The Confidence of Hope
Is I hope that this is true.
Because if this is true then the best part of our existence is yet to come. So that is what we're going to be talking about today we are in a short series on hold and so far what we've done is we've talked about the importance of hope the Bible tells us to think about the things that God has promised us the things that he has called us to because we're thinking about our hope then it helps us to become mature we looked at Passages to talk about that it also helps us to become productive in our life and last week what we did is we looked at the hope the hope that we have that the Bible cautions us about and the Bible cautions us about putting our hope in people and money and we're always going to put our hopes small hopes in people and money and what we usually do is we're hoping that a person or our wealth is going to be able to bring into our life something that is going to satisfy us but the Bible says it's not going to happen nothing can fully satisfy us and then so the bible warns us of against doing those things today what we're going to do is talk about the things that we can be confident about we can hope for specific things and be confident that our hope will not disappoint us and so. Thinking about what we can be confident about what are the guarantees that we have in this life then wasn't it Benjamin Franklin said the tooth the two things that are guaranteed are death and taxes I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said that well you know by God's grace there's other things in this life that we really do hope for and sometimes they happen and sometimes they don't and we can really have a wonderful blessed life but God shares with us a handful of things that we can be confident about and I think it's important for us to know that these are the objects of our hope so today we're going to talk about three things that we can be confident about when we talk about our hope and we'll begin with the first one first one is this we can confidently place our hope in the fact that God has a plan.
We can be confident that God has a plan and everything that is happening in the world right now is going exactly according to God's plan and you might say wait a second there's a lot of suffering and there's a lot of sorrow God allows those things to happen I think partly so that we know that we need God But when it comes to God's full redemptive plan for mankind from from Genesis to Revelation God has a plan and ultimately what we're saying is God didn't just create us because he was bored one day and then say I'm just going to create humans and and we'll see what happens and he just kind of lets us go that's not at all what God has done God has a very specific plan and what he wants to accomplish and the purpose is been unfolding what I want you to do I want to look at a couple passages the first one is in Jeremiah twenty nine. Going to the Old Testament Jeremiah twenty nine and will look at verse eleven.
Verses ten eleven.
Jeremiah twenty nine verses ten and eleven.
This is one passage that really shows us and reveals to us that God does have a plan. And this one is dealing with the nation of Israel. And the kind of give you some context of Jeremiah this was written when Daniel and Shadrach Meshach and Abednego were still in exile in the country of Babylon and so this is what God says to them Jeremiah twenty nine ten eleven.
For thus says the Lord when seventy years are completed for Babylon I will do is it you and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place in verse eleven is a very popular verse for I know the playing ends I have for you declares the LORD plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you you will seek Me and find me and you will seek me with all your heart I will be found by you declares the LORD and I will restate or your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you declares the LORD and I will bring you back to the places from which I sent you into exile and so here is a plan that God had for the nation of Israel and this is a promise that I will bring you back and guess what God did he fulfilled this plan exactly what he said he was going to do he did it he brought them back just like he brought them up out of Egypt out of slavery and God has more plans for the nation of Israel and we should fully expect those to come true as well now there is kind of a word of caution and whenever I bring up Jeremiah twenty nine eleven I feel like I'm going to pop someone's bubble because Jeremiah twenty nine eleven has as one of. Its kind of proof text a lot of people take this verse will say this is God's verse for me and God says that I have a plan for me and and it's a plan for prosperity and here's the problem with anyone who takes this verse and applies it directly to themselves This verse is not specifically for any of us today I think we need to realize that obviously. God's intention for us we see some some some things that correlate but this is specifically. For those that are an exile in the country of Babylon many many years ago look at verse one of Jeremiah twenty nine.
So this is who can claim this promise of verse one of Jeremiah twenty nine these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles and to the priests the prophets and all the people who never can as are taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon and so this plan and this promise that we see here in Jeremiah twenty nine is to sift Occleve for the nation of Israel that he will make them prosperous that he will bring them back and the problem we have is when someone today reads Jeremiah twenty nine eleven and who wouldn't want to claim the Says their own right if you claim this for your own and you say God's plan is to prosper me that prosper me then what happens if you're not wealthy and prosperous then you have to say wait a second is God's plan is God not powerful enough to bring his plan to pass and so we have to be very careful when looking at the plans that God has but this is something very specific for the nation of Israel and he fulfilled that plan. Now even though that specific verse isn't for us so there are other verses that are very similar that we can claim for ourselves I want just want to turn over to Seasons chapter one. We can't claim Jeremiah twenty nine eleven but we can claim one eleven and obviously there are very similar. The good things are going to happen might not happen in this lifetime but they will happen if one verse eleven.
Verses eleven and twelve and so this is something that we can claim as our own dealing with the plan of God If he says one verses eleven and twelve it says.
In him we were also chosen having been predestined according to the. Plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will in order that we who were the first to put our hope in Christ might be for the praise of his glory and so this verse says something very similar God is working out everything in conformity to His Will this includes the promises that he made to Israel also to the Israel I Israelites that were in exile in Babylon and this also includes US people today who have put our hope and Jesus Christ and so if your hope is in Christ what he teaches one eleven is telling us is that you are a part of God's plan and ultimately that plan is for you to spend eternity with him and ultimately to bring God glory and so moving on from this hope to god has a plan let's look at a couple things that this plan includes All right so the second point is this.
We can confidently place our hope in the fact that no point number two that we will live for ever this is our hope that we will be able to live for ever God's plan is not for us to be born into this world to live for a few years to try to make friends try to earn money and then die that's not God's plan for us every single human being is eternal and those who placed their face in him will live forever with Christ so you look at a couple of the passages Let's go over to First Corinthians Chapter fifteen.
First Corinthians Chapter fifteen beginning beginning in verse eighteen.
First Corinthians fifteen beginning in verse eighteen.
Says then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ of perish. If in Christ we have hope in this life only we are of all people most to be pitied but in fact Christ has been raised from the dead the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep so our hope as we see in this passage in others goes beyond this life Christ's death and resurrection does make an impact on this life it does make an impact if you're here today and you place your faith in Jesus Christ hopefully you can see that the teachings of the Word of God It does make a difference in your life if you put the principles of the Bible into place it can it can make your relationships better. It can make your relationship with other human beings better it can lead to being useful in the in the world and society it can lead to meaningful service all those things are very true but if our hope in Christ is in this life alone if that's all there is then in Paul's words then we are the most to be pitied they think Christ leads us to the hope of eternal life with him let's go over to Titus chapter one.
Turn over your Bible to Titus chapter one.
Another passage that talks about this being our hope.
Titus chapter one beginning in verse one.
Titus one one Paul says Paul a servant of God an apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the face of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with Godliness and here it is verse two in hope of each one a life which God who never lies promised before the ages began so our hope is ultimately in our longing to live forever now I think we need to pause here just for a second because if we're honest how many of you you talk about this hope of a. Think forever how many of you would would admit like I am like I well I actually don't know my next point is but what I'll say is this hope is only good because of the next point and we'll get to the next point in just just a minute but how many of you would like the hope of living forever in this world just as it is I don't see any of you nodding your head all of your like I don't think so I don't think I want to live forever you know it would get sick of many things and eventually just be completely depressing in despair like for instance how many of you have a favorite food and what would it be like to eat that favorite food every single day for the rest of your life I right now my favorite food might be some kind of a Mexican dish or or sushi I like sushi I have been liking sushi lately but if I were to eat it Mexican food for maybe two months maybe I'd get sick of it after two months I really like Mexican food or how about going on vacation we all look forward to going on vacation but what do you do at the very end of a vacation and I'm done all right I'm ready to get back I want to get back to my routine I want to get things to be productive there are things that we can really enjoy in this life but we wouldn't want them exclusively in indefinitely. I enjoy my life I really do I have nothing to complain about God I feel has blessed me in so many different ways but just like you I have realized that there is nothing in this life that is truly and completely going to satisfy me. And there is nothing in this world that I can look at and say it is perfect this perfect as it can be and I wouldn't change a single thing this world is broken and it needs to be fixed and to constantly hope for perfection in justice and to never be able to see that would just be cruel but there is another hope that God gives us and it makes the sound of the thought of eternal life sound so appealing and so let's get to the third thing the third hope. The third hope is this we can confidently place our hope in the fact that God will pick. It's everything that is broken.
God is going to fix everything in this world that is broken and the two words that the Bible uses to describe this truth are the words redemption and restoration redemption means to buy something back and the Bible teaches us that when sin into the world we were sold as slaves to sin and redemption is God's work and our lives were his buying us back out of that slavery to say and restoration is to return something to its original condition I want to go to to one last really good passage and this is Romans chapter eight.
So might be the best passage in the Bible on the subject as it goes into a little bit more detail about what we can hope for.
Woman's Chapter eight beginning in verse eighteen.
Romans chapter eight beginning in verse eighteen this was really revealing to us the end of God's plan. Romans eight eighteen says. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us for the creation waits with eager longing for this the revealing of the sons of God for the creation was subjected to futility not willingly but because of him who subjected it in whole that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God And so this is revealing to us that God's plan includes creation it includes this world now imagine what the world must have been like when God created Adam and Eve and no sin ever entered the world I mean has it it's even hard for us to imagine how wonderful things would have been and when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden because they were. Sin into the world do you think they misfit. And kind of a ridiculous question right of course they miss it and so they're the only human beings that knew what it was like to live on a perfect earth without sin without death without corruption and then to live in a world that is completely polluted with sin and so just imagine the hope that they had that we could understand what God's original creation was like but this is part of God's plan this what Paul is teaching us here sin entered the world and a part of God's plan is to redeem the world and mankind and so redemption means to buy it back and the fact is the God is powerful enough to fix what has been broken and that includes you and me and that also includes all of creation was picked up again in verse twenty two. First twenty two it continues and says So we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now and not only the creation but we ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for for adoption his sons the redemption of our bodies for in this hope we were saved now hope that is seen as not hope for who hopes for what he sees but if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it patiently and so what we see in verse in chapter eight of Romans what is broken is everything creation is broken we are broken you know when God said in the book of Genesis that he saw everything that he had made and he said it was it was good I think I've mentioned this before I remember taking Hebrew with Dr who is back in a great Bible College many years ago and in our Hebrew class the word for good it is good is Quito which also has this idea of it works he saw all that he had made. And said it works now as you look at the world around us can you say it's it's working but is it working like it was supposed to it's kind of like you could ride a bicycle with a flat tire and you can kind of make some forward progress but you're not going to be riding it like it was intended to the world is not functioning like it was supposed to human relationships are strained on a small and large scale Have you ever had a relationship that was broken and you have no contact with that person again those are hard to see and on a large scale nations and countries are always constantly battling against each other I hate to say this but we shouldn't hope for world peace because it's not going to happen that shouldn't be our hope and our human bodies they're not functioning like they should they break down they're susceptible to disease they don't function like they were intended to you know weeks like this in Phoenix are proof that something's broken like the the temperature gauge on the oven is broken and what we need to get a fix but this passage in Romans two says two things that our bodies our physical bodies will be redeemed meaning they will be like Christ's resurrected glorified body and most likely they will be like Adam and Eve's body before sin entered the world so God is going to redeem and restore us to our own original condition and the world itself will be redeemed in restored to the perfect condition it was in before sin lesson everything in this world is broken everything is right now but it will be fixed that's a god plan and that's the hope that God gives to us and I think the longer a person lives in this broken world I think our hope in this grows stronger and stronger. So why can we be so confident in these things that the Bible gives us you know when we hope for something the longer you live the more you think OK I'm going to her. For this very cautiously because I don't want to get disappointed or why is it that we can hope for these things that God says shares with us and not worry about our hopes being crushed all this is a little bit different we do believe in these things by face but this faith has a very strong foundation that we can rest on and one very good reason why we can fully place our hope in these things is because all the other promises that God made that have been fulfilled have been fulfilled exactly like God said they would be God promised to bring the Israelites to the Promised Land did he do it yeah and when they went into exile he promised to bring them back to do it he absolutely did and God said that he would bring your reading into the world to save us and to be the sacrifice for our sins did he do it absolutely he did and he promised that he would send the Holy Spirit and he would enjoy Well believers and give them an insight into God Did God give us the Holy Spirit he did and so when he's telling us that he's going to be doing these things the Bible is showing us this history of redemption and so we can we can take great comfort in knowing that these things that we hope in are going to happen. So how should this change the way we live having this great hope should do something for us we're going to talk about that a little bit next week that is kind of our final sermon on hope we're going to talk about the produce of hope if we have this hope how should it change our lives but one way that it should change our lives it should give us a different perspective we should have a different perspective on human history than anyone else I want to read one of the last verse out of Romans eighteen again Romans eight eighteen again I just want to read this one verse and it says this.
This is the perspective that Paul has that we should have as well omens eighteen says for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory. That is to be revealed to us with a creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
What are you suffering right now.
There are sufferings of this time every single person in this room is suffering in some way some way you might be suffering physically and we know that's true.
Some of you have ailments than in diseases and we are aware of those things and we can hope and pray that they might be restored in this lifetime they might they might not some of you might be suffering relationally some of the most important relationships in your life are breaking down right before your very eyes and it's very difficult for you to see some you might be suffering financially you keep trying to make ends meet and you're not able to do that so it's very clear that we live in a broken simply looted world but someday we will be able to compare our future realized hope to what a sin infected world was like and that is going to lead us to glorify God That's what this hope is that God has given to us.
The only way you can have this hope is if you place your faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that's the only way you can have this hope if you're here today and if you not place your faith in Christ guess paying for your sins and that his resurrection from the dead gives you the hope of eternal life then you are without hope and if you don't have that hope Why would you go another minute without claiming this as your own. So what I want to do is give you the opportunity to claim this hope for yourself to say that yes God I want to be part of the plan that you have for me I want to live forever with you I want to be restored just like your word says and so all place my faith in your Son Jesus Christ and if you've never done that I invite you to do that right now I'd like everyone to to bow their heads the closer eyes and invite anyone here today who has never prayed that prayer and never taken hold of this hope that we have. Through our faith in Jesus Christ to simply pray this prayer to God and He will hear you just say in your heart. Your father I believe that you sent your son Jesus to die for my sins.
And I believe you raised him back from the dead so that we can have eternal life.
Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ alone for myself nation.
If you prayed that prayer right now for the first time today or if you've ever prayed that prayer you are a child of hope we have this hope let's praise God for this hope dear Lord we thank you so much for giving us hope when we get our eyes off you and we stop turning to your word for this kind of a perspective life can get really depressing when you get really frustrated because the world is not functioning as it should and that's so very clear to us but Lord as as believers and as people of your word I pray that we will take to heart this unique perspective that you've given to us that our hope is not in this life and there are of course things that we can hope for in this life and sometimes they come to pass and sometimes they don't but our hope is in what you will do in the future and so Lord as your word says we wait patiently for it but as we wait patiently Lord I pray that this this hope that you've given us will permeate the way that we think and the way that we act with the world around us and that the hope that you give us will produce a Nuss the desired result which we will look at your word next week to reveal what those things our Lord I pray that as we go out this week and the world will see that there is something different about us and that they will want to ask us about our hope thank you for the hope you've given to us in your Son Jesus Christ and it is in his name we pray amen and now May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all meant.