Posts Tagged ‘Hope

17
Nov
17

Rejoicing In Trials

Peter wrote his first letter to a persecuted church. He told them about the inheritance that awaited them in Heaven. He told them that no matter what trials and tests of their faith may have come, nothing could take their inheritance away. This inheritance was their reason for joy. Peter continued:

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. – 1 Peter 1:6 (NIV)

The promises of God are our reason for joy. If we face trials of various kinds that test our faith, we can still have joy. Joy is different than happiness. No one is happy about trials and tests, but they can be a reason for joy. Happiness usually depends on circumstances. Joy depends on our Savior. Circumstances change, Jesus doesn’t. His love and our hope are eternal. Whatever trial or circumstance you’re going through, it can change for better or worse. Jesus won’t change on you, though. Your hope is secure.
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15
Nov
17

A Living Hope

According to the Apostle Peter, the resurrection of Jesus gave us two things: a new birth and an inheritance. He writes:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. – 1 Peter 1:3-​4a​ (NIV)

This new birth and inheritance are given to us by God’s mercy through the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead means that our hope is real. Our hope is alive because Jesus is alive! The hope we have is not some wish or a dream. It is real and it will not die or fade away. For nearly 2,000 years Christians have held on to this hope that we have in the resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ. If you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and at the end of your hope, know that Jesus is alive and because He is alive, you have a living hope in Him.
15
Sep
17

The Hope We Have

As children of God, we have hope in Christ that when Jesus appears, we will not only see Him, but we will be taken to our heavenly home to be with Him forever. John wrote:

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. – 1 John 3:2-3 (NIV)

What is your hope that you have? Is it the hope of Heaven?  Or is it merely a hope that things may get better in this life? Do you know where you’re going when you die? If you are a child of God who has been saved and forgiven through Jesus, your hope is in Heaven. Don’t forget that today! When you face trials and tests, remember that there is so much more waiting for you beyond this life. These things will pass, but your hope will remain.
07
Aug
17

We Have Hope

Followers of Jesus are living for more than this life. We have a hope beyond the seventy or eighty years we get on this planet. We are living for the billions of years we will live in Heaven with Christ. Proverbs says that we should neither be afraid of those who seek to do us harm nor should we be jealous of those on whom God’s judgment will fall. Proverbs 24 says:

Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,

20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
    and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. – Proverbs 24:19-20 (NIV)

There’s no reason to be afraid because we’ve got nothing to lose. No matter what persecution may come, our hope is in Heaven. No matter how the wicked may prosper in this life, they have no hope of eternity. Don’t worry about the temporary pain or difficult circumstances of this life. Instead, keep your eyes on Heaven. Heaven awaits and the One who waits for us there keeps His promises.
02
Jan
17

Thankful For Another Year

The first message of 2017 from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This talk is based on Psalm 65.

06
Dec
16

Come Back To The Manger

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. — Luke 2:16-20 (NIV)

I love that the shepherds returned to the manger after telling everyone about the baby that was born there.  It’s almost as if they had to go back to see it with their own eyes again.  I think that this is why we celebrate Christmas every year.  We need to return to the place where it all began.  We need to journey back to Bethlehem and visit the manger once again.  We need to be reminded of how God put on flesh and became like us.  That God took on human form in the person of Jesus Christ.  He felt what we feel.  He breathed the air we breathe.  He wept like we weep and He laughed like we laugh.  Jesus was real and it all started the same way we all started out: as a tiny baby.  The gift of that tiny baby is the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive.  May our lives be lived in gratitude and thanksgiving for the manger of Bethlehem and for the baby that the shepherds found there.  The journey to Calvary and our forgiveness began there and that is why we need to go back there this year.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for becoming like one of us. Thank You for the hope that You brought to earth. Thank You for the peace that You bring into my life. Amen.

28
Sep
16

No Disappointment In Hope

…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. — Romans 5:2b-5 (NIV)
I’ve spent this morning talking with several people who are having a tough time of things.  There’s the woman whose sister has cancer.  There’s the family that is facing hard times on two different fronts.  There’s the young man whose baby has a mysterious illness.  There’s the woman facing a possible surgery soon.  All of them sound broken and beat up by life.  They are facing times of hopelessness and disappointment.
It is so hard to focus on the positive aspects of trials and tribulations when we are in the midst of them.  When we are in the thick of the frustrations and disappointments of life, it is so difficult to say, “This is making me stronger!  This is helping my faith grow!”  No!  We get angry and we weep and we sigh and we cry some more.  We want answers and we don’t want to wait for them.  We want things to go our way for once!  We don’t want easy Sunday school answers.  We want real hope in a time of hopelessness.  We want stability in an unstable world.  We want things to stay the same when everything is changing all around us.
The good news is that God doesn’t change.  His love doesn’t change.  His character never changes.  His Word never changes.  Hope doesn’t change.  He is there, loving us with a fierce, compassionate love as a father loves his child.  He is merciful and He is kind.  He gives peace in the midst of the storm.  He gives hope, even in the midst of the disappointments of life.  He showers us with blessings even when we can’t see them.  May He pour out His love on you and give you hope today.
PRAYER: Father God, we are in need of hope in our country and in our lives. We know that You are the source of hope. Help me to not feel discouraged and disappointed by the difficult circumstances of my life and to know that You will work everything out for the best possible good. In Jesus’ name, amen.



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