Word Alive!© 2020Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 27, Oct., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakeable Hope…” Lesson 2, (Chap. 2)
Devotional Time: “Unshakeable Hope” (pp. 15-22)
Hope: A Reflection of God – One of the great promises God made was that He would create humankind to reflect His nature. What we know of God from the scriptures is reflected in His creation. The most telling of God’s attributes, are those which He has permitted us to reflect. These are called “communicable attributes,” because they are shared with and can be a part of His human creation (cf. Genesis 1:27, NLT). Reflecting the divine nature of God, does not make us God. We express His love, compassion, forgiveness, and hope. In the very helpful devotional book, Unshakable Hope, author Max Lucado comments, “Embedded in these words is the most wonderful of promises: God made us to reflect the image of God.” He says further, “God created us to be more like him than anything else he made.” Our hope should always be grounded in the promises God has made on our behalf. As we grow deeper in our relationship with God, the basis of our hope is that we will change and things will become better (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT). Our hope becomes more evident when we mature in our faith, and become “more like” God (cf. Colossians 3:10, NLT). The word “likeness” in the Genesis passage, is translated from the Hebrew word, d’mu^wth (dem-ooth), which means “to resemble.” What is implied is a “similarity in manner.” Our assurance in life then, is derived from God’s promise that we can reflect His attributes, and become hopeful, rather than doubtful. We have been created after God’s image and likeness. Max Lucado says, “Sin has distorted this image [in us], but it has not destroyed it.” The Apostle Paul prayed that “the source of hope” for the early Christians would fill them with the attributes of God as Creator (cf. Romans 15:13, NLT). Paul explained further that the Christian’s hope would become more “confident” through fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Our hope should be a reflection of God in us. Because life has an ebb and flow, we’re often discouraged. Turbulent times can cause people to give in, with a feeling of hopelessness. In such a season, we should take seriously the promises of God. We have been created for God’s glory, and because we’re made in His image and likeness, we have the assurance that His promises will be fulfilled. Solomon concluded that God has made us beautiful and has placed eternity [hope] in our hearts (cf. Ecc. 3:11;14a, NLT).
The Hope in Us – We should be cautious not to look for hope in the wrong places. Our over saturated information/digital age can easily mislead us. David avoided looking to the secular world for hope (cf. Psalm 17:14-15, NLT). Like David, we should look inwardly to our relationship with God for the hope and help we need. Max Lucado shares this candid warning: “Pop psychology is wrong when it tells you to look inside yourself and find your value. The magazines are wrong when they suggest you are only as good as you are thin or muscular…According to the Bible you are good simply because God made you in his image. Period. He cherishes you because you bear a resemblance to him.” The Apostle Paul told Christians that at the moment of salvation we were “given hope” (cf. Romans 8:24, NLT). The hope is present, although we often don’t realize this until we’ve matured in our faith. In the New Testament, hope is derived from the wonderful Greek word, elpis (el - pece). The term means “to anticipate;’ or, “to expect.” The expectation that hope brings is never halting or hesitant. The word conveys a sense of joy! The hope that is inherent in faith is always certain (cf. Hebrews 11:1, NLT). For all who struggle with embracing hope, we are reminded in the scriptures that the Holy Spirit is at work to fill our hearts with love, so we cancome to actualize the hope that has been given to us (cf. Romans 5;5, NLT). A difficult season in a person’s life could cause them to lose grip on their faith. The members in the churches of Ephesus and Laodicea were encouraged not to waver in the hope they affirmed. A crisis should galvanize the fellowship of believers to stand together in hope and in the care of each other (cf. Hebrews 10:23-24, NLT). In this sense, hope is communal and personal. In difficult times, we must motivate each other, as we affirm our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. God spoke to the people through the prophet Jeremiah. They were facing exile in Babylon and the destruction of their temple and capital city. God assured the people that He had plans for them, and that He would restore them with a future and a hope (cf. Jeremiah 29:11, NLT). In our season of upheaval, God’s promises are still sure!
What We Believe
Of all things in creation, God created us to be like Him.
1. Our hope is in the great promises of God!
2. Our hope will increase, as we understand Gods promises!
Genesis 1:27, NLT
“So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God, He created them. Male and female He created them.”
2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”
Colossians 3:10, NLT
“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.”
Romans 15:13, NLT
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through thepower of the Holy Spirit.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11; 14a, NLT
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end… And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it…”
Psalm 17:14-15 NLT
“By the power of your hand, O Lord, destroy those who look to this world for their reward. But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants. Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake. I will see your face to face and be satisfied.”
Romans 8:24, NLT
“We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don’t have to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
Hebrews 11:1, NLT
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we can.”
Romans 5:5, NLT
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, for He has given us the Holy Spirit to feel our hearts with His love.”
Hebrews 10:23-24, NLT
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
Jeremiah 29:11-12, NLT
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.”
disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, for He has given us the Holy Spirit to feel our hearts with His love.”Hebrews 10:23-24, NLT“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.Jeremiah 29:11-12, NLT“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.”