We begin with a brief review.
Hope is a wonderful thing, causing enthusiasm, excitement, involvement. We need hope in all of life--physically, medically, psychologically, familialy, on the job, at the church. Hope is a Bible concept, Bible word.
Previous study: hope and faith, where does hope come from, what comes from hope.
Today begin with question: What is opposite of hope? Discouragement! Not just hopelessness, but despondency, depression, discouragement.
With all the Bible says about hope, its necessity, importance, and value, have you noticed it is not in the list of Gal. 5:22? Nor is it in Col. 3:12ff. It is not even in Peter's list in 2 Pet. 1:5. Hope is a serendipity. It is a byproduct, it is not sought. God desires that we have hope, Rom. 15:13.
I. The NECESSITY of hope.
One could restate this point: the PRIORITY of hope. Hope is essential, important, valuable. Hope is a necessity of life. It is as necessary to the human spirit as is oxygen to the body. Without hope, one feels sensless and purposeless. These will destroy life.
Lack of hope is physically debilitating. Stresses on our mind can affect the entire body, and can even make one ill. Lack of hope determine medical success or failure. Absence of hope affects one psychologically with frustration, fatigue, withdrawal.
When hope is gone in the family, little remains but the divorce.
Spiritually, one's devotional and spiritual life withers when hope vanishes. We must learn this lesson. We will not study if there is no hope of learning; we will not attend if there is no hope of edifying. At the root of the majority of our problems is the question of hope--leadership, followship, teaching, even evangelism.
II. The PROVISION of hope.
Rom. 5:5, the source of hope. Christ is our hope, Eph. 2:12; Tit. 2:13; 1 Tim. 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:3,21. We have hope only through him, John 14:6.
We have hope through his--
One cannot hope simply because one desires to hope. The provision of hope is in Jesus Christ. One of my favorite Bible words expressing hope is nevertheless. Almost like regardless, but... Rom. 5:8. Jesus is our great nevertheless. He is the provider of our hope. Human hope is better than no hope, but is not the source of genuine hope. Human hope is inadequate for man's deepest needs because it begins and ends with us.
III. The POWER of Hope.
Therefore, we can/must go forth with hope. Hope is a great energizing force, 1 Pet. 1:3. We have a living, lively hope. We continue onward because of our hope, it buoys us, encourages us.
Hope also energizes--
What is wrong with us when our attitudes do not reflect Christ--we are just out of hope.
What is wrong with actions do not reflect God's will--hope is the problem.
Our world desperately needs a ministry of hope. A message sustained by God's promise in Christ, with a method sufficient to move from the tears and trauma of the present to confidence in the future. This is hope, and is available only in Christ. We must lay hold of that hope, Heb. 6:18.
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