IMPROVEMENTS #2 HOLDING ON TO HOPE
Grimsby, September 6, 2009
DESPERATE NEED OF HOPE
We watched the horror of Tuesday, Sept. 11/01in disbelief. Hijacked airlines into twin towers. 110 stories of glass, steel, and concrete shrunk to 6 stories of dust, soot, twisted metal. Lives lost-2,752; hope lost--- thousands more.
Amazingly, at ground zero foundations intact. Like our lives-we experience blows –death, sickness, bankruptcy, family and marriage breakups. These also are disastrous if one has no foundation of hope.
IDENTIFICATION OF HOPE
One kind of hope-“Welcome to Broken Hearts, Living Hope, a support network for bereaved families who have lost children from pre-birth thru adulthood, from any cause. May you find peace, comfort and healing here.” (Website)
I am busy at this helping attain this type “hope” too, and would encourage any of you who do not now have that kind of a ministry, to do so. However, there is more. In 1980, Jean-Paul Sartre declared that he so strongly resisted feelings of despair that he would say “I know I shall die in hope.” Then in profound sadness, he would add, “But hope needs a foundation.” Important to us. Two builders.
Some who profess hope find that it weakens or leaves in the storms of life.
HOPELESS IN THE WORLD
Paul requests “remember” –Eph. 2:12,13.
Also typical grave inscription in Paul’s day. “I was not, I became, I am not, I care not”
Catacombs tell another story-evidence of changed lives. “Walking thru the underground passages of the cata. one frequently glimpses many signs of the iconography of faith: fish, anchor, dove and often next to the name “In Christo.”
A BETTER HOPE
Found in many pronged promise to Abraham-3500 years ago. From Gen 12-22: family, land, nation, spiritual promise. This our focus
None of the promises w/in the promise came to pass immediately but the spiritual one took 1500 years.
QUOTE 22:18 GAL.3:16, 26-29,
Now note the continuance of the Jesus connection w/hope:
ACTS 26:6-8 ACTS 28:20
Most influential voice of 20th century wrote- QUOTE B G, 2001
HOPE HIT HARD
By Death, the great equalizer. Not matter who you are, where your lived or what you have accomplished. Heb. 9:27. 9/11-CEO’s getting ready for the day via stock reports… Janitors cleaning toilets, mopping, empting garbage…Young, old…Americans, Canadians, Europeans, many colors, tongues and beliefs… Christians, agnostics, atheists… ALL DIED THAT DAY. Does this mean hope failed? NO!
By Disease, the great demoralizer. Sickness often precedes death. Feelings of self-pity, anger, guilt, sense of injustice, and worthlessness. Some take own life.
Has hope let these people down? NO!
By Disaster, the great discourgager. Testimonies after 911, Katrina, SwissAir 111 at Peggys Cove N.S. tell of hopelessness based on disaster. Some called “crimes against humity” others “acts of God.” Still hopes shattered. QUOTE FROM 9/11
Did hope abandon them in their disaster? NO!
But many felt like there was no reason to hope. We can understand Prior to Sept. 11, the face of God for me was one that was strong, secure, consistent. A face that, while at times seemed distant, can more or less be counted on to be there. Who kept things in order; the sun would come up, the sun would go down. Who would provide, could be counted on. And after Sept. 11, the face of God was a blank slate for me. God couldn't be counted on in the way that I thought God could be counted on. That's what I felt as I stood on Ground Zero. God seemed absent. (Minister, at Ground Zero)
HOPE IN HARD TIMES QUOTE ROMANS 5:1-5
BEHAVIOR OF THE HOPEFUL
Feel Secure In Their Eternal Life
Are Confident That God Will Continually Pardon Them
Truly Believe They Are Citizenship Of Heaven
Now Understand That Hope Brings New Meaning To Death
WHY SOME LACK BEHAVIOR OF BIBLICAL HOPE
Have Not Put Grace In Its Place- Eph. 2:8-10
Have Practiced Overkill On Familiar Teachings- I Pet. 318-22
Not Waiting For Return Of Jesus- Titus 2:11-14
1486 Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias and crew set out to find passage to India, found southernmost tip (?) of Africa so called it Cape of Good Hope- simplify trade with east. CapeGH is also is used psychologically to speak of “getting there, ” past the danger point