Patience and Hope Part II
Synopsis of Bible Study 06/22/11
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Hope is something that is so critical to your survival as a believer that the Devil works overtime in this area to try and take you out. Think about the rate of suicide, depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse, in our society today. All of these things are really a result of people that feel that all hope is gone. Once the Devil robs you of your hope, you might as well take a car and run off into a river, because that is what the Devil wants you to do. The Devil wants to take your hope away!
I. How do we hold on to hope?
- 1 Corinthians 13:13 says 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – One of the key elements of the ideal Christian character is hope. Remember the bible says these abide faith, hope, and love. Of these 3, the greatest is love or charity.
- Hope is a major ingredient and element to our Christian character.
- When we talk about hope, we are talking about trustful expectation. We are talking about the ability to really trust in God’s word.
- When we trust God, according to Isaiah 49:23, we won’t be ashamed of waiting on the Lord. Isaiah 49:23b says … and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. –Wait in this scripture means hope.
- Hebrews 11:1 says 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -– Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith (or the word) of God is the stuff (or substance), that gives credibility or (that which justifies) what we are expecting. This is what hope is. The word is the stuff, the credible source that justifies what we are expecting. We would not hope for it if the word did not tell us it was going to come. Why would anyone hope for something, if the word didn’t say it was going to happen?
- The world loves to go after and hope for things in their own way (instead of God’s way). Proverbs 16:25 says 25There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. – It says there are ways that seems right to man, but the end is the way of death.
- Carnal hope is hopeless hope. It is that which is not of the spirit. When we hope in our flesh, we have to recognize that the world’s wealth cannot save us. The world’s resources, military power, and the world’s system can’t be trusted with our hope. Ex- So many people put hope in their finances. They think that the more they accumulate, the better off they will be. They think this is where their security is and therefore they hope in this. If there is anything the recession taught us it is that we can’t put our hope in our money. It can be here today and gone the next day. Some people even believe they can use their money and resources to make a spiritual exchange in terms of salvation, but Psalm 49:7 says 7None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: – – You can’t buy salvation.
- Psalm 49:8-9 says 8(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) 9That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. – In other words, all the stuff you are hoping for will one day have to be left behind. We need something that is eternal and something that can keep us no matter what.
II. Hope in God will never fail you
- You got to rejoice in the hope of God, while sharing in the glory of God. Romans 5:1-5 says 1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. – This scripture tells us the following:
- Justification is a part of the process of salvation – We are saved this way. We are regenerated. This means we turn from the world and turn to God. This is to re-genesis or to start over. When we turn from the world and turn to God, we have all the guilt and shame from the stuff we have done and as a result we don’t feel worthy enough to be here. God tells us that he justifies us. He makes it as if we have never done it. He acquits us from our guilt and stain. It is not that we are not guilty; he just chooses to give us an acquittal. In summary, we have been converted, we return to God, and he says that we have been justified by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Ex- Based on his word, we know we have been justified. Some people try to hold our past against us, but his word says we have been acquitted of our past. Regardless if you have an issue with me or not, the text says we have peace with God (verse1). You might have anxiety about my issues, but me and God are cool about it!
- We have access (verse 2) – We have been converted and acquitted and now God has opened up access to us. Doors have been opened up to us that others thought would not open up for us. We walk into those doors and we stand not in our arrogance, our pride, our degree, or our money. We stand on grace. Just like you might be surprised that we are here, we are more surprised that we here. We are standing on a job that we don’t deserve, standing in a house we don’t deserve, and standing in a program that we don’t deserve. Somebody reading this knows that it is grace that we stand in. Again we got converted, acquitted, doors opened up for us (which is access), and we stand in it by faith. We are in the door, but just because we are standing in the door, don’t mean we have accomplished everything God has for our life. We are in the door (started the program, the job, and etc…), but this isn’t where we are trying to end up. We are standing here grateful, because of grace.
- We are rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God (verse 3) – On a theological level, this verse indicates an apocalyptic theology. Apocalyptic deals with the end time of thing. For example, Revelation is an apocalyptic work, because it deals with the end of time. When you see the glory of God, it is the idea in Paul’s day that they were waiting for God to come back through Jesus Christ in his full glory. In a relevant and practical sense, we have been acquitted, we have been converted, doors have opened for us, and we are standing in this place by grace. I can’t believe that I am here, but I am here! We believe God for some things, because his word said it was going to happen. Verse 2 says I am rejoicing in the hope that God is going to show up.
- Hope is the manifestation of God’s promise. It is the belief that what God promised is going to manifest. We are giving God the glory. This isn’t an issue of faith; it is an issue of hope. Ex- In Mark 9, there is a father that takes his son to Jesus. The son has a dumb and deaf spirit. He took his son to Jesus, because he heard Jesus was a healer. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Jesus asks a series of questions. The father tells of his son foaming at the mouth and other things and Jesus asks how long he had been like this. The father says since he was a child. He asks Jesus to have compassion on the both of them. Jesus says all things are possible to those that believe. The father explains he doesn’t have a faith problem, because he believes. But he did ask Jesus to help his unbelief. That is hope. Ex- We fundamentally believe that God can restore our marriage by faith, but it ain’t looking good. That’s what hope is. We believe fundamentally that God can heal our body, but based on the report we got, it ain’t looking good. This is hope. You got faith, but hope is asking if it is going to manifest. We know God is able, but we are struggling with the manifestation of it.
- Now that we are clear on hope, let’s go back to Romans 5:2– We believe that God is going to show up. When the glory of God shows up, he is going to manifest what he said he was going to do. We could stand here and be negative and have a pity party, but we remember that God saved us, acquitted us, and opened the door up. God will never open a door up that he wasn’t going to manifest, because God don’t start nothing that he won’t finish. You can sit there and have a pity party if you want, but we got a feeling that God is going to show up!
- We have developed the capacity to give God the glory in the tribulation (Verse 3) – We are not in denial nor are we a religious fanatic. We have simply chosen in tribulation to give God the glory. Why is this? It is because of what we know. Ex- The world is looking at people that have no hope. They look at us and wonder what we know that they don’t know. This is what we know; we understand that tribulation produces perseverance. The trails we have gone through have made us a perseverer. We are a survivor of the stuff we have gone through. You can’t call yourself a survivor, if you haven’t survived anything. The stuff we went through had to be overcome in order for us to be called survivors.
- Surviving it gave me character (verse 4). – Character is behavior on display. Ex – Based on what we have gone through, we don’t have time to key your car or time for breaking the windows out of your car, because we have character. We have been through too much to let you pull us down to your level. Some people are going to look at your character and they will be saying crazy stuff to you to challenge your character. You will be able to prove your character to them. It will be proven by the mere fact that they are not on the floor and we are not in jail. They ought to give God the glory we are not where we used to be! It is our character that has produced hope. Backing the text up: People who have hope, are people of high character.
III. People of high character have survived significant trials.
- Even though we have hope in God, we are still going to face challenges. 1 Peter 3:14 says 14But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; -Even if you suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed- Don’t be afraid of their threats or trouble. Sanctify the Lord in your heart and be ready to give defense for the reason you have hope within you. Ex- You should always be ready to tell people how you got to this place of hope. We been through things and survived them and they produced character. Trials can produce character. For example, you might promise the Lord that you will be in church every Sunday if he gets you out of this. Trials produce character. In a hopeless world, people need to know where our hope comes from.
- Christians are not just wishful thinking or dreaming. It is not just presumption on our behalf. It is not just yearning or longing for a thing. It is not just positive thinking or an anticipated waiting game. It is confident expectation. We are confidently expecting God to do something or to manifest something in our life. It comes from the Greek verb 1679. elpizo el-pid’-zo which means to expect.
- Christian hope is personally based. It is not hope in one thing, but instead hope in someone. 1 Timothy 1:1 says 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; – The bible says our hope is in Christ Jesus. Paul greets them and says his hope is in Christ Jesus. When we begin to access and appropriate this hope, we realize that it is hope in the finished work of Jesus Christ. In John 19:30 says 30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. – After been given the bitterness, Jesus said, “It is finished”. What does that mean in relationship to hope? It means Jesus took our sins. It should have been us on the cross, but Jesus paid a price that he didn’t even know for you and I. Jesus recognized that in order for us to be redeemed, something had to die. Consequently he became the Lamb of God slain from the foundations of the world for the remissions of our sins. That is how we got saved. Jesus died on his own terms. When he said it is finished, he transacted heavenly business. At that moment, he moved from death to life. The moment Jesus said it was finished, we lived when he died. 3 days later, Jesus rose from the grave to give us a powerful moment of hope. When the world thought it was over, he rose. This is where our hope is. Why? It is because when you begin to look at all the problems that you go through, tell me one thing that is greater than a dead Jesus on Easter Sunday morning that God raises up. If you have something bigger than that you need to make it known. There is nothing we are going through bigger than that. If God can raise a dead Jesus on Easter Sunday morning, then we know God can pay our rent, pay our tuition, and heal our body. Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. Dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
- Remember the Devil has a systematic approach in hope. The devil is calculated in how it attacks a believer’s hope. Ex- The attack on Job was really about his hope. He told God if he took Job’s stuff away, he would curse him to his face. The Devil thought he would take his hope away and make him a desperate and mad man. When God allowed the Devil to come in, the Devil started a systematic attack against Job’s hope.
- How did Satan’s systematic attack begin? Economically, physiologically, psychologically, domestically, socially, and theologically.
- Hope- The devil comes in and takes his money – Economically. No matter how much word you quote, when your money is under attack, we act different. It can really mess with you.
- When you are attacked economically, it will make you sick. This is physiologically.
- When you stay sick long enough, it effects you psychologically. You start having conversations with yourself. You begin contemplating things you never have, because you are under psychologically attack.
- Now that Satan has you almost crazy, he will attack domestically. The place that should be safe, he will make chaotic. Jobs wife said he should just curse God and die. Job says she is crazy. Now there is drama inside the attack and inside Job’s home.
- We look for an escape. Now we are attacked socially. Our friends like Job, want to know what we did to cause this attack
- Now we have problems with our theology. We want to know what is really going on. It is a theological attack. He is after our hope. Satan wants us to doubt that God is going to manifest what he promised. When Job was under all these attacks, he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” Job says in essence, he doesn’t care what it looks like, he was still going to hope in God, because he knew that God has the power to turn his situation around.
- There was a prophet in the Old Testament that had the assignment to bring judgment upon the people of God. His assignment was to cry out. For 50yrs he did this. Nobody paid him any attention. His assignment was to cry out, even though people wouldn’t pay him any attention. He was called the weeping prophet. Jeremiah got to the point he wanted to resign, because he thought it was hopeless. Ex- What is the point? I am not making a difference? They are laughing at me (Jeremiah 20) says Jeremiah. Later on Jeremiah said his word (God’s word) was like fire, shut up in his bones. We come to tell you that God can ignite a fire back in your life. God sent a word to tell you that you can’t quit or give up. God can ignite a fire and tell you to run on and see what the end is going to be.
- Jeremiah comes to a place of extreme contemplation. He is the author of two books in the bible; Jeremiah and Lamentation (which means to lament, cry, weep or whale). In chapter 3, he says he feels like wormwood being eaten from the inside out. Now it is starting to affect him. He knows God exists, but it doesn’t look good. He feels like his hope is about to leave him. He says this in a moment of extreme frustration and weariness. But this is what I recalled to my mind. Therefore I have hope, it is because of the Lord’s mercies that I am not consumed, and they are renewed every morning. Great is his faithfulness! You could have been consumed, but you ought to thank God you are in hope! You will not quit or put a razor to your wrist. God is going to heal you completely. God said he is going to provide for you and he will. Whatever you do, do not lose your hope!