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Hope

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Advent 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:43
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Where does your hope come from? Do you have any? Find the hope we have in Christ Jesus today!

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INTRO
How many of you did the whole Black Friday thing? The lines are horrible aren’t they?
Even if you didn’t go out how many of you hate waiting in lines?
I’ve never been very patient
I’ve never liked waiting
Anti Depressants
Remeron
Lexapro
Effexor
Zoloft
Celexa
Wellbutrin
Paxil
Savella
Prozac
Cymbalta
Illustration of need addressed.
Connect illustration to present day hearers.
Transition = Show this need or similar issue was also the question behind the biblical text.
Clearly state the theme of the text/sermon.
What is Depression?
Depression is seeing no future, and no answer for any of the problems in your life.
When you have depression, nothing is enjoyable. Nothing can make you smile.
It feels like you're a ghost ... not a part of the real world.
It's like drowning ... except you can see everyone around you breathing.
Depression is a dark, inescapable place. It's like being locked in a room with no light, windows or door. It's so dark you can't even see your hands in front of your face let alone find a way out.
Depression is the inability to construct or envision a future.
Slipping into depression feels like falling down a dark bottomless shaft, wondering if and when your fall will ever be caught. And as you look back to where you fell from--which is where you know you need to get back to--you can see it receding further into the distance, the proverbial light becoming dimmer and dimmer, while the shaft into which you are falling becomes deeper, darker, and all the more enveloping.
Depression to me is like having your mind replaced by another one that makes me feel worthless and numb to life--even to my own husband and son. It deprives me of feeling anything other than a sense of perpetual sadness, never quite knowing the source of it but knowing that feeling well. Depression has stolen my confidence and now I no longer feel I am worthy of anyone's love. Depression calls me names and makes me have awful thoughts, and there have been times when depression has won and I've taken an overdose.
It's like being stuck in a box that you can't get out of--a very dark place where you feel so low that even simple tasks are difficult. You feel completely alone.
A total loss of who you are.
Standing underneath a floor of glass, screaming and banging on it trying to get the attention of the rest of the world going about their lives without you. The problem is no-one can hear you or even knows you're trapped there.
Depression is like the heart or the mind breaking.
Depression is a state in which nothing tastes, smells, or feels right and you are unable to think or make decisions--yet you still have to carry on doing all those things. And so much of the time you just don't have the energy or the desire. But you still carry on anyway.
The belief that you just don't matter.
Like the death eaters in Harry Potter have caught you and sucked all the goodness from you.
Swimming through treacle.
Multiple emotions: fear, despair, emptiness, numbness, shame, embarrassment and an inability to recognize the fun, happy person you used to be.
Depression is losing the desire to partake in life.
It's like trying to breathe when you're covered in tar.
Depression makes you feel like you're an actor playing you--one that's always forced to smile.
Being depressed sometimes feels like tunnel vision--regardless of anything going on in your life, you can feel miserable and overwhelmed for no reason at all.
Nothingness.
Cancer of the soul.
Torture.
It's just like being inside a wheel that's spinning and spinning and you don't know when it's going to stop.
Living in fog all the time--a world without color or laughter.
Like living in a dark tunnel with no light at the end, and no air to breathe no matter how deep a breath you take.
Feeling completely alone--even if you're surrounded by people.
Complete and utter hopelessness.
Living in hell.
Like mourning the death of someone you once loved--you. When you look in the mirror you see only dead eyes. There is no spark. No joy. No hope. You wonder how you will manage to exist another day.
Trying to keep your head above water when it's up to your nose. And getting deeper. And you can't swim.
Feeling numb inside. The world and time just passes by and nothing brings you joy.
Feeling dark, lonely, scared. Sleep is the only escape from your pain.
It's like being a prisoner and the jailer both.
Waking up to another disappointing day, and feeling that heaviness in your chest that never goes away.
Just wanting to stand in a field and scream your head off--but you don't know why.
Like your mind is paralyzed.
Depression is silence. It's total isolation in a room full of people. It's feeling the drag and pull of life making you smaller by the day
It's like falling into a well or a deep dark hole and having no ladder to climb to help you get out of it. You get trapped in the darkness feeling cold and numb.
It makes me feel like I'm a tiny seed stuck at the bottom of a pot plant--the more I try to grow and break free, the more dirt and soil falls on me, suffocating me and pushing me down.
Depression is that nasty voice in my head that says things like "your mother never wanted you and that's why she kicked you out at to sleep on the streets for three months". It shows me the mental picture of the benches I made my bed and the nooks and crannies I tried to hide in for fear of being raped. The voice also reminds me of my daughter dying and thrusting her photo in my face telling me I'm a rubbish mother. Depression for me is a force so powerful that I fear I may never be free of it.
Being depressed is all your emotions taken away from you--apart from negative ones like sadness, anxiety and fear.
It's a ten tonne ball of lead in your gut that you've no choice but to drag everywhere with you. And you've got to try and look normal doing so.
Every day is a struggle and I feel like its ground hog day--same shit, different toilet.
It's a thief ... it takes everything from you and leaves you to die.
It's peaceful water to the outside world, but a raging tsunami below the surface.
It's more painful than any physical pain I've ever experienced. And NO-ONE can see it.
Depression is hating yourself so much you can't look in the mirror.
Depression is waking up wishing you'd died in your sleep.
Title & Text
Hope
Isaiah 9.2
Theme
Where do we find hope in a hopeless world?
Pray
S.T.A.R.T.
Solemnly praise and recognize the greatness of our God and Savior connected to the Biblical text being preached
Touch upon the subject of corporate sin and confess any shortcomings the body has committed related to the Biblical text to be preached
Ask God to help the body/local church to hear and apply the truths of the Biblical text to be preached
Review and remind the audience of the key related passages to the Biblical text being preached
Transition to the opening of the sermon and the Biblical text to be preached
Text Intro
Isaiah lived during the decline of Israel in the shadow of Assyria. He spoke the word of God to a people who were “deaf and blind” (see 6:10), who refused to listen to his warnings of looming disaster. He warned that the sin of the people of Judah would bring God’s judgment, yet he also declared that God is sovereign and would use Cyrus the Persian to return them from exile. The book speaks of a “servant,” a “man of sorrows,” who would be “pierced for our transgressions,” accomplishing God’s purposes of salvation (52:13–53:12). The final chapters give a beautiful description of a new creation in which God will rule as King, judging the wicked and establishing eternal peace. Isaiah prophesied about 740–700 b.c. (possibly till the 680s).
Text
Isaiah 59:8–11 ESV
8 The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace. 9 Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men. 11 We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.
8-11
Isaiah 59:12–16a ESV
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: 13 transgressing, and denying the Lord, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. 14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. 15 Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.
12-16a
Isaiah 59:16b–19 ESV
16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. 17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, so will he repay, wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies; to the coastlands he will render repayment. 19 So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.
16b-19
Isaiah 59:20 ESV
20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord.
V20
Isaiah 9:2 ESV
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
THE SERMON BODY
Expose the structure of the text.
Main points should support the theme.
points should follow textual sequence unless good reason to change.
use simple and clear transitions to give structure to movement.
Use verse references before quoting so that listeners can read along.
Use personal observances to illustrate difficult concepts.
CONCLUSION
Be brief.
Don’t introduce new material.
narrow the focus don’t expand it.
Clinch the goal.
Give concrete applications.
Goal
Application
The waiting is still daunting, but we can wait with a fresh hope because we know the King has come. A light will break through!
Find your Hope in Christ Jesus!
CLOSE
E.N.D.
God, thank you that we don’t have to wait without hope in this life. We know that just as it was true for your people back then, the promise of a Savior is true for us today, too. Take the weight of darkness sitting heavy on our lives and replace it with the light of your hope this Advent season.
Exalt God in relation to the Biblical truths that were just taught
Name the Biblical principles preached and ask God to help the local church body to obey these truths
Draw people to the cross of Christ by proclaiming hope and help in the person and work of Christ for salvation and sanctification
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