“Our Need for Hope”
Most of the time we are fairly resilient people. We can face a variety of storms:
· Financial reverses
· Domestic disappointments
· Death of a loved one
We can face these challenges as long as we don’t lose the one essential ingredient — HOPE!
Note: The writer of the book of Hebrews refers to hope as the “anchor of the soul.” 6:19
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the PRESENCE behind the veil.”
Truth: Satan loves to use adversities to create doubt in our hearts.
“Doubts often steal into our lives like termites into a house. These termite-like thoughts eat away at our faith. Usually, we can hold up pretty well under these attacks. But, occasionally when a strong gale comes along — a sudden intense blast — we discover we cannot cope. Our house begins to lean. For some people it completely collapses. It is during these stormy times, during the dark days and nights of tragedy and calamity that we begin to feel the destructive effects of our doubts.”
Three Times When Doubts Reach Maximum Force:
- One such time is when something I believe shouldn’t happen, does happen.
· Bad things do happen to good people.
(We believe God could have prevented them, but instead, He permitted them. WHY?
· We see evil people seeming to prosper and we are just barely getting by. WHY?
(Satan uses doubts to gnaw away at our faith. In Revelation 12:10, he is referred to as the “accuser of our brethren.” He loves it if he can get us to begin to question the goodness of our God.)
- Doubts also assail us when something I believed should happen, never happens.
· I thought God would say yes, but instead He said no.
· A son or daughter goes away to war and doesn’t come home.
· A young couple loses a baby during the pregnancy or in child birth.
· One of our families had their daughter murdered in our nation’s capital.
· God does something for one of His children but won’t do a similar thing for another.
(2 Corinthians 12, we have Paul’s thorn — he asked God three times to take it away and each time He said, “No. My grace is sufficient for you.”
e.g. Joni Erickson Tada.)
- There is a third time when doubt comes knocking. It is when something I think should happen right now and God says, “Wait,” and it happens much later.
(We have questioned God’s timing.)
· Waiting is one of the hardest things God asks us to do.
· Abraham and Sarah had to wait many years for the fulfillment of God’s promise that they would have a son. Hebrews 6:13-15 ¾
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”
We have been waiting 2,000 years for the promise of Christ’s return. John 14:1-4
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Jesus had Martha and Mary wait until their brother Lazarus died before He put in an appearance. He had something greater than a healing. He had a resurrection.
Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
The Key to Hope—
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
God wants us to trust Him.
· His word is good. Hebrews 6:17-18
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
· He cannot lie.
· Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Trust Him and you will see the great and mighty ways God will bless you.