July 26, 2015
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
What do we hope in?
All scripture is from the NIV Bible
Psalm 9:18; Psalm 16:9; Psalm 31:24
Psalm 33:18; Psalm 33:22; Psalm 38:15
Psalm 39:7; Psalm 43:5
Prayer for God’s Word to be heard through me…
Hope…have you ever hoped for something in your life? We hope that things will work out for the best in our lives. We have hopes and dreams for our lives and for the lives of the next generation. We hope that we will get that new job. We hope that we will be comfortable in our lives and be able to do whatever we want…whenever we want. We hope for…fill in the blank. Hope is something that keeps us going even when things don’t look so good. And when our hopes and dreams do manifest themselves we can be devastated. We have hope for our marriage and it winds up ending right before our eyes. We have hope for our children only to find that they are addicted and are going down a road of destruction. We have hope for our future and we get that call from the doctor’s office…
Hope – noun
: the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen : a feeling that something good will happen or be true
: the chance that something good will happen
: someone or something that may be able to provide help : someone or something that gives you a reason for hoping
archaic : trust, reliance
a : desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment <came in hopes of seeing you>; also : expectation of fulfillment or success <no hope of a cure>
b : someone or something on which hopes are centered <our only hope for victory>
c : something hoped for
It is interesting that hope is both a noun…a thing…and a verb…a feeling. But in both definitions there is one thing that it involves…trust. Maybe it’s not so much that we hope but maybe it’s what we put our hope and trust in…
Over the past few weeks, I have truly been pondering on the word salvation and what it really means. For not just Christians but for humanity.
1. the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.
2. the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
3. a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
4. Theology. deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption.
There are so many facets to salvation. There is the grace that we receive from God within salvation. The grace freely given to us even though we don’t deserve it but it is through the blood of Jesus that we receive this incredible gift. We are chosen by God and are adopted by Him through the blood that was poured down a wooden cross on a hill for you and for me. We are delivered from sin and death through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. There is love and mercy, joy and there is HOPE…Not just your everyday hope that you feel but hope that is not defined by our circumstances but is defined by our great and loving God…through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Now I want you to listen to some of the hope found in the Psalms. These proclamations will give us hope too if we but believe and rejoice in what and who our God really is:
Psalm 9:18New International Version (NIV)
18 But God will never forget the needy;
the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Psalm 31:24New International Version (NIV)
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 33:18New International Version (NIV)
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
Psalm 33:22New International Version (NIV)
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
(Are you feeling it yet?)
Psalm 39:7New International Version (NIV)
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Psalm 43:5New International Version (NIV)
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 16:9New International Version (NIV)
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
(Because of hope…)
Psalm 38:15New International Version (NIV)
15 Lord, I wait for you;
you will answer, Lord my God.
(Because of the trust that God is a God of Hope…)
Hope…it is both a noun and a verb. When we put our hope in our circumstances, we are using the verb form and more times than not…we will be disappointed somehow. When we put our hope in God, we are using the noun form…trusting all of our hopes and dreams to God. But we are humans and we will at times put our hope in the things we see. And when our hopes are dashed to the ground, we have a God of all hopes who meet us where we are and whisper His hope into our hearts. Are you feeling hopelessness and despair? Is your life not turning out they way you hoped it would? Come to the God of all hope and allow Him to heal your broken heart and put a new song of hope within you…the hope that is found within the cross of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.