Wednesday, November 27, 2019

An Eternal Living Hope

This message was preached by Navaz D at Word ofGrace Church on November 24th, 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

There are some truths more important in life than others. Not every truth is on the same plane and it has a different effect on us

Eg) America lies in the northern hemisphere. True or false? You will get burnt if you put your hand in the fire. True or false? Both statements are true but they hold different values for us.
I am going to read a few scriptures.

Heb 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
Rom 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame/disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us
Ps 39:7 My hope is in you
Ps 62:5 Rest in God alone O my soul for my hope comes from Him.
1Cor 13:13 And now these three things remain – faith , hope and love…
Colossians 1:27 Christ in you the hope of glory
1Pet 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.

This brings me to my topic. “  An Eternal Living Hope ”
Paul in 1 Cor 13:13  said now these 3 things remain: faith, hope, and love. Why did he pick these 3 and not prayer or evangelism etc?
Faith – because without it we can’t see God and cannot experience new birth and most importantly cannot please God.
Love – because it is the first, greatest and the new commandment to not only love God, but to also love one another. Without love, everything amounts to nothing.
Hope Why Hope? Have you thought about it? I have been pondering on this for a few weeks now.

Lets look at 1Peter 1:3-8
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. This inheritance is 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. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 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. 

Because we believe in Jesus we have a living Hope and an inheritance that will never spoil not fade.

The oxford dictionary says Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
Wanting something to happen or be the case. A feeling of trust.

While the above are true and even used in the bible, the biblical usage of the word hope is this.

Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future — it expects it to happen. And it not only expects it to happen — it is confident that it will happen. There is a moral certainty that the good we expect and desire will be done.

What or who you hope in is important.

So the object of our hope is important.
The object of our HOPE is in the truth that God is eternal, immortal, unchanging, infallible and constant. Our Hope is something that should not waver because it is rooted in the faithfulness of God.

 Faith and hope to work together. Rom 4:18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations,
In other words, whenever faith in God looks to the future, it can be called hope. And whenever hope rests on the word of God, it can be called faith. John Piper

Nothing has taken him by surprise, and never will.  Not even the fall of his most beautiful creation- us.
Salvation was not a plan B. Hope has always been anchored in eternity. Hope was defined in eternity past before the foundations of the world were laid.
We know this because in Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

So HOPE was birthed before doubt destroyed the divine destiny God has for the pinnacle of his creation – us.

If you make any finite object your hope viz.  money, career, relationship, job you can loose hope when these things are stripped away from you. Hope anchored in anything temporal is hopeless.

That is why a living hope that will never die is what we need.

1.   Hope brings perspective just as hopelessness does.
Victor Franklin who survived the concentration camps in Germany during WWII said the ones that gave up hope are the ones that did not survive.
Christians are different from any other being on the planet because of this one but very vital truth in our lives called HOPE. Not any hope – it is an ETERNAL LIVING HOPE

Why is it important?

Eg) Two men were hired to do the same job. One was paid Rs 10,000 and the other 10 lakhs. After a couple of months, the one who was paid 10k started to grumble and complain.  They were experiencing the same situation but they had different outlooks. Their outlook was colored by their future expectations.

What we believe about our future controls how we experience the present.

ETERNAL LIVING HOPE is at the core of the gospel. The gospel is not about good ethics and living right. If that were all, we don’t need the Christian faith as there are many religions with good ethics being taught.

This ETERNAL LIVING HOPE is certain – It is of no value if you are not sure. The resurrection of Jesus is the way to be certain. It achieved its purpose. The cross paid the demands of sin, therefore, the resurrection.

2. Hope gives meaning to life
 that suffering can try and take away from us.
V6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 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. 

Peter was writing to people who were suffering a great deal for their faith. Some were killed, tortured, property confiscated etc.

He tells them to rejoice because this suffering is but for a little while and that, their coming through the fire of trials will result in them getting V7.  Praise glory and honor from Jesus himself.

Trails and suffering open up the human soul and expose
its foundations. Life only has meaning if we have hoped that even death cannot destroy.

 We get this through Jesus our living hope.

 The word suffering is the same word used to describe Jesus suffering in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was saying that his soul was crushed with agony and suffering.

Peter says you can suffer and experience joy at the same time because you have not put your hope in circumstances. Jesus sweated drops of blood and cried for the cup to be taken away. There was no pretense and false bravado.

 When you run away from facing hurt and sorrow, you refuse to allow yourself to grieve and you get angry and harden your heart through indifference or anger, which can make you bitter or cynical

When we face our sorrow, it softens us and makes us compassionate.
Imagine Jesus endured suffering for the joy and hope set before him. Jesus did not endure the cross to get a crown. His prize was our redemption. That is what he died and suffered for i.e the joy of seeing that spurred him on. Is 53:11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,  and he will bear their iniquities.

We are Jesus’ living hope and He is our living Hope. So when our lives are deeply hidden in Christ he becomes our living hope that transcends time, trials and tears.

Peter is asking us to greatly rejoice in this fact that when we have overcome all this we will receive praise, glory and honor when Jesus is revealed and the end of all things has come.

We will be able to endure hardships, sickness, loss, and all kinds of injustices and problems because we have an eternal perspective to everything that we go through here on earth.

We know that nothing we go through is in vain. There is an eternal living Hope – to be united with Jesus, to be with Him in paradise where there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears.

There are crowns awaiting us, mansions prepared and cities to rule and all this for enduring a few years on earth for a life with Jesus that will go on forever and ever.

This my friends is the Eternal Living Hope – Jesus himself. And as if that were not enough, he has rewards to give us as well.

Have you anchored in the Eternal Living Hope? Let us remind ourselves and encourage each other with this truth.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto 

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