People need hope. I believe we will walk into those low places with people who need Jesus, offering them the entrance to the door of hope whose name is Jesus Christ. As a Christian, we have the answer to all the world’s problems and we should be sharing it to all we meet.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”
There will be multitudes who need hope. They will make a decision to come to Christ and live passionately for Him. There will be people who are haunted by their past, cannot cope with the present, and have no hope for their future.
Today, people have put their hope in so many things and all of them have failed them. They are looking for the real deal. They want to see genuine people expressing living hope. They are attracted to that.
What Jesus did on the cross is everything. He died so that we might live. But He didn’t stay in the grave, No, He is risen. He is alive! It gives us hope for tomorrow.
Hope is the sustainer of life. It’s the motivator to action. It’s the promise of tomorrow. What each one of us needs more of is hope. What our country and world needs is hope.
What is hope? Often we use the word hope as a form of wish. “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” “I hope the Seahawks or Bulldogs win their next game.” However, hope in the Bible, has quite a different meaning.
Hope in the Bible is a “confident expectation of a divinely provided future.”
Biblical hope is a confidence and expectation that God has provided for a good future for you. This morning God wants to fill every person here with hope that God has a great future planned for you.
The opposite of hope is despair or hopelessness. We see examples of despair and hopelessness all around us.
”Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
I would like to add to this quote;
“Despair cannot drive out despair: only HOPE can do that.”
Pastor Kris Belfils
How many times do we try to drive out our own despair with more despair? This will never bring encouragement.
The word despair means: “A state in which all hope is lost or absent, The feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well, abandon hope; give up hope; lose heart. Other terms: Discouragement, disheartenment, dismay, hopelessness, pessimism, resignation, surrender.”
This happens to many people everyday. When a tragedy occurs or our expectations have not been met, we can fall into despair easily. We can fall into despair just by thinking wrong thoughts about our self and others.
There are really only two things you can have in life:
Hope in the dictionary means: “A general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled, grounds for feeling hopeful about the future, Someone, or something on which expectations are centered.”
Having hope is so essential to surviving in life. If we lose hope, we have lost the race.
Despair and hopelessness drives people to harm themselves or others in many ways. Hopelessness leads people to try to escape life’s despair through different kinds of addictions. Despair about your future saps the joy from life when it comes to our future.
This is what the world is experiencing today. They have no hope. Some tried to put their hope in the Government or financial institutes, some in their education, some in what they buy or wear. All these things will leave you hopeless.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
This verse is telling us to put our hope in God and to praise Him for saving us from our trouble.
What are you thinking? Are you thinking despairing thoughts? Then you will be filled with despair! Despair and discouragement are dead end roads. They lead to no where!They don’t get anything done.
Discouragement leads to despair, despair leads to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, hopelessness leads to depression and suicidal thoughts, and suicidal thoughts leads down a path of total darkness.
If you are feeling despair, don’t jump to Satan’s illusions. Remind yourself that you are valuable and God has a plan for your life. Tell yourself that your current condition is not permanent. It will pass. Tell yourself you can stand in the midst of all the bad. Also distinguish the difference of something that is truth about you or your situation, or just a lie or illusion the enemy is trying to sabotage you with.
In the natural, darkness always makes us scared, but sunshine and light make us feel safe and happy. The doom and gloom go away instantly when light is put on the subject.
Light is the only thing that can drive out darkness. We sometimes wallow in self-pity or focus on the negative, thinking you will feel better, and the dark cloud will lift. This will never happen. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, and despair cannot drive out despair.
We have to guard against darkness in our hearts and minds. The best way is to focus on, and bring in the light.
Psalm 36:9 (NKJV)
“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”
John 12:46 (NKJV)
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
1 Thess 5:5 (NKJV)
“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
John 1:5 (NKJV)
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
We have to set our minds on new things, and what God is capable of doing. We have to turn our thoughts from the bad and purposely set our thoughts on the good.
Jesus said this about our light:
Matthew 5:14 – 16 (NKJV)
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Now let us take a look at Psalm 146 and see what the LORD is doing in our lives, which brings us much hope:
Psalm 146 (NKJV)
“PRAISE the LORD! (Hallelujah) Praise the LORD, O my soul! While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust (hope) in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirt departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The LORD shall reign forever – Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
To overcome Hopelessness we need to remind ourself
who the LORD is in our life:
(Based on Psalm 146)
Praise the LORD! (Ps. 146:1 – 2)
Do not put your hope in princes or in man as they will perish (146:3 – 4)
Put your hope in the LORD – it will make you happy (Ps. 146:5)
The LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them (Ps. 146:6)
The LORD is the keeper of truth forever (Ps. 146:6)
The LORD executes justice for the oppressed (146:7)
The LORD gives food to the hungry (146:7)
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners (146:7)
The LORD watches over the strangers (146:8)
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind (146:8)
The LORD raises those who are bowed down (146:8)
The LORD loves the righteous (146:8)
The LORD watches over the strangers (146:9)
The LORD relieves the fatherless and widow (146:9)
The LORD turns the way of the wicked upside down (146:9)
The LORD shall reign forever, to all generations (146:10)
Psalm 27:14 (God’s Word)
“Wait with hope for the LORD. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous.
Yes, wait with hope for the LORD.”
We have to wait with hope for God. We have to be courageous and strong in our waiting. The word; “wait” was a bad four letter word to me. I hated waiting. Waiting made me feel I did something wrong. It made me feel I wasn’t ready. But, this is not why we have to wait at times. Waiting helps us to mature in Christ. Waiting burns out the impatience in us. Waiting is better then rushing into something without God’s wisdom and direction.
Human nature gives up easily when we pray and don’t see our prayers answered. We pray once, and no answer, so we give up, or think it is not God’s will. We have to be persistent in our prayers and in faith. God is looking for people who have their hope in Him and don’t give up when they don’t see an answer to their prayer.
A great example of praying and not giving up is Elijah. I am sure Elijah waited with hope as he prayed to God for rain to come.
Elijah could have given up after the first time praying for rain and then sending his servant to go up mount Carmel to see if any clouds were forming. Elijah’s hope was in God and he believed God would come through. Again and again Elijah prayed without any answer to his prayer. He pressed in and continued to pray.
Elijah persevered and kept praying and believing God would come through. He was relentless! He didn’t stop praying until God gave him a sign. It was in a form of a cloud the size of a man’s hand. It was all he needed to move on in his life. God gives little clouds to spark hope in our hearts that He is working and bringing the answer.
We can learn from this great man of God. We too need to keep praying without giving up. We too need to believe God will answer in spite of our circumstances or what we see or don’t see happening.
The hope is knowing God is faithful! What He did before He will do again. He used men and women in the Bible to bring about His agenda and His Kingdom. He wants to use us too.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Faith in action requires a time of waiting. The word “Hope” is interchanged with the word wait in the Bible. HOPE: Is the place between praying and answered prayer!
It can seem like God didn’t hear us or holds his answer from us.
Where can we get the hope that we need in life? …….Our hope comes from Jesus.
Matthew 12:21 (NIV)
“In his name the nations will put their hope.”
Some people put their hope in wrong things and they are disappointed. But everyone who puts their hope in Jesus will never be disappointed.
Hope for the multitudes to give them a door of hope in trying times!
Hope is the only thing that stands against fear. Having hope propels you to keep trying in the middle of your fears. This is the action or active part of hope. Hope helps us to stay focused. If we don’t have hope, we will fall into our fears and doubts and give up.
Let Hope arise in you today! The Hope of Jesus Christ is powerful. No one can take that away from you. Hope sustains you. Hope keeps you.
You might be living in a hard situation right now. It might seem hopeless, but remind yourself Who is living inside of you! Jesus, the conqueror of death! Jesus, the giver of new life and new beginnings!
Door of Hope
“I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
This verse is for all who are facing trouble right now, be it financial trouble, family trouble, physical trouble. I don’t care what trouble you have, maybe emotional trouble? God will give you hope in the middle of your troubles.
“Her” is basically Israel, but can refer to all of us as God’s people today. “I will give her…” we are the bride of Christ! We are so blessed. We can be called “him” and “her;” the bride of Christ.
“I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
What a wonderful prophecy. Now, see the words, “door of hope?” In Hebrew; Pethach tiqvah. There is a Jewish Anthem entitled; “The Hope.” HATIKVAH it is sung to remember that as long as deep in the heart a Jewish soul yearns and looks to Zion our hope will not be lost.
Hope doesn’t mean; “I hope things will happen.” No, hope means it will happen. What you dream and believe in God will happen. God will meet the desires of your heart. God says, “Have hope!” Man says, “Don’t raise your hope.” God says, “Raise your hopes as high as the throne of God, hallelujah! Amen!” You have a God. Those other people who say, “Don’t raise your hope.” They don’t have a god. You have a God of grace, of goodness, of mercy!
Do you know where He puts this door of hope? Do you know where to find the door of hope? God says there’s no temptation, no testings, no trials that has come on you that God will not give you the strength, and will find the way of escape. There is a door in every test! There is a door. Where do you find this door of hope? In the Valley of Achor! What is the Valley of Achor? Listen this is a word for all of you!
The word Achor means: trouble in Hebrew (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionary).
It means trouble! Wow, in your valley of trouble. When you are in trouble you don’t feel like you are on the mountain, no, you are in the valley. You may say, “Pastor Kris I have all these bills looming. I feel crushed.” God says, “In your valley of trouble I will open to you a door of hope!” “Pastor Kris, you don’t understand. The Doctors have given me some bad news.” You are going through a valley now and God is going to put the door of hope before you. And every time you open this door you step into life more abundantly (John 10:10). You will find pasture. God puts a door there.
Listen, don’t open other doors that man tries to put there. The Door is Jesus. When you open the Door you will find life, and life more abundantly!
So what trouble are you going through right now? God is putting right now, in your valley, a Door of hope. His name is Jesus, and what do you do with a door? Open it. Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” Once He comes in your sickness goes out! Once He comes in your lack goes out! Once He comes in, peace in the house. And by the way people forget that Jesus says, “I knock at the door” in Revelation 3:20. It is not written for sinners. It is written for the church. Okay, but He invites you to open the door. He will not break down the door. The door of grace has only one knob and it is not out side, the knob is inside. Jesus can only knock, you have to open the door and say, “Lord Jesus, come into my trouble, come into my mess. Lord, I don’t know what to do, my hands are off.” Then Jesus will say, “Come you will find pasture and life more abundant has come.”
Zacheous opened his door and said, “Come in,” and Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house!” Hallelujah! Amen! Let’s do that right now!
Pastor Kris Belfils