Sunday, December 6, 2009

Get your Hopes UP.

Today, the advent candle of HOPE was lit. Considering the past month of some very difficult situations, questioning, and tests- I have really gotten down and lost. I have spoken to some of you but for the others, let's just say that working in a drug and alcohol rehab, there is not always full success stories. In the process, I start to lose my hope in this whole thing. I feel like it is pointless what I am doing. Is there really a success story? Is it even possible to live a life completely free of these addictions and shame? I have seen REAL chains. I have seen women who love the Lord still fail and fall into these horrible, devastating pits of life. I started questioning the Lord and admitting that I was losing faith in Him. I was losing HOPE. Then, today I learned...

I. As humans, we place our hope in a lot of wrong places.

A. Personal achievements, human ingredients, what we can control or try to control, our successes, our Impact on others- WORKS.
- "Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though he slay me, yet will I Hope in him" Job 13:14-15
B. Depression, worry, anxiety, uncertainty, anxiousness, time, waiting- FEELINGS.
- "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 42:5
- "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12
C. Money, Wealth, Jobs, Security-NON-ETERNAL MATTERS
- "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their
hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with
everything for our enjoyment." 1 Timothy 6:17
- "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." 1 Cor.
- "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what
he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:24
D. Family, Friends, Ministry, Neighbors, Colleagues, Teammates- PEOPLE
- "Find rest, O my soul, in God ALONE; my hope comes from him. He ALONE is my
rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:5-6

II. Placing our Trust in the RIGHT HOPE

- "May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your
word." Psalm 119:74
B. HIS WORD is JESUS CHRIST-"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1

HOPE in Jesus Christ.

- "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-
controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the
blessed hope- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus
Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify
for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." Titus
- "Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear
to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that,
by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled
to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as
an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest
forever, in the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:17-20
- "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1
- "Father God, you have brought all things together in Christ-things both in heaven and
on earth. Therefore, we who have put our hope in Jesus our Messiah, praise His glorious
name." Ephesians 1:10,12
- "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches
of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
- "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 5:5
- "the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
" Psalm 147:11

III. Result in our lives

A. Love and Redemption
- "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. O' Israel, put your hope
in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption." Psalm 130:5,7
B. Endurance and Strength
- "...But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like
eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
- "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through
endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."
C. Purity in Heart and Mind
- "But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a
breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet." 1 Thess. 5:8
- "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known
But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who
has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." 1 John 3:2-3

hope in this world will disappoint every time. take HIS hope
and abandon ALL others.

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