Word Alive! © 2020 Fall Series
Unshakable Hope For Your Shaken World!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 8, Dec., 2020
Max Lucado, “Unshakeable Hope…” Lesson 8, (Chap. 8)
Devotional Time: “Unshakable Hope” (pp. 81-90)
Hope: Jesus Prays For Us – Our hope, despite difficult circumstances, is increased when we realize that Jesus prays perpetually on our behalf. Relatedly, the confidence we develop in the hope we have in the Lord is in the promise that although we live in a world of turbulence, we are never left alone. Jesus told his disciples that He would not isolate them from a fractured world, but that they would overcome all obstacles, as He did (cf. John 16:33, NLT). There is little, if anything, we could encounter that Jesus did not. Our Lord identifies with the challenges we face, because He also has lived in human flesh (cf. John 1:14, NLT). Some may wonder, why would God allow us to encounter disruptions and circumstances beyond our control? The Scripture describes our Lord as permitting us to endure certain trials, as a test of our faith, and to display His power over all contrary elements we could ever face! (cf. Matthew 14:22-23, NLT). In the Gospel account, Jesus “told” the disciples to get into a boat, and He “sent” them out into the unpredictable waters. It is only when Jesus entered the boat in the early hours of the morning, that calm prevailed. Jesus did not isolate the disciples from the storm, but He insulated them from injury, harm, or death (cf. Mark 6:47-51, NLT). What must not be overlooked in this narrative, is that while the disciples were directed by Jesus to enter the boat and go out in the lake, He was on the shore praying for them (cf. Mark 6:46, NLT). In his devotional book, Unshakable Hope, author and pastor Max Lucado cays, “When a ferocious storm pounces on obedient disciples, where in the world is Jesus? The answer is clear and surprising: praying.” Often we may be tempted to feel that when we’re in our storms, Jesus is absent. However, the sheer fact that our Lord is praying on our behalf places Him “with us.” Max Lucado suggests because Jesus was on the shore, we cannot conclude that He was not affected by the heavy rains produced by the storm. Lucado says, “Jesus was so intent in prayer that he persisted even though his robe was soaked and his hair was matted…He felt the gale force winds and the skin-stinging rain.” Isaiah says of Jesus as Messiah and Servant: “It was our weaknesses He carried.” (Isaiah 53:4a, NLT). Our hope is in the One who knows every detail of our lives. He has lived as we also live!
Hope: Christ Pleads On Our Behalf – In ancient times to be in a position to plead on behalf of someone else was highly valued. When the scriptures describe Christ as the One who pleads on our behalf, He is seen in His position as Intercessor or Hugh Priest. This mediatorial role places Jesus beside God the Father (cf. Acts 7:55-56, NLT). One of the Greek words used in the scriptures that’s often translated “pleading” or “interceding” is entugchano (en toong-khan-o), which means “to confer with [someone else]: or to entreat [on behalf of someone or something].” Our hope is in knowing that the One who pleads on our behalf is trustworthy (cf. Romans 8:34, NLT). When I was in seminary, one of my closest classmates became the victim of a false accusation. Because there were no witnesses to defend him from what was alleged, he could have been expelled from school. One of the noted professor’s had befriended my friend, and believed in his integrity. The professor appeared at the probationary hearing, and the student was permitted to remain in school. My classmate never forgot how the professor stood beside him at the hearing and interceded on his behalf. The student became one of the nation’s greatest scholars and authors. Our hope is in Christ, who always intercedes on our behalf (cf. Hebrews 7:25, NLT). The scriptures reveal evidence of the priestly ministry of Jesus as intercessor, before He ascended into the heavens (cf. Luke22:31-32, NLT). Peter’s restoration after the crucifixion of Jesus, was due in large measure to the Lord interceding on his behalf. Max Lucado said, “Jesus prayed for Peter. He stood up for Stephen. He promises to pray and stand up for you.” As Christians, our hope is strengthened through the inimitable words of Jesus in the great prayer He engaged in before His crucifixion. Jesus was transparent and passionate in His concern for the disciples, and all of His followers in subsequent generations. Although Jesus would allow us to remain in a shaken and turbulent world, He would always intercede for our protection from harm (cf. John 17:15; 20-21; 24a, NLT). Like the professor who appeared at my friend’s hearing, Jesus will always “stand up for us.” Our hope is in Jesus Christ, our Friend!
What We Believe
Our hope is in Jesus who continually prayers for us.
1. Jesus is never absent from us, and pleads on our behalf!
2. Christ is with us, and brings peace to our shaken world.
John 16:33, NLT
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace inme. Here on earth you willhave many trials and sorrows.But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Matthew 14:22-23, NLT
“Immediately, after this Jesus insisted that His disciples ge tback into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake,while He sent the people home. After sending them home, He went into the hills by Himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone.”
Mark 6:47-51, NLT
“Late that night the disciples were in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on Land. He saw that they were In serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go pass them,but when they saw Him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking He was a ghost. They were all terrified when they saw Him. But Jesus spoke to them at once, “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Take courage! I am here.” Then He climbed into the boat and the wind stopped.”
Acts 7:55-56, NLT
“But Stephen full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and He saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”
Romans 8:34, NLT
“Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
Hebrews 7:25, NLT
“Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
Luke 22:31-32, NLT
“Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned tome again, strengthen your brothers.”
John 17:15;20-21; 24a, NLT
“I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one…I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one,just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me… Father I want these whom you have given