(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Hope when life seems hopeless.
Hope isn’t based on our circumstances. Hope is a choice based on the promises of God.
Life will have circumstances which can lead us to despair or hopelessness. But instead of choosing the path of despair, we can see suffering as a work of God not a reason to abandon God. The Apostle Paul certainly went through many life circumstance which would give reason for despair and discouragement. Yet, rooted in the reality of peace with God and a faithful God, he gives this perspective on suffering:
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 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.
The Apostle Peter also went through challenges both with the Lord Jesus right by him and after Jesus went to heaven. Yet, life and perspective changed when he encountered the risen Jesus. The hope meter escalated because he knew the best was yet to come. If hope is expectation of a better future, a living Jesus gives us the ultimate expectation of a better future…an inheritance in heaven. What could be better? And what could be better reason for hope when life is tough, to know in Jesus we have heaven waiting for us.
1 Peter 1:3 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. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
What challenge are you facing in life today? Health issues? Financial issues? Relationship issues? Job issues? Have you experienced loss? Disappointment? Discouragement? What happens when you see these challenges in perspective that one day you will join Jesus in heaven? How does it help you move beyond the immediate challenge to the promises of God.
I will say that each of us will still struggle with hopelessness at times. When we do, perhaps simply reread the resurrection accounts in the Gospels or one of these passages above. Let that turn your hopelessness into hope and remember this:
Christian hope is always anchored in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for a living and real hope found in the life, death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus. AMEN.