Word Alive! © 2021 Winter Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 19, Jan., 2021
Max Lucado, “Unshakable Hope…” Lesson 14, (Chap. 14)
Devotional Time: “Unshakable Hope” (pp. 153-165)
Hope: Confident In A God Who Keeps Us – It is possible in this life to exhaust our hope. This doesn’t mean that our hope is completely gone, but it’s the recognition that in our human frailty we may feel the outlook is very dim. In his very helpful devotional, Unshakeable Hope, author and pastor Max Lucado says simply, “Sometimes we just run out of hope. When we do, where can we turn?” This is an honest question, and a reasonable concern. Where do we turn when, despite our faith and best efforts, the situation we face doesn’t change? The Apostle Paul a man of great faith, cried out for an answer to the challenges he faced with humanness in a sinful world. Paul said, “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (Cf. Romans 7:24, NLT). Like many of us, Paul’s hope was not shattered, but it was challenged. He admitted, “The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord (cf. Romans 7:25a, NLT).” In his Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul told Christians that God never reneges on His promises, and the hope we have in Him is “an anchor for our souls (cf. Hebrews 6:18-19, NLT).” The Greek word agkura (ang-koo-rah0), translated “anchor” in our English text, means, “a place of support; a berth, as in a stationary place for a ship.” The scripture is saying our hope in God is in a “secure place.” Because God cares for us, and does not renege on His promises, our complete being (soul) provides a secure place for our hope. We can live with confident expectations of God fulfilling His promises (cf. Numbers 23:19, NLT; and, Isaiah 43:13, NLT). Max Lucado emphasizes that one translation of Jesus encouraging His disciples to remain vigilant in prayer reads: “Always pray and never lose hope” (Luke 18:1, NCV). When we lose hope, a part of us is diminished. Jesus encourages us “not to lose heart (KJV).” Our prayer life should strengthen” our resolve to believe in God’s promises. Max Lucado further advises, “When the storm hits, trust no one but God.” Our unswerving trust in God, will ensure that our hope will be anchored in our souls. The anchor that steadies and secures the vessel at sea is never seen. It is hidden beneath the waves and the buoys. The anchor, a curved piece of iron, is so designed to become secure in the floor of the sea. We have been created by God, who has designed our souls to become the anchor of our hope.
Hope: We Matter To God– The security of our hope is in the fact that “we matter to God.” This is illustrated in the Creation story. God caused the human He had formed, to possess life and the knowledge of God as the Creator (cf. Genesis 2:7, NLT). Adam as God’s created being is called, nephesh. Broadly, the term means, “a living-breathing soul, who has come into the knowledge of [has been refreshed with] purpose and identity.” These powerful words in the Book of Genesis serve the purpose of letting us know how much “we matter to God.” God is described in scriptures as One who is like a loving parent, who cares for us, and knows us completely (cf. Psalm 103:13-14, NLT). Our hope is grounded in the assurance that we can trust God for His promises. Life can become difficult, and what we ask for could be delayed. However, God always cares about us, and assuredly He will grant us what we need! Jesus has taught us not to be overcome with worry. He assures us that the God who created us is aware of our every need. Not only is God cognizant of our needs, but He will make sure we receive what we need (cf. Matthew 6:25-27, NLT). The scriptures never say that God’s children will not have to struggles. It is where our hope is anchored that makes a difference in our lives (cf. I Timothy 4:10, NLT). The Apostle Peter said, “For it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian…Keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you (cf. I Peter 4:16a; 19b, NLT). Paul reminded Christians that God is the “source of hope,” and that through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we will increase exponentially in “confident hope” (cf. Romans 15:13, NLT). Any of us could feel like giving up. It is our trust in God’s promises, to which we are heirs, that keeps our hope alive. Max Lucado concludes his book, Unshakeable Hope, saying: “Build your life on the promises of God. Since his promises are unbreakable, our hope will be unshakeable. The winds will still blow. The rain will still fall. But in the end you will be standing… on the promises of God.”
What We Believe
God’s promises are unbreakable; His hope unshakable.
1. Our hope is in a God who values our complete being!
2. Our hope is an anchor that will not allow us to drift from God!
Hebrews 6:18-19, NLT
“So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
Numbers 23:19, NLT
“God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human,so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?”
Isaiah 43:13, NLT
“From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”
Titus 1: 1b-2, NLT
“I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence thatt hey have eternal life, which God – who does not lie –promised them before the world began.”
Genesis 2:7, NLT
“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”
Psalm 103:13-14, NLT
“The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.”
Matthew 6:25-27, NLT
“This is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life –whether you have enough food and drink or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
I Timothy 4:10, NLT
“This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God,who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.”
Romans 15:13, NLT
“I pray that God, the source of hope. will fill you completely with all joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”