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, One of three Christian virtues (‘Faith, Hope, and Love’), expect and wish, intend with some possibility of fulfillment.”
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.
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. Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
A Living Hope
Peter 1:3 – 5 (NJKV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
“…a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” God’s Word Translation states this phrase;  “We have been born into a new life that has a confidence which is alive because Jesus Christ has come back to life.”
Hope is something that is living and alive! This Living hope is like living waters flowing from a constant spring which never runs dry, it is always flowing, always giving and constantly moving and active.
I want you to note that a living hope means that it is not dead, or lifeless. It is not the kind of hope that we use to stir positive thinking for the moment, but does nothing for us beyond the grave. It is not the kind of hope that gives us meaning and motivation for life but is dead and lifeless beyond this life. This hope is for this life and beyond.
I also want you to recognize that a living hope means that it is not a probable hope; it is not the kind of hope that may or may not come. It is always present, always working in us. We just have to believe and stand on it! This is called “faith!”
The hope that God gives is a hope that is real and true, a hope that actually exists. A living hope is active and functioning; it acts and works both within the heart of the believer and within heaven apart from the believer.
Eternal life is a living hope because it is reality; it is a life that really exists in another world, the spiritual world, that is more real than the world in which we live. The believer’s hope for eternal life lives, acts, and works within the believer now, even while they are on earth. It is not that the believer is going to receive eternal life; they have already received eternal life. Their hope for eternal life is living, acting, and working within them right now. This is the glorious hope of the believer, the living hope of living forever with God face to face.
Eternal life is promised to believers in Christ:
John 3:15 – 16 NKJV
“That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
1 John 2:25 NKJV
“And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.”
Romans 6:23 NKJV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Peter 1:3 tells us how this kind of hope is possible—it is due to the source of our hope: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Our living hope finds its source in the Living God in whom all things “live and move and have their being” (Acts 17:28). This kind of hope dispels all fear.
Our God’s not dead He’s surely alive!
I watched the movie “The Hunger Games” and one line in the movie stuck out to me: “Hope is the only thing that can stand against fear.” There is truth to that.
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. Don’t give up!
We hope in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. The word “resurrection” means: “Standing up again, that is, a resurrection from death: raised to life again, rise from the dead, rising again.”
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!
Death could not hold Jesus! We have that same spirit dwelling in us everyday!
Romans 8:11 (NKJV)
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Romans 8:11 (Message)
“It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!”
God can breathe new life into any situation, circumstance, or issue, and bring forth life again.
Jesus was raised from the dead. Resurrection Life came from the One who is the Resurrection and the Life.
We have to remember the term: Resurrection Advancement! The bigger the stone the enemy places on you to stop your advancement in life, the stronger, and bigger the stage of your advancement so rejoice! Just look at the stone the enemy tried to place in front of Jesus’ tomb. Even death could not keep that stone in place. If you feel a huge stone has been placed on you, get ready for a resurrection advancement!
When I say; “the enemy” I am referring to the devil. He is the enemy of our soul. The Bible tells us that He is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But remember that this lion has no teeth. He may roar, but has no power because Christ took it from him when He was resurrected.
When the stone was rolled away so was our sin. When the stone was rolled away so was our disappointments we have experienced. Rolled away was all our regrets. Rolled away were the hurts and un-forgiveness we may be holding onto. Rolled away were any lies we’ve said or mistakes we have made. New life and a new beginning is there for you to walk in.
Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel “less” in life when God gave His Son for you to be and live the best!
Don’t look at the big stone in front of you. Look to Jesus who didn’t let anything, or anyone stop Him from bringing Living Hope to this world. You are being set up! If your way seems blocked, if your dreams have died, if you have no hope, REJOICE because God is setting you up for greater things. It could be the “midnight hour” for God to do the impossible, but He WILL do it! Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope!
Hebrews 10:35 (NASB)
“Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”
James 1:12 (CEV)
“God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves Him.”
How would you describe your level of hope today? Is your “hope tank” on full or is it dangerously close to empty? Is the hope your experiencing right now one that is merely based on positive thinking or probability, or is it a living hope resting on the promises of God?
God’s design is for you to know and experience this living hope. He has done everything necessary to make it available to each of us as a living reality. Will you accept His offer today?
Allow the Living Hope to rise up inside of you. If you don’t know this Living Hope, Jesus Christ, today is your day. Don’t delay in asking Him to come into your heart.
Pastor Kris Belfils