Word Alive! © 2020 Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 1, Dec., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakeable Hope…” Lesson 7, (Chap. 7)
Devotional Time: “Unshakeable Hope” (pp. 69-79)
Hope: The Lord Understands Us – An important aspect of hope is knowing that we are heard and understood by the Lord. God is compassionate. He sent Jesus Christ to live as we live, to identify with our needs (cf. Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT). Because Jesus has experienced life in human flesh, we are confident that He understands our pain and challenges. In his devotional, Unshakable Hope, author and pastor Max Lucado says: “We have a high priest who is able to understand. Since he understands, we find mercy and grace when we need it…. We are not left to languish. When we fall, we are not forgotten. When we stumble, we aren’t abandoned. Our God gets us.” God cares about us so much that in all of creation, He takes a special interest in us (cf. James 1:16-18, NLT). Our hope is also encouraged in the fact that God is never tentative or whimsical. His divine character remains the same! In seasons of distress, or moments of difficulty, we are assured that our hope is in a God who is trustworthy. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian Christians that God is merciful and the source of all comfort (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:1-5, NLT). The Greek word used that’s translated “comfort” in that passage is paraklesis, a form of parakaleo, which means “to be near.” The inference is that Jesus as Intercessor, is accessible to us when we need Him. Confident that the Lord is with us in our struggles is the basis of our hope in a world that is fraught with unexpected challenges. Knowing that Jesus is “near” assures us that we are not alone. Whatever our needs are, the Lord is aware of them, and will stand with us as we seek to obtain the necessary resources. Max Lucado says of Jesus, “The One who hears your prayers understands your pain.” Jesus journeyed a long distance to experience life as we do, so that He could “understand our weaknesses.” There are some who believe that Jesus could not have been fully human, but He was. He slept, ate, cried, laughed, became angry, and even His soul became troubled. Incarnation is the wonderful word given to us to describe Jesus’ coming to earth. It is comprised of the Latin prefix “in” and the base word, “caro” (flesh). The word verifies the fact that Jesus came to earth in “human flesh.” The Anointed One (“Christ”) came as Jesus the Nazarene, to live among us and to offer us hope. Because Christ knows us entirely, we have full confidence in Him!
Our Hope Is In Christ, Who Lived As We Do – The description of Jesus coming to the world and becoming “flesh that dwelled with other humans,” was a profound statement in the Gospel of John. The apostle addressed a community that did not believe it was possible for a deity to live as humans live. John described hope in a Savior who identifies with people, in contrast to the deities who had no human contact with their devotees. Not only did Jesus “live among us,” but His unfailing love, compassion, and grace was “seen by many “(cf. John 1:14, NLT). When a person is in need, they are apt to have more confidence in someone whom they feel knows them and can identify with their feelings. The only human frailty Jesus did not do was sin. However, He was aware of temptation, and was challenged, without succumbing to its power (cf. Hebrews 4:15, NKJV). Although Jesus did not sin, He experienced the pain and weight of sin on our behalf. Max Lucado says, “In his grandest deed, He volunteered to feel the consequences of sin. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). The Apostle Paul says our acceptance of Christ makes us “heirs” of God (cf. Galatians 4:4-7, NLT). As sons and daughters of God, we have the assurance of His promises. To know that Jesus cared for persons in need, we should look only to the Gospel record (cf. Matthew 9:35-36, NLT). A weary and tired Jesus, took time to care for the suffering and marginalized. His humanness neither dimmished His divinity, nor ability to heal (cf. Matthew 14:14, NLT). Max Lucado says, “Because Jesus [was] human, he understands you. Because He is divine, He can help you.” He says further, “So human he could touch his people. So mighty he could heal them. So human he spoke with an accent. So heavenly he spoke with authority. So human he could blend in unnoticed for thirty years. So mighty he could change history and be unforgotten for two thousand years…” Our hope can be realized also, when we pray to God in the confidence that He will give us those resources that are consistent with His will for us (cf. I John 5:14, NLT). Our confidence is in a Savior who knows us!
What We Believe
Our hope is in Jesus who lived as we do.
1. Jesus came to live with us, that we might live with Him!
2. Jesus gives us confidence in the promises He has made!
Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT
“So then since we have a greatHigh Priest who has enteredheaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what webelieve. This high priest of oursunderstands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do, yet he did notsin. So let us come boldly tothe throne of our graciousGod. There we will receivemercy, and we will find graceto help us when we need it most.”
James 1:16-18, NLT
“So don’t be misled my dearbrothers and sisters. Whateveris good and perfect comesdown to us from God ourFather, who created all thelights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose togive us His true word. And weout of all creation, became Hisprized possession.”
2 Corinthians 1:1-5, NLT
“All praise to God, the Fatherof our Lord Jesus Christ. Godis our merciful Father andthe source of all comfort. Hecomforts us in all our troublesso that we can comfort others.When they are troubled, wewill be able to give them thesame comfort God has givenus. For the more we suffer forChrist, the more God will shower us with His comfortthrough Christ.”
John 1:14, NLT
“So the Word became humanand made His home amongus. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And wehave seen His glory, the gloryof the Father’s one and onlySon.”
Galatians 4:4-7, NLT
“But when the right time came, God sent His Son, bornof a woman, subject to the law.God sent Him to buy freedomfor us who were slaves to thelaw, so that He could adopt us as His children. God hassent the Spirit of His Son intoour hearts, prompting us tocall out “Abba, Father.” Nowyou are no longer a slave butGod’s own child. And since you are His child. God has made you His heir.”
Matthew 9:35-36, NLT“
Jesus traveled through allthe towns and villages of thatarea, teaching in the syna-gouges and announcing theGood News about the King-dom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, Hehad compassion on thembecause they were confusedand helpless.”
Matthew 14:14, NLT“As soon as Jesus heard thenews, He left in a boat to aremote area to be alone. Butthe crowds heard where Hewas headed and followed onfoot from many towns. Jesussaw the huge crows as Hestepped from the boat and Hehad compassion on them andhealed their sick.”
I John 5:14, NLT“