Sometimes I Live Without Hope

https://rhm.podbean.com/e/sometimes-i-live-without-hope/

HOPE – A LIVING REALITY

In the last few weeks I have come to realize how many people – including believers – live without hope

They feel hopeless

They sense that they are hopeless

They live with this nagging feeling that no matter what they do nothing is going to change – hopeless

On my recent trip to Montreal I met with a man who is in his early forties … “without hope”

In his mind:

  • No future
  • No open door to a bright future
  • No way out
  • No potential for change
  • No possibility of overcoming “life”

In a recent visit with one of my sons:

A friend’s wife has a brain tumour

They took 90% of it out in a recent operation

The doctors have said there is no hope that treatment will save her

Parents of a one year old – without hope

Ivan – a 19 year old in North Kazakhstan:

“I’m afraid that I’m in the wrong place where I should be. I’m constantly faced with misunderstanding, with deceit, hypocrisy, and even betrayal sometimes, and to all this is added a whole bunch of ministry that I do not want to do, but should, because I’m in full-time ministry. I don’t even have someone to talk to. I’m sick of everything. Every day I put on a mask with a smile and try not to show others that something is wrong with me, and no one even notices. I don’t need attention, I don’t need money to make me happy, I just want at least one person who will be sincere with me to the end and will never betray or deceive me in my life.”  No Hope!

Young man from Armenia:

Left the church he has attended since birth because there was absolutely no hope of receiving love and acceptance there. He is a 4th year student at university and well known in a number of nations for a project he designed and raised $500,000.00 to fund. Just wants someone to accept him for who he is. No hope!

Hope is a very powerful life force … without hope people lose the will to change or even to live

One of three key elements every human being needs

1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Definition of hope:

Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment

To desire with expectation of obtainment

To expect with confidence

As believers our hope is suppose to be anchored in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of Scripture

So we stir into our hope the understanding that Jesus is alive and that His words are true and will come to pass

The foundation of our hope – living hope – is that Jesus is alive and  has opened the door into eternity in heaven for us and has prepared a place for us with Him

Without hope:

      • Prisoners of war languish and die
      • Students get discouraged and drop out of school
      • Athletic teams fall into a slump and continue to lose
      • Fledgling writers, longing to be published, run out of determination
      • Addicts return to their habits
      • Marriage partners decide to divorce
      • Inventors, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, even preachers, lose their creativity

Hope isn’t merely a nice option that helps us temporarily clear a hurdle.

It is essential to our survival

Hope is basic to life

Without that needed spark of hope, we are doomed to a dark, grim existence

Take away our hope, and our world is reduced to something between depression and despair

Give people hope and …

Hope restores

Hope helps us to press on – move forward

Hope allows us to endure

Hope helps us to stay focused

Hope brings something solid, stable, and sure into every day life

I was reading recently in the Gospel written by Luke, a medical doctor

Jesus is talking about His coming arrest and eventual crucifixion

Peter, speaking sincerely, says that he will follow Jesus even to prison and death

Luke 22:33 “Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”

Jesus immediately responds – and it was not an encouraging prophetic word

Luke 22:34 “Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

After His arrest and then Peter’s denial – the fisherman is crushed / broken

He is without hope – He knows he will no longer be a leader or close to Jesus

Luke 22:61-62 “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Jesus dies on the cross and Peter’s hope is now totally crushed

It is over – the Lord is dead – all plans are now null and void

Peter goes back to fishing … his original occupation and his family company

Then on Easter Sunday Jesus is raised from the dead bodily

An angel appears and says, “Go and tell His disciples that He is risen, He is not here. Why are you looking for the living among the dead.” (Mark 16:7)

You know the story…

But I left the most important part out of that verse

Mark 16:7 “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as He told you.”

Jesus is restoring “hope” in Peter’s life

The significance of those two words, “and Peter” cannot be overstated

“and Peter” … words that restore hope to Peter

They reintroduce hope into the fisherman’s life

Without this hope he would not have recovered as he was living as one without hope

 

Without this hope he would never have become one of the two keys leaders of the early church – Paul and Peter

Upon hearing of his Saviour’s resurrection and also his Saviour’s concern that he personally be given the message

Peter had hope beyond his failure

Peter had hope beyond his betrayal of Jesus

 

Peter was rescued by grace. Restored by hope.

So, it is Peter that we turn to if we want to understand even the basic of hope

This letter – the first of two by Peter – is written to believers scattered throughout current day Turkey (1 Peter 1:1-2)

Christians being persecuted for their faith and often hiding for authorities

Christians suffering hard times and living without hope that things will ever change

Christians away from home, not by choice but by force

Christians pushed out of the familiar and pushed into a world that was unfamiliar and hostile to them

But the key here is to know:

They are still God’s chosen and destined people

They have not been thrown to the earth like dice tossed across a table

They have been sovereignly and lovingly placed in this situation for a purpose – by God

God has given them a purpose for living – a reason to go on

Even though they had hit hard times and were suffering many loses

They were to live “in hope” regardless

1 Peter 1:3-9 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

In these amazing verses there are 6 reasons why we can rejoice through tough time and experience hope even when life is not turning out the way we had hoped it would…

1> We have a living hope

1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

We are on a journey and are here on the earth for a short time

This journey has a destination – eternity in Heaven

Everything that happens here and now is just a part of this much longer journey with a destination

Everything is simply leading us to our eternal destination

Getting us reading for eternity

There is a saying that when we put things into perspective it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans

When you look at things on this journey in light of our final destination – whatever is happening doesn’t even amount to one bean 

This hope of living forever

This hope of being resurrected and living with Jesus forever

This is a living hope based on the resurrection of the first-born – Jesus

To the unsaved: 

Hope is a mental fantasy like wishing on a star

It’s the kind of Disneyland hope that says,

“I sure wish I win the lottery”

“I hope my boy comes home someday”

“I hope everything works out okay”

That’s not a living hope – – – That is simply wishful thinking!

To those who are born again – saved:

We have been born again to a living hope… founded on the resurrection of Jesus

We can trust that Jesus’ words are true and will come to pass

That this journey called “life” has meaning and purpose because of the final destination

Remember:

Jesus went through tough times – tests, trials, temptations, tribulation

And came out of it eternally alive

So will we with His help

He is our “Living Hope”

What we are going though isn’t the end of the story

It is simply part of the rough journey that leads to the right destination 

So, we can live with tremendous hope regardless

2> We have a permanent inheritance

We have this living hope which includes an inheritance

1 Peter 1:4 “…to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”

It is a permanent inheritance – a secure home in Heaven

God is guarding and protecting it

It is ready and it is permanent – all throughout eternity

Nothing can destroy it

Nothing can defile it

Nothing can diminish it

Nothing can displace it

I can buy a plane ticket on line 

Pay extra to reserve an isle seat in the middle of the plane

I have reserved a flight and a seat

 

But when I arrive they have changed the plane being used on the route, there are fewer seats and the seat I picked actually doesn’t even exist on this plane

The flight is now overbooked and I may get bumped because I booked it using points and not money

Or, you arrive slightly later than planned to find out that the airline has sold your seat to someone else

I reserve a hotel room only to arrive and find they have no record of the reservation and no available rooms….

In Heaven – not going to happen.

So, we can live with tremendous hope regardless

3> We have divine protection

1 Peter 1:5 “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

We are protected by the most efficient security system available – the power of God

No matter what happens “out there in the world” our souls are divinely protected

This protection is entirely and directly the work of God

We simply need to trust God to protect us by His power

Everything is “Father Filtered”

Nothing and no one can take me home (take my life) until Jesus says so.

So, we can live with tremendous hope regardless

4> We have a developing faith

1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

The joy is unconditional 

It does not depend on circumstances 

We rejoice because we have a ‘Living Hope” as we go though the tough times.

Joy comes in spite of our suffering, not because of it

James tells us that we are to “count it all joy” when we are going through trials and testings (James 1:2)

Because these tests and trials are helping us to develop faith and trust in God to see us through the rough waters

Trials are often necessary – proving to you the genuineness of your faith as well as helping your faith to grow and develop

Growing your faith deeper and stronger

So, we can live with tremendous hope regardless

We can all live with tremendous hope because …

We have a living hope

We have a permanent inheritance

We have a divine protection

We have a developing faith

5> We have an unseen Saviour

1 Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…”

Keep in mind the context – suffering and persecution

Peter is offering us solid meat to chew here

He is telling us that Jesus – who was also persecuted and suffered – is standing alongside us in the furnace of hard times

He is there even though we cannot physically see Him

Just as He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abennego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace in Daniel’s day

So, we can live with tremendous hope regardless

6> We have a guaranteed deliverance

1 Peter 1:9 “obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

This is not the kind of delivery the airlines promise when you check your bag before boarding a flight

They guarantee delivery – just not when it will happen

When it comes to spiritual delivery, we never have to worry

God guarantees delivery of our souls

Delivery from present sin

Delivery from our present bodies – glorified body

Delivery from all pain and sorrow

You will get to where you are suppose to be – guaranteed

So, we can live with tremendous hope regardless

We can all live with tremendous hope because …

We have a living hope

We have a permanent inheritance

We have a divine protection

We have a developing faith

We have an unseen Saviour

We have a guaranteed deliverance

Hope is a very powerful life force … without hope people lose the will to change or even to live

One of three key elements every human being needs

1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Definition of hope:

Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment

To desire with expectation of obtainment

To expect with confidence

As believers our hope is suppose to be anchored in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of Scripture

So we stir into our hope the understanding that Jesus is alive and that His words are true and will come to pass

The foundation of our hope – living hope – is that Jesus is alive and has opened the door into eternity in heaven for us and has prepared a place for us with Him

And, that life is is simply a small and short part of the journey we are on and that there is so much more to come