Trusting God More Than You Fear the Future Series – “Fear vs. Hope”
July 26, 2020
FEAR VS. HOPE
Life is unpredictable. Wealth disappears, jobs end, relationships fail and good health isn’t even guaranteed. The good news is we have a Hope that transcends all these earthly problems. We have a Hope that is not dependent upon all the circumstances around us. We have a Hope that is eternal, living and powerful. With that Hope we can Trust God more and fear the future less.
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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, 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. (1 Peter 1:3-5) (857)
Faith in Jesus Christ brings a Hope to our hearts in the midst of storms that the world does not understand. Abraham had this kind of Hope. He had a Hope in God that was proved in his life. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:18-21a) (798)
Abraham’s Hope was in the fact that God could and would do as He had said He would, in spite of what the worldly evidence seemed to say. This Hope transcends earthly problems, personal problems, family problems and all the negative thoughts that swim around in your head every day.
There’s hope and then there’s “H”ope. Which do you have? “H”ope is bright-eyed with anticipation. Hope is fingertips and noses pressed to the windowpane. In Romans 4:18-21 Abraham believed, had Hope that God would do as He had said He would do. God told Abraham he would be the father of nations, though he was in his nineties and his wife Sarah was in her nineties. How would those two look forward to having children and that age, except that God had promised and Abraham believed.
This Hope we have is a Hope built on the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. This Hope is not something that can be scientifically proved in a lab, or on a mathematics chalk board. This Hope we have comes from our Faith in the solid Word of God and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter morn.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:15-20) (857)
I know the Faith in the Lord that many of you have and I know the Hope that each of you derives from this Faith. When you know this type of Faith, and you have this type of Hope, the problems of the world take their proper size and place: Bowing to God!
With the Hope Jesus gives us, problems of this world move from the fretting folder to the concerned folder to the no-problem folder. Jesus did not come, teach, heal and die on a cross for us to live in fear; or for us to fret about daily events.
In this world we are attacked from all sides by feelings, and fears that find their source in the enemy. Satan will attack you when you start realizing who you are in Christ. Too many times the fears of those around us rub off on us and we become caught up on their fears. So many “feelings” permeate our lives and the lives of those around us. Too many times we buy into it. Too many people buy into the fears of failure, temptation, guilt, fairness, cultural jealousy, and many other fears and feelings that the world tries to saddle us with. Jesus said we are not to live in fear, we are not to be timid, we are to be bold and live a life of Hope and Victory.
We have that “living Hope” as Peter tells us in 1 Peter. This living Hope is founded in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Fortress, and our Rock of Salvation.
The Hope-filled Christian sees things differently. Things that may bring fear to some in the world may only inconvenience us. We are called by Christ to a Hope-filled, Joy-filled life of Victory. No fear, no fretting, no whining. Hope is optimistic. Hope sees what others miss. We are called to a Hope that will not, cannot fail us. A Hope that can live in each of our hearts as Christ does. Hope and fear cannot exist in the same heart. One will drive the other out. As your Faith in Christ grows your Hope in Christ will grow. Feed your Faith and Hope, stay in the Word of God, stay in Prayer and stay in Fellowship and Communion with your Christian Sisters and Brothers. And have Hope!
Bostwick UMC 7/26/20
Deb Ruby says
Great sermon and great 1st attempt at recording! Not sure why the audio faded but it came back quickly. Thank you!