Word Alive! © 2020 Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 10, Nov., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakeable Hope…” Lesson 4, (Chap. 4)
Devotional Time: “Unshakeable Hope” (pp. 35-45)
Hope, Because We’re Heirs – In his very helpful devotional book, Unshakable Hope, author and pastor Max Lucado recalls the tragic experience of Mr. Timothy Henry Gray. Mr. Gray’s body was found beneath a highway overpass in Wyoming, and an autopsy revealed he died from hypothermia. Lucado said Mr. Gray was “the victim of bad breaks and bad luck.” What’s also shocking, is Mr. Gray likely died an heir to a relative’s estate. He could have been worth about $19 million dollars. As Christians, our lives are directed and sustained by the “hope” we have in God’s promises. The Greek word (elpis) which is translated in Scripture, means “an anticipated happening.” The scriptures teach us that we should never feel that we’re bereft of resources because we are “heirs and joint-heirs” of God’s promises (cf. Romans 8:15-17, NLT). The Greek term kleronomos, means “a portion; or, “to partition or divide.” In the culture of the Old Testament, a person had to be a descendant of the benefactor to become an heir. This is described in the life of Abraham with Isaac, and with all who are his descendants by faith (cf. Genesis 15:4-6, NLT). In the Genesis passage, and much throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew term yarash, which is translated “heir,” means “give t0;” or “to possess.” The terms whether Hebrew or Greek induce a sense of anticipation for receiving something given by someone else. Our hope is predicated on a sense of expectation that we are heirs of God’s blessings (cf. Galatians 3:28-29, NLT). The Hebrew term also suggests a retrieving of something unfairly confiscated. God told the prophet Jeremiah that Israel would “reclaim” what their enemies (the Ammonites) had taken from them (cf. Jeremiah 49:3c). During turbulent times in our lives, it’s easy to surrender our will to the circumstances we’re encountering. This is especially so when we’ve experienced losses during the difficult period. Max Lucado says, “The gauge may be bouncing on Empty, but I will not run out of fuel.” Our hope is in the fact that we are the beneficiaries of the resources God has reserved for us. Lucado says because our hope is in a God of provision, “You have everything you need to be everything God desires.” He says further, “God is affluent! Wealthy in love, abundant in hope, overflowing in wisdom.” Hope assures us that God will surely come to our rescue!
Hope In God’s Sure Promises – In the great Christian hymn, The Solid Rock, one of the verses read: “His oath, his covenant and blood, support me in the whelming flood…” This is an obvious reference to the Apostle Paul’s strong defense of God, who by His oath and promise has become the source of our hope (cf. Hebrews 6:17-19, NLT). There could never be much hope in anyone who fails to be truthful. Our hope is in the One for whom it is “impossible to lie.” The hope that Israel had in the Promise Land, was their belief in what God had secured for them. The distance from Goshen, where the Israelites lived in Egypt, to Canaan was an 11-day journey. It was the people’s unbelief and disobedience that caused them to wander in the wilderness before being settled in Canaan. God caused Israel to wander, until a new generation emerged who would obey Him. Even after entering the Promise Land (Canaan), it took seven years of war against 31 kings, before the promise was fulfilled (cf. Joshua 1:1-3, 5; 24; 28, NLT). God will sometimes cause us to detour, but because He does not lie, His promises are sure! Max Lucado says, “It comes down to a simple decision to believe and receive your position as an heir of God and coheir with Christ.” However difficult life may be, the assurance of our hope is grounded in the promises of God, and His son, Jesus Christ. In our prayers we must be confident in letting God know that we never want our hope to be crushed (cf. Psalm 119:116-117, NLT). Hope gives us confidence and joy, regardless of how difficult things are (cf. Proverbs 10:28, NLT). It is the challenges we face in life that cause our hope to be eclipsed. If we fail to have hope, we will be reluctant to lay claim to the things God has reserved for us. Max Lucado says passionately, “It’s time for you to live out your inheritance.” The absence of hope will cause us to never envision our inheritance. Hope is compared to “trees planted along a riverbank.” (cf. Jeremiah 17:7-8a, NLT). The position of the tree is important, because close proximity to water is necessary for life and growth. It is the fibrous root system that absorbs the water, which is vital to the life and future of the tree. We are heirs of God’s rich promises. Hope in God makes us aware of the provisions and promises God has reserve for us.
What We Believe
Our Hope In God, Strengthens Our Confidence.
1. We must claim God’s promises as His heirs!
2. Jesus Christ has made us co-heirs with Him!
Romans 8:15-17, NLT
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father. “For His Spirit joins with our spirits to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.”
Genesis 15:4-6 NLT
“Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir. For you will have a son of your own who will be your heir. Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to Him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
Galatians 3: 28-29, NLT
“There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. 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.”
Jeremiah 49:3c, NLT
“Then Israel will take back the land you took from her, says the Lord.”
Hebrews 6:17-19, NLT
“God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change His mind. 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 trust-worthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
Joshua 1:1-3,5; 24:28, NLT
“I promise you what I promised Moses: “Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you…No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you… Then Joshua sent all the people away to their own homelands.”
Psalm 119:116-117, NLT
“Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed. Sustain me and I will be res-cued; then I will meditate continually on your decrees.”
Proverbs 10:28, NLT
“The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8a, NLT
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.”