Word Alive! © 2020 Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 20, Oct., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakeable Hope,” Lesson 1, (Chapter 1)
Devotional Time: “Unshakeable Hope” (pp. 1-14)
God’s Promises – Regardless of the chaos humans have encountered in every age, the constant that remains is God’s care for us. The promises of God are both “great and precious” (cf. 2 Peter 1:4, NLT). These promises reveal and reflect the presence of God in our lives, and they have been certain in all generations. In this series, we will survey God’s promises and how these promises invoke hope within us. We will examine what hope is, and how the scriptures teach us to live with hope in the promises of God. A companion devotional book to this study is Max Lucado’s Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives On The Promises of God.Author and pastor Lucado, as always, shares some rich insights and practical guidance, in helping us understand the meaning of hope and its relationship to the promises of God. Lucado asks, “Could you use some unshakable hope? If so, you are not alone. We live in a day of despair.” The promises of God, wherein lies our hope, should be taken seriously. The Apostle Paul warned the early Christians not to underestimate God’s promises. He told them that their conduct and character should be commensurate with God’s holiness. Living an exemplary life ensures the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:1, NLT). The Apostle Paul believed so strongly in God’s promises and the hope they induced, that he was willing to risk his life to fulfill God’s purpose (cf. Acts 26:6-7, NLT). Whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament, the faithful believed one’s hope was reserved only for the God who protected them (cf. Psalm 33:19; 20-22, NLT). One Hebrew word used often in the Old Testament for the word hope, is yach’le’liy (yawh-leh-ale-lee), which means “to expect God [to act].” The root of the word implies “being patient,” and “trusting.” The psalmist extols God and expresses his confidence in God for rescuing and fulfilling promises to His people. Realizing that God’s love is irreplaceable, the psalmist knows that God’s people would only put their hope in Him. In another passage, the psalmist is so confident in God’s promises, that he boldly states he’s “counting on Him” (cf. Psalm 130:5-7, NLT). This acknowledgment is consistent with the emphatic “expectation” implied in the Hebrew word for hope! The psalmist is resolved to the fact that God’s promises will be fulfilled, and so should we! Hope is the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Hope in God – Our most difficult crises should lead us to God, who promises to never abandon us in our time of need. However turbulent our circumstances, our hope should never be eclipsed by fear and uncertainty. When things became overwhelming for Moses, he bore his soul in prayer before God. In the turbulence of this experience, God gave Moses reason not to abandon hope. God told Moses that He would perform miraculous work never performed before. God made a covenant with Moses that His promises would be fulfilled (cf. Exodus 34:8-10, NLT). Our hope is built on the assurance that God will act on the things He has promised. In the devotional book, Unshakable Hope, author Max Lucado says concerning the covenant He made with Moses: “God did not emphasize the Israelites’ strength. He emphasized His. He did not underscore their ability. He highlighted his. He equipped them for the journey by headlining His capacity to make and keep His promises.” Our hope in God is in His “capacity” to get things done, and not merely in our abilities. In one of the bleakest moments in Jeremiah’s life, he realized that although he had lost many things, he had not lost his hope. The prophet says this was due to the fact that he was aware of God’s faithfulness and love (cf. Lamentations 3:21-23, NLT). When we’re going through a rough time, we should pray for a rekindling of a spirit of hope and confidence in what God can do! The wisdom writer of the Old Testament acknowledges that if we allow our hope to become diminished, we will experience adverse effects. However, we are reminded that the fulfillment of promises, as a result of a healthy hope, will create a fresh and renewed spirit (cf. Proverbs 13:12, NLT). Max Lucado has said that people who believe in the promises of God are able “to filter life through the promises of God.” It is this filtering process that engenders our hope in God. When we see evidence of God’s promises fulfilled in our lives, we develop more confidence in Him. Abram was promised a son who would be heir to God’s promise. But Abram had to wait 25 years before the promise was fulfilled. It was the hope Abram had in the promise of God that convinced him of God’s faithfulness (cf. Romans 4:21, NLT).
What We Believe
Our hope is in the irrevocable promises of God.
1. The promises of God are certain!
2. We stand on the great and precious promises of God!
2 Peter 1:4, NLT
“And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
1 Corinthians 7:1, NLT
“Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from every-thing that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.”
Acts 26:6-7, NLT
“Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors. In fact, that is why the twelve tribes of Israel zealously worship God night and day, and they share the same hope I have. Yet, your Majesty they accuse me of having the same hope!”
Psalm 33:19;20-22, NLT
“He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”
Psalm 130:5-7, NLT
“I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn. Yes, more than series long for the dawn. O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows.”
Exodus 34:8-10, NLT
“Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshipped. And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people. And please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.” The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will per-form miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord, the awesome power I will display for you.”
Lamentations 3:21-23, NLT
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Proverbs 13:12, NLT
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Romans 4:21, NLT
“He [Abraham] was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.”