Word Alive! © 2020 Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 3, Nov., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakeable Hope…” Lesson 3, (Chap. 3)
Devotional Time: “Unshakeable Hope” (pp. 23-33)
Hope Against All Odds – In spite of all that we experience in life, we must remain “confident” in God’s divine authority to bring about change. At the core meaning of the idea of hope in the scriptures is the emphasis on God’s people maintaining an “expectant” belief in God intervening on our behalf. The hope we have in God is intended to remain with us throughout life. Our hope shouldn’t be evident only when times are difficult, but it should serve as the foundation of our continuing relationship with God (cf. Psalm 71:5; 14-15, NLT). Job, often is regarded in the Old Testament, as a person who suffered greatly, despite the fact that he was loyal to God. In the vortex of Job’s pain and anguish, he searched for a reason to have hope in God (cf. Job 14:14-15, NLT). It was shortly after Job probed the question of life beyond suffering, that he came to the realization that there was hope beyond his suffering (cf. Job 19:25-27, NLT). It is certain the turmoil and disruptions we face in life are baffling. There is a hope that God gives us; it inevitably helps us see the larger plan God has for us. The Apostle Paul told the early Christians that whatever we experience, God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (cf. Ephesians 1:11-12, NIV). Our hope in God honors (recognizes) his glory! One of the hallmarks of the Christian faith is an emphasis on the God who intervenes in history. This thought is not lost in the New Testament, where our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, brings us to a place where our lives become commensurate with God’s will and His great plan for the world’s redemption. Jesus taught us to pray to the heavenly Father, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10, NIV).” The “immediacy” of God’s presence is both desired and necessary in a world where the odds always seem against His children. As we look to God in the midst of turmoil and a season of disruption, we can take comfort in what Paul told the early Christians in Rome: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (cf. Romans 15:4, NIV). It is the Christ in us, and not the evils against us, who is our hope. Our faith, with its inherent hope, will help us “eagerly anticipate” sure change (cf. Colossians 1:27, NIV).
Hope In God, Who Prevails Over Evil – The scriptures define “evil” as the source of many aspects of human pain, suffering and division. One reason is because the Scripture personifies sin, evil, and wrong, as emanating from the diabolos, which is translated devil. The word means literally “to separate; tear apart; or to split.” In his very helpful devotional book, Unshakable Hope, Max Lucado says, “Satan will not linger long where God is praised and prayers are offered. Satan may be vicious, but he will not be victorious.” The scriptures teach us that when we’re spiritually equipped, we will be able to face all adversarial challenges (cf. Ephesians 6:10-12, NIV). Sometimes the disruption and injustice that occur in our lives is the result of forces and structures, which are working against us. Being fully prepared, as the Greek word, panoply, implies, strengthens our hope in God. The Old Testament prophet gave people much hope when he describes the future down fall of the king of Babylon. Isaiah’s prophecy is descriptive of how God can dismantle the systems and evils that work against us (cf. Isaiah 14:3-8, NLT). Some Bible students and teachers saw Isaiah’s prophecy as also being descriptive of Satan’s overthrow. Jesus, as Max Lucado says, spoke of Satan as a being who was the embodiment of evil. Jesus taught us to pray for protection against the evil one (cf. Matthew 6;13b, NLT: “But rescue us from the evil one.”) Jesus contrasted His mission from that of the devil. Jesus came to give and perpetuate life, but Satan came to destroy life (cf. John 10:10, NLT). Our hope is in Christ Jesus. The Christians addressed in the Epistle to the Hebrews were admonished, if they continued faithful to their call as Christians, their hope would remain (cf. Hebrews 3:6, NLT). Our hope in God will help us navigate our challenges, and will provide us with “a definite way forward.” The Apostle Paul said it would be a great tragedy if the only hope we have is confined to the present world (cf. I Corinthians 15:19, NLT). Paul was not advocating living an ascetic life, withdrawn and disengaged from the world. But he emphasized that our hope in Christ can help us live through and transcend the challenges we face. The enemy is already defeated! This is our hope.
What We Believe
There Is Hope In God, Against All Odds.
1. Evil seeks to bring harm and strife, but God will defeat it!
2. Christ is our eternal hope, against all evil!
Psalm 71:5;14-15, NLT
“O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord from childhood…But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more.”
Job 14:14-15, NLT
“Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death.”
Job 19: 25-27, NLT
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and He will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see Him for myself. Yes, I will see Him with my own eyes. I am over-whelmed at the thought!”
Ephesians 1:11-12, NIV
“In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything inconformity with the purpose of His will. In order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.”
Colossians 1:27, NIV
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Ephesians 6:10-12, NIV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Isaiah 14:3-8, NLT
“In that wonderful day when the Lord gives His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains, you will taunt the king of Babylon. You will say, “The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended. For the Lord has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule. You struck the people with endless blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally, the earth is at rest and quiet. Now it can sing again! Even the trees of the forest – the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon – sing out this joyous song: “Since you have been cut down, no one will come now to cut us down.
”John 10:10, NLT
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them rich and satisfying life.”
Hebrews 3:6, NLT“But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.”
I Corinthians 15:19, NLT
“And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.”