Word Alive! © 2021 Winter Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 5, Jan., 2021
Max Lucado, “Unshakable Hope…” Lesson 12, (Chap. 12)
Devotional Time: “Unshakable Hope” (pp. 127-139)
Hope In The Great Promise – When Jesus made the great promise of the Holy Spirit to His disciples, He was guaranteeing the source and fulfillment of their hope (cf. Acts 1:8, NLT). Our hope comes from the fulness of God’s presence in our lives. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came to God’s people and gifted them to complete a specific task. Only with the ascension of Jesus, did the Holy Spirit come to remain within the believer’s life. It is this permanence, or indwelling, that guarantees our ability to attain the blessings, and achieve the purposes, God has destined for us. The Spirit was spoken of in the Old Testament as the ruach, or “breath” given by God. This “breath” is essential for life (cf. Psalm 104:30, NLT). The psalmist is aware, as was the prophet Isaiah, that with the breath of God renewal in creation occurs (cf. Isaiah 32:15, NLT). The prophet Joel gave hope to the people of Israel suffering from drought, famine, and locust infestation. He assured them that a new day was coming when food insecurities would be resolved and everything they lost would be regained (cf. Joel 2:25a; 26, NLT). Joel also told the people that God would fulfill His promise of “pouring out His Sprit” on all of them (cf. Joel 2:28, NLT). The Old Testament pronouncement of the Holy Spirit’s coming was to “renew” God’s people. The prophecies provided much hope in desolate times! When Jesus came, He fulfilled that promises when He interceded with the Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit as a permanent companion and advocate (cf. John 14:16, NLT). In the glow of the Spirit’s advent after Pentecost, Peter boldly acknowledged the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (cf. Acts 2:16-21, NLT. In his devotional, Unshakeable Hope, author and pastor Max Lucado offers this: “Many believers settle for a two-thirds God. They rely on the Father and the Son but overlook the Holy Spirit…You certainly don’t want to make the mistake [of ignoring] the Spirit. Your Bible refers more than a hundred times to the Holy Spirit. Jesus says more about the Holy Spirit than he does about church or marriage.” Our hope should be grounded in “all” that God has for us as His children. We should remember that of the many things the Holy Spirit does in our lives, we are given gifts to resource our lives. It is the perpetual presence of the Holy Spirit within us, that enliven our hope! The great promise Jesus made of the Holy Spirit residing in us has occurred. We must honor’s the Spirit’s presence!
Our Hope is Guaranteed– The Christian’s hope is never in vain. It’s true there may be delays and periods of waiting for the things we desire, but the presence of the Holy Spirit in, and besides, us is a guarantee for our hope. Max Lucado says, “The Holy Spirt is central to the life of the Christian.” Jesus acknowledged that the world would not understand the Holy Spirit’s work in us, but that we (believers) would know Him (cf. John 14:17, NLT). As we fully desire, so should we fully believe in the promises of God. We should be reminded of what Jesus did not and did promise His disciples. Lucado says: “Imagine all the promises Jesus could have made to the disciples but didn’t. He didn’t promise immediate success. He didn’t promise the absence of disease or struggles. He never guaranteed a level income or popularity. But he did promise the perpetual, empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.” Christ could have chosen to guarantee of more worldly possessions to His disciples; but He also knew that by faith in Him, we also are the heirs of the promise made to Abraham (cf. Galatians 3:26-28, NLT). At the moment of our faith profession in Jesus Christ, we received the Holy Spirit’s presence, and the guarantee of God’s rich promises (cf. Ephesians 1:13b-14, NLT). Out faith and hope in God, through His son, Jesus Christ, should remove any doubt we might have about being free to fully accept God’s promises. It is the Holy Spirit who matures our spiritual character, so that we can become more like Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, NLT). As we become more like Jesus, we will experience more of the Holy Spirit guiding and leading us through our challenges. The Holy Spirit brings us hope in the form of gifts and blessings we never could have imagined, In his great letter to the Hebrews, Paul said, “And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever He chose (cf. Hebrews 2:4, NLT).” Our hope is in a God who, as Max Lucado says, “Is not like a two-sided tripod.” The scriptures declare that our God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit! The great and Divine nature of God is sufficient for all of our needs!
What We Believe
Our hope is in eagerly receiving all that God has for us!
1. The Holy Sprit’s presence is the assurance of God’s promises!
2. The Holy Spirit is the source and guarantor of our hope!
Psalm 104:30, NLT
“When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth.”
Isaiah 32:15, NLT
“Until at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven. Then the wilderness will become a fertile field, and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.”
Joel 2:25a; 26, NLT
“The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts… Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced.”
Joel 2:28, NLT
“Then after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”
John 14:16, NLT
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate who will never leave you.”
John 14:17, NLT
“He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.”
Galatians 3: 26-28, NLT
“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.“
Ephesians 1:13b-14, NLT
“And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.”
2 Corinthians 3:16-18, NLT
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is Spirit –makes us more and more like Him as