Unshakable Hope

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In this message, we learn that Jesus is our living hope, and we’re empowered to share that hope.

Okay. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. Come on, whatever campus you’re at today, Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville, Lewisville, The Venue or online somewhere in the world let’s just welcome each other together. Come on, we are so glad that you are here with us and we have been in this series called The Ancient Future: Practicing the Way of Jesus. And really what we’re doing is we are talking about — let’s see if that’s straight. Is that straight? That look good? Okay. We are practicing the way of Jesus. And what we’ve been doing is we’ve been talking about those who have gone before us.

We said that there’s an ancient wisdom, an ancient way, an ancient word if you will that is our path through this modern life. In every generation, in every situation and every circumstance Jesus invites us to be his disciples, learners, students, followers, one who becomes like the one that they’re following. He invites us to practice the way of Jesus. And this has been a big series. It’s been a weighty series, it’s been a challenging series and really the heart of this series is it’s a calling up. It’s an invitation to submit to the lordship of Jesus, it’s an invitation towards repentance, it’s an invitation to turn your heart to Jesus. In fact, I love this. God says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I think this series is God calling out to us and he’s saying, hey, you’re my people. You belong to me. And if you will get off the modern road, get back on the ancient path, if you will just turn your heart back towards me, you will experience my kingdom come in your life. If we will return to the Lord, we will realize he will return to us and we discover that He never left us in the first place because He never leaves us nor forsakes us. In fact, I love this in Acts, it says, “Repent then and,” say with me, “turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Repent, change your mind and not only change your mind, change your direction, turn to the Lord. If you will turn your heart to the Lord, the times of refreshing that you long for will come.

And the theme verse that we’ve been walking through in this series is just Jeremiah 6, a prophetic calling over our lives in this season, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, you will find rest for your souls.” He says you’re at a crossroads and there’s a modern road that leads to destruction and an ancient path that leads to life. And we’ve been pulling this verse apart and what I want you to notice today is that it says ‘walk in it’. Walk in it. Not run in it, walk in it. Why? Because walking is the pace of Jesus. You can run on the modern road of this world all you want, but if you’re going to take the ancient path, if you’re going to walk on the narrow road, you have to go at the pace of Jesus and Jesus invites us to walk.

Because to take a narrow path, to take an ancient way requires discipline and intentionality and focus and patience and trust and submission and surrender. And none of those things are possible when we’re running. I mean think about it, all through the Bible, God’s constantly invite us to walk, to walk with Him, to walk in the Spirit, to walk in His ways, to walk in the light, to walk according to His word. He’s inviting us to walk with Him on the narrow path in relationship because if you’ve ever been running, while you’re running you’re so out of gas, you’re so out of energy that you can’t talk and listen to no one. But when you’re walking, you can talk and listen all day long. And so if you feel like you’re running through life, you have to ask yourself then are you actually following Jesus?

Because the pace of Jesus is to walk on the ancient path. I mean do you remember the old kid story, The Tortoise and the Hair? Remember that? It’s a turtle and a rabbit and they decide they’re going to race. And so they line up, the gun goes off and boom the hair takes off and he gets so far ahead, he goes at blazing speed and he gets so far ahead that he gets distracted, he gets tired, he gets wore out and he lays down and he takes a nap. And then here is the tortoise, one simple step at a time, and eventually the tortoise wins the race. I think that is such a great picture for what we’ve been talking about. So often we want to run through this life, we want to run to get ahead, run to be successful, run to be significant, run to perform, to earn, to achieve, to become somebody, to do something.

And in our running we get lost, we get distracted, we get tired, we get wore out. And all the while Jesus is just inviting us to follow him one next step at a time. And if we do, not only will we win the race, we will find rest for our souls. You see, that’s how the ancients lived. They just walked with God. And I love this that Romans tells us that everything that was written in the past, all of the stuff in Scriptures, the stories of those who have gone before us was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. In other words, the stories of all the people who have gone before us walking in the ancient path, it’s there for us to teach us, to encourage us, to give us endurance and ultimately to give us hope. Why? Because the ancient path is a path of hope.

The narrow path is paved with hope. And if you look at those that have gone before us, one of the primary characteristics of their life is unshakable hope. If you read the Scriptures and you discover all of the people who have walked with God, one of the things that’s so evident in their life, it was just hope. There’s hope in their words, hope in their countenance, hope in how they live. The world would have defined them as people with hope. Come on, Noah had hope even though the world was flooding. Moses had hope even though he was leading difficult people through a desert. Nehemiah had hope even though he was exiled. Daniel had hope even though he was thrown in a lion’s den. The first century church had hope even though they were persecuted, arrested and martyred, they were people of hope because the ancient path is the way of hope. But hope is really interesting, isn’t it?

Like hope is really hard to describe, but it’s easy to identify. Hope is hard to define, but you know when you have it and you know when you don’t and you know when someone else has it and you know when they don’t. So what is hope? Well, really simple, hope is the confident expectation of the goodness of God. Hope is the joyful anticipation of the goodness of God. Hope is the belief that God’s kingdom has come and more of it is coming. Hope is the belief that God is good and that God is good to me. That’s hope. You see, hope is not hype. And it’s really important to understand this distinction, hope is not hype. In fact, hype is simply counterfeit hope. You know what hype is, right? Hype is an external expression that doesn’t align with an internal reality.

It’s this loud expression that comes from an internal insecurity. But hope on the other hand, hope is a quiet strength. Hope has this confidence, this security, this strength, this stability within it because it knows that God is good and good to them. It understands that hope is not wishful thinking, it’s not an emotion, it’s not a feeling, it’s not the power of positive thinking. Hope is not I hope it doesn’t rain today, I hope nothing bad happens, I hope we’re not late. No, hope is a person and his name is Jesus. In fact, this is why the Bible even tells us that Jesus himself are living hope. Jesus is living hope, which is why his main message was ‘repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. In other words, change your mind because hope is here. No matter how bad it may seem, no matter how dark things are, hope is here.

And if Jesus is living hope, and see if you can catch this, then to follow him is to follow hope. If Jesus is hope then to turn to Jesus is to turn to hope, to move with Jesus is to move with hope, to obey Jesus is to align my life with hope. If he is living hope then every next step I take towards Jesus I am moving my life towards hope. And if he’s living hope then when I turn away from Jesus, I’m actually turning my back on hope. And I can run down this modern world all I want, but if I turn away from hope I’m not going to find hope on this modern road, am I? In fact, all you’re going to find is disappointment.

Now, disappointment in a lot of ways is the opposite of hope and what is disappointment? Disappointment is simply the difference between your expectations and reality. This is what you expect to happen, this is what actually happens and this is your level of disappointment. And here’s what happens. We look at the modern road and we think there’s something good down there, so we have an expectation that’s really like here, to go down this road. But then what actually happens is here and this is our level of disappointment. But when we walk down the narrow road if we’re honest our expectation is probably here and what actually happens is here. And this is our level of increased hope. “’Call to me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not yet know. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans not to harm you but plans to give you a hope and a future. I will do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine.’” You see, you only walk down a path if you believe there’s something good down it.

If you’ve ever been hiking, if you’ve ever been backpacking, if you’ve ever been exploring, you only keep going down that little path as it gets harder and harder because you believe around the next vent over the next horizon around the next corner there is going to be something good, a waterfall, a rock feature, some amazing selfie station picture space. Otherwise you would have quit and gone back to the truck a long time ago, right? That’s hope. No matter how hard it gets, we keep going because we believe over the next rise around the next bend beyond the next corner, we will see and experience the goodness of God. And if Jesus is living hope and we’re now included in Christ then in a sense we become living hope. See if you can catch this, if Jesus is living hope and we’re now included in Christ and everything that’s true of Jesus is now true of us.

Then hope literally becomes part of your nature. Hope is now embedded into your DNA. Hope is now a part of your spirit. Hope is a part of your identity. It is now your nature in Jesus. You’re included in Christ in an atmosphere or an environment of hope. This is why the Bible tells us that Christ in you is the hope of glory. I’m included in Christ. Hope is now a part of my life which is why there is always hope because hope is always right here. Does that make sense to you? Okay. The problem though for a lot of us is we have hope for something when we’re supposed to have hope in someone. Now, I want you to see if you can catch this delineation. We have hope for something. We have hope for our marriage, hope for that breakthrough, hope for that healing, hope for those finances. And while there’s nothing wrong with having hope for all those things, our hope shouldn’t be for something, it needs to be in someone.

And this is the biggest delineation between us and those who have gone before us. You see, the ancients that walk the narrow path, their hope wasn’t for something, their hope was in someone. Their hope was in Jesus. Their hope was in the gospel. And their hope was in the kingdom. If you read the Scriptures, all the ancients who have gone before us you will not see their hope for something, you will see their hope in Jesus, in his character and his nature and his goodness. You will see all throughout the New Testament, their hope was in the gospel. What is the gospel? It’s good news. It’s not good advice, it’s not good counsel, it’s not good ideas, it’s good news. Good news means something happened and because of what happened everything now has changed. What happened? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus where he defeated sin, death and the grave, where he restored our identity, reconciled our relationship with God, redeemed our purpose.
We’re now beloved sons and daughters, walking with our Father, with a purpose on this earth. That’s the gospel. It’s good news. It’s something that’s happened and it now changes everything and how we view the world. And their hope was in the kingdom. They understood the kingdom was already but not yet. That it was now but it was then. That it was here but it was there. That it had come but that there was more of it to come. And so their hope wasn’t in situations or circumstances, it was in Jesus, in the gospel and the kingdom. And while it may sound like semantics, it is not in any way. Come on, the Bible has verses all like this all throughout the New Testament, “Never be shaken from the hope of the gospel.” The gospel is the foundation of our hope. And that’s how those who have gone before us lived. In fact, they really believed when Jesus says, “Behold, I make all things new.”

They believed this. They believed that the kingdom was coming, that he was going to make all things new and that’s what hope is. No matter how bad something is, we believe that he is in the process of making all things new. And if you hope in someone, you will always hope — have hope for something. If my hope is in Jesus and the gospel and the kingdom, I will have hope for my marriage, I will have hope for my finances, I will have hope for my future, I will have hope for all of these things. But if my hope is for something and that thing doesn’t happen the way I want it to happen when I want it to happen, then my hope in someone comes crashing down. And that’s why so many of us lose our hope in God because our hope in God was never there in the first place. It was hope for a situation or a circumstance. Does that make sense to you? We have to hope in someone, in Jesus. We have to lift our hope up beyond the situation or the circumstance.

In fact, I love this in Hebrews, it says, “We have this certain hope like a strong unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold and where Jesus our forefather has gone in before us.” It says hope is like an anchor and an anchor is only as good as what it’s fastened to. That hope keeps us steady in the life full of storms but that that hope has to be anchored into something that’s unshakable. And what is it anchored into? It says it’s anchored into the mercy seat. We don’t have time for this but in the Old Testament, the temple, there was a veil that separated God and man and in there was the mercy seat and the priest would have to go in and sprinkle blood for the sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins for the people. But when Jesus died on the cross, that veil was torn open, he was the last sacrifice once and for all, the lamb of God who would be slain.

And that is the anchor of our hope, it’s in Jesus, the gospel and the kingdom.

And that’s why it’s unshakable. Does that make sense to you? Let me try to illustrate it for you like this. Let’s say you have tickets to go to Hawaii. Okay? You got tickets to go to Hawaii and you are very excited about going to Hawaii. And as the trip gets closer, you start to think and you start to have hope and you start thinking to yourself like I hope the flight is not delayed. And I hope I get a good seat on the plane, preferably in the front at a window. And I hope there will be really good snacks because it’s going to take a while on the flight. And I hope there’s one of those little TVs in the seat and it has all the new movies I haven’t seen yet. And then you get to the airport on the day of your trip and the flight is delayed six hours.

And you didn’t get a seat in the front on the window. In fact, you got the last row in the middle across from the bathroom. And there are no snacks on this flight but there are the little monitors but unfortunately yours doesn’t work. Do you now lose hope about going to Hawaii? No. Why? Because the anticipation and the expectation was going to Hawaii, it wasn’t in the entertainment or in the seating or in the timing. The same is true with us. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to do. We don’t have the position we want to have. It doesn’t have the entertainment that we were looking for. It might be longer than we want it to be. But our hope isn’t in the entertainment, in the seating or in the timing, our hope is in the fact that we are moving towards the fullness of God’s kingdom because of Jesus and the gospel. His kingdom is coming and His will will be done in every area of my life.

That is what my hope is in. But if my hope was in the snacks, and we laugh, but that’s what happens because we put our hope in all these things and they don’t go the way we want them to and then we’re convinced that God isn’t, God won’t, God can’t. That’s not true. He already did, He already has. We just have to change our perspective. And sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to and so what do we do with that? We have to take those things and we have to submit them and surrender them to the Lord and allow His peace that surpasses understanding to guard our heart and mind in Christ Jesus. See, your hope is your responsibility. You are responsible for your own hope. No one can give you hope, no one can fill you with hope, no one can make you have hope, you are responsible to cultivate a heart of hope.

That’s why the Bible tells us, “Above all else guard your heart for it’s the wellspring of life.” In other words, make sure you cultivate hope in here because when hope is in here like a river it flows into every area of your life. But when disappointment and doubt and skepticism and cynicism get in here, it also flows into every area of life. I mean, do you remember David? In 1 Samuel chapter 30, I think it’s the defining moment of David’s life. For 10 years he’s been running from King Saul. He has had all kinds of hardships and difficulties. The Israelites have rejected him, so he’s living with the enemies, the Philistines. And one day, the Philistines are going to go fight the Israelites so he goes with his own enemy to go fight his own people. And when he’s on the way to the battle, they’re convinced he’s going to turn on them in battle so they reject him and send him home. And while he’s walking back home, another set of enemies has come in and ransacked his village, taken all of the people, taken all of their possessions and when they get back and discover it, it says David’s men wept bitterly and talked about stoning David.

Okay. Man, there ain’t no — you are literally — your seat is in the bathroom on the plane on that deal, right? Like it doesn’t get much worse than that. But look at what it says, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” In other words, his hope wasn’t in the situations or the circumstances, his hope was in God. And in that moment, he could have gave up, he could have quit, he could have cashed it out, he could have sat down and pouted. No, no. He strengthened himself in the Lord instead of weaking himself in the circumstances. And it doesn’t tell us exactly what he does there, but if we read Scripture and we look at David’s life, he probably did the things that we see him do and write about. He probably gave thanks to God for who God is and what He has done. He probably considered his destiny and thought about the things that God has already spoke over him. He probably grabbed a hold of a promise of God, a promise that God had already made to him.

And he cultivated a heart of hope, rallied his men, went and got back his family and his possessions and two chapters later he becomes the king of Israel because he understood that his hope was his responsibility. Or how about Abraham? He’s 100 years old, God tells him he’s going to be the father of many nations and yet Abraham has yet to have a child. And in Romans chapter 4, it says, “Against all hope Abraham in hope…” against all hope. Like when it couldn’t have been any darker, any harder, any more impossible Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations. He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith. He strengthened himself in the Lord and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised. Abraham didn’t weaken himself in the circumstance. His hope wasn’t in circumstances or situations.

His hope was in God, in the gospel, in the kingdom coming. He strengthened himself in the Lord and so he became. So can I just ask you a really simple question in this season? Like how’s your hope? Have you lost your hope? Do you have an anticipation and an expectation of doom, of despair, of darkness, of things being hard and broken and lost? What are you doing to cultivate a heart of hope? What are you looking at and thinking about and putting into your spirit? Like what you have to understand is that hope is the byproduct of meditating on the character, the faithfulness and the promises of God.

Hope is the byproduct of meditating on the character, the faithfulness and the promises of God. When I think about God’s character, His goodness, His kindness, His love and I think about His faithfulness, all the things He’s done throughout generations and I think about His promises, what He’s already promised to me and I hold on to those things and I meditate on them, I can’t help but have hope start to grow. In fact, every place of your life that feels hopeless is a place you’re believing a lie because if Jesus is the living hope and he’s making all things new, then that area has hope too. And the problem is as we get so focused on the temporary circumstances around us, we forget the eternal realities within us. And if you’ve lost your hope, it’s because you forgot you’re loved.

If you feel like you have no hope, you’ve forgotten that you’re loved. Hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us. Love is the foundation of hope. In fact, that super famous verse that we know, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” We say faith, hope, love, faith, hope, love, faith, hope, love. You realize it’s actually love, hope, faith. Why? Because he says the greatest of these is love, so love is the beginning. So once I start understanding that I am loved, love, God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son. This is how we know what love is: that Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, will he not then in him give us all things? If he gave me Jesus, why will he not give me everything else?

So when I understand I’m loved, all of a sudden I have hope. Why? Because hope is the confident expectation of the goodness of God and if he loves me and he gave me Jesus then I can have a confident expectation that He is good and He is good to me. And when I have a hope, all of a sudden I start to have faith. Why? Because faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see. So if I don’t have faith, it’s because I don’t have hope. And if I don’t have hope, it’s because I forgot I’m loved. Love gives me hope and hope gives me faith. That’s why the Bible says we walk by faith, we live in hope and we rest on love. If you lost your hope, it’s because you forgot you’re loved. And you are deeply loved. And that is the foundation of your life. I mean do you remember the story of the Road to Emmaus? Jesus has just been crucified, he’s dead, he’s buried, he’s in the grave and the disciples think it’s over.

And so two of them leave, they’re depressed, they’re discouraged, they’re defeated and they leave the city and they’re walking on this Road to Emmaus. And the resurrected Jesus comes and starts walking with them, but they don’t know it’s Jesus. And it says their faces were downcast, their words were full of gloom and despair and the resurrected Jesus asked them, he’s like, hey guys, what what’s going on? And they’re like, are you serious? Have you not heard? Like Jesus is dead, he’s gone, he’s buried and we had hoped that he was going to redeem Israel. Their hope was for something. Their hope was that Jesus was going to remove the Roman oppression and restore Israel to being a global superpower. But it didn’t happen the way they wanted it to, so their hope is gone. And so they’re full of gloom and they’re full of despair and their words are dysfunctional. And I just want to press pause here for a second and just tell you like hope and hopelessness, you know where it is based on the countenance of your face and the words that are coming out of your mouth.

The mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart and your face will always reflect whichever world you are more aware of. And so if you want to know if you have hope or if you’re hopeless, just look at your words and look at your face because they are literally telling you the internal realities that are in here. And if you think about it the Bible always tells us that hope and joy are connected. Be joyful in hope. Why? Because if hope is the confident expectation of the goodness of God, how can I not have joy? There’s no such thing as Eeyore hope, right? Think about a child on Christmas day, they are joyful with hope. They don’t know what’s about to happen, but they know it’s about to be good so it’s on their countenance and it’s in their words. So you can say you have hope all day long, what we really need to look at are your words and your face.

Is there joy or is there despair? So they’re walking with Jesus and he says, “How foolish and slow of heart you are to believe.” And he explained the Scriptures concerning himself. And as they walked along all of a sudden, it says their hearts started to burn within them and their eyes were opened and they realized it’s Jesus. And the moment they realized it’s Jesus, he disappears but they turn direction and they go all the way back to Jerusalem. And I think that is such a great story for us because when we lose hope we get off of the ancient road, we start walking down this modern road of life, our faces have despair, our words are full of despair, but Jesus the living hope comes and he starts walking alongside of us. He starts explaining the Scriptures to us concerning himself, talking about his character, his faithfulness and his promises and our hearts start burning within us, our eyes are open. We see it’s him and all of a sudden we’re able to change directions and get back on the ancient path. In fact, here’s what he says. He says, “I will make the valley of Achor,” which means trouble, “a door of hope.”

Only Jesus can make the valley of trouble a door of hope. He is the narrow gate that leads to an ever widening life. The ancient path is the way of hope. But that hope has to be in Jesus, in the gospel and the kingdom and then we will have hope for everything else. Does that make sense to you? The ancient path is the way of hope. I mean let me try to pull this whole thing together for you in a different way. Think about with me for a second the story of Joseph. You remember Joseph? He’s got this big dream from God about what his life is going to be like. But his brothers hate him and so they take him and they throw him in a pit and they sell them to slave traders. And the slave traders take him to Egypt and they sell him to an Egyptian ruler. And yet while Joseph is serving this Egyptian ruler as a slave, even though he did nothing wrong, he did it with passion, with his whole heart and is unto the Lord.

And a couple years go by and he’s serving super well his master, but then his master makes a false accusation against him and has him thrown in prison. And while Joseph is in prison, he still does all of his duties and serves his masters with passion, with all of his heart as unto the Lord. And while in prison he makes a few friends and he interprets their dreams and he helps one of the guys get out and he says, hey, when you get out, remember me because I’m here and I shouldn’t be anyways. But the guy gets out and he forgets about Joseph. But Joseph keeps doing things with passion, with all his heart as unto the Lord. Two years go by, Pharaoh has a dream and the guy remembers Joseph and says, we got to get this guy out of prison, he can interpret your dream. And when Joseph gets there and Pharaoh tells him the dream and asks him to interpret it, Joseph sits down and pouts, says, ain’t gonna do it. No, that’s not what happens. He interprets the dream with passion, with all his heart as unto the Lord.

Pharaoh is so moved by it that he makes Joseph the number two ruler in all of Israel. And Joseph said, “You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Here’s what I want you to see in that story. Even though life was falling apart around Joseph, he woke up every single day with the confident expectation of the goodness of God. He never lost his hope. Most of us would have lost our hope the moment our brothers even started telling us they don’t like us because our hope is in situations and circumstances. Joseph’s hope was in the Lord. Because his hope was in the Lord, it didn’t matter what circumstance, what storm, what situation came against him. Why? Because his anchor was fastened to an immovable reality. And so he woke up every day with passion, with all his heart as unto the Lord because he believed that was going to be the day he was going to see and experience the goodness of God.

So the question is, do you wake up every day with an anticipation and an expectation of good? Do you go to work every day with anticipation and the expectation of good? Do you go to school with an anticipation and an expectation of good? Do you gather as the church with anticipation and an expectation of good? You see, this really matters because we have to have hope if we’re going to have healthy work. Apathy is the byproduct of hopelessness. The moment I’m hopeless, I become apathetic. Why bother? Why try? Who cares? It doesn’t matter anyways. The problem with that is apathy is the enemy of your destiny.

If we’re ever going to step into our destiny, we have to live a life of passion with all our heart as unto the Lord expecting that today is going to be the day of the goodness of God. And this highly concerns me because we’re watching a sense of apathy wave across the world, but more significantly we’re watching it wave through the church, where all of a sudden it’s like, I don’t want to work, who cares, it doesn’t matter anyways. No, it’s super care it matters. Why? Because God has entrusted us to be on mission with Him to bring His goodness, His kingdom into every area of life, every single day. So I have to wake up with passion, with the sense of unto the Lord with all my heart because I am partnering with Him to bring His kingdom come into this reality in life. And the reason — the reason this matters to us is because our vision is to be a movement of… for the city and beyond. We want to raise up generations of hope carriers. You say, what’s that? A disciple of Jesus living on mission to change their world.

We owe the world an encounter with the goodness of God. We owe the world experiences with hope. We owe the world to do things with all of our heart with passion as unto the Lord so they can see and experience the goodness of God for themselves and begin to anticipate and expect it to come in their life. Come on. And if Jesus is the living hope, then when he touches you with living hope you become living hope. All throughout the Bible when God touches you with something you become that thing. He says he’s the light of the world. He touches us with light, we become the light of the world. He’s the righteousness of God. When he touches us with righteousness, we become the righteousness of God. He’s living hope. And when he touches us with hope, we become living hope. Hope carriers walking through this life with the kingdom of God within us showing the world the goodness of God, that they can anticipate and expect his goodness to come in their life.

Remember, hope is contagious, hope cascades, hope influences, hope leads. That’s why Peter would walk through the streets and they would put sick people in the streets just so his shadow would touch them. Why? Because the internal realities will always affect your external circumstances. And when there’s genuine hope in here, it doesn’t need to be hype. Why? Because it’s just a confident expectation of the goodness of God. But you can’t give what you don’t have. And so we have to get our eyes off the situations and the circumstances and hold on to Jesus, the gospel, the kingdom and know that he is making all things new including that difficulty in my life, including that pain in my heart, including that brokenness in that relationship.

My hope is in him, who he is and what he has done. Do you realize that if we would just go into the city with a hopeful face and hopeful words, we could literally change the entire city with nothing more than that? No supernatural power, no signs and wonders, no miracles. A hopeful face and hopeful words. Because in this season, that is supernatural. That is a sign and wonder. That is a miracle. Why? Because there is no hope when I turn away from Jesus. There’s only hope when I’m following him. So only we have the ability to then offer that hope to a lost, lonely and dying world.

Come on, if God is good then the future is full of hope. The only question is, do you believe that God is good and that He is good to you? Over that next horizon, around that next bend, beyond that next corner, you can have a confident expectation of the goodness of God. So you close your eyes with me. Come on, what’s God want to say to you today?

My guess would be that for so many of us our hope has taken a big hit over this past season. I believe today the Lord is inviting us to take our eyes off of the situations and the circumstances, but look to Him, the living hope. That our hope is in Jesus, the gospel, the good news of what he has done and how it changes everything in his coming kingdom. I believe the Lord wants to stir that hope back up within your heart because He is good and He is good to you.

So Jesus thank you. You are our living hope, help us turn our hearts towards you because that’s turning our hearts to hope. Thank you that our hope is secure in the foundation of the mercy seat, of the finished work of the cross of Jesus and that because of you we can always have hope. So Lord, may we turn our hearts to you and keep walking down the ancient path, the narrow way that leads to life, in your name we pray, amen.

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