
THE MEANS OF HOPE : Romans 15 v 13, Galatians 5 v 5. We through the SPIRIT wait for the HOPE. Romans 15 v 4-The Scriptures. Hebrews 10 v 36. Psalm 130 v 5. Notice SPIRIT, WORD and PATIENCE, 3 keywords.
THE PERSEVERANCE OF HOPE :Abraham- Romans 4 vs 18-20-who against HOPE believed in HOPE. Consider Joseph and the vision God gave him and how that was worked out! Colossians 1 vs 22-23 bearing in mind what happened to Demas. (2 Timothy 4 v 10. Romans 5 vs 3-4 TRIBULATION—PATIENCE—HOPE Notice the progression. Often TROUBLE can be the catalyst to HOPE. Hebrews 3 v 6. I Thessalonians 1 v 3. Hebrews 6 vs 11-15.
THE RESULTS OF HOPE: Rejoicing-Romans 5 v 2, Romans 12 v 12. 1 John 3 vs 2-3. 1 Corinthians 13 v 13. Ultimately faith and hope will not be needed when we reach heaven.
Here are some helpful and challenging quotes.
- Lost hope is the undertakers’ best friend.
- The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.
- Hope is Biblical shorthand for unconditional certainty.
- Hoping is disciplined waiting.
- Hope is the mother of patience.
- Our HOPE and future is as bright as the promises of God Zechariah 9 v 12.
- May we all become PRISONERS OF HOPE.
(PS) This message will give most benefit to those who take time to look up and meditate on the Scriptures cited. And if you have lost HOPE may the Lord use these thoughts to help you to come to a new place of restoration.