Life is short. And the older you get the more you realize just how short of a time we have on this Earth. We are here today and can be gone tomorrow.
James 4:14 “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
Trips to grandma’s house for me and my sister when we were kids was something I had always looked forward too. The times that we would hang out all day and at times stay the night were the most memorable. At every occasion she would always talk about the Lord. She was a Saint, she had a prayer life that I admired. But how I wish I could go back and treasure those moments.
And now here we are, it’s been almost one year from my grandmothers passing and the trips that I have always looked forward to are now trips that are hard to bear. Theres no more of going to grandmas house. No more smelling of her fried chicken or talks about the Lord. She is home. Death can be seen as a dead end for some. But I see it as a homecoming.
Psalm 116 “Precious in the sight of the lord is the death of his saints.”
For those who are in Christ. It is a promise that we should always remind ourselves. That He has defeated death, hell and the grave. As 2021 comes to an end, for 2022 I’m believing a greater sense of His presence for me and for you. Just as death has been defeated he has defeated loneliness as well, we have Immanuel God is with us.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
— 1 Peter 1:3-7
Before I can even start telling you about the Living Hope in Jesus, we first must realize that it was mercy that sent us Hope.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) …”Ephesians 2:4-5.
WHAT DOES THIS LIVING HOPE MEAN FOR THE BELIEVER?
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN WE HAVE A LIVING HOPE THAT IS LIVING INSIDE OF US!
DESPITE WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND US
INTO WHATEVER STORM WE MAY ENCOUNTER
INTO WHATEVER BATTLE WE MAY FACE
WE HAVE THIS GREAT HOPE IN THE MIDST OF THE WAR
OUR ONLY HOPE BELONGS IN NO OTHER PERSON BUT IN HIM
Remember our hope is not in a pastor, it’s not in America, it’s not in ourselves or anything this world has to offer.
How can we remain steadfast in a storm when the waves come up against me?
HEBREWS 6:19 “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,…”
HE IS OUR ANCHOR
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”
a. Let us cross over to the other side: Jesus made a promise to His disciples. He didn’t say, “Let us perish in the middle of the Sea of Galilee.”
He promised His disciples that they would cross over to the other side.
We are not promised a fair life
We are not promised to a life without struggles
We are not promised to not go through the fire
We are not promised tomorrow!
Many times we don’t understand the “why’s” of life. It’s in those moments that when the seas become choppy and everything is against us that we truly know how strong the anchor holds.
BUT WHAT HE DID PROMISE IS THAT HE’LL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU!
DEUT. 31:6 “BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. DO NOT BE AFRAID OR TERRIFIED BECAUSE OF THEM, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD GOES WITH YOU; HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU.”
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.“
Many believe the lies that they will never see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s always going to be this way, it’s over my head. We may have these thoughts but what He promised the disciples and to us…He will meet us on the other side.
HE DIDN’T SAY I’LL MEET YOU HALF WAY AND YOU FIGURE IT OUT.
WHAT DOES THIS Living Hope mean for the Believer?
GOD IS FOR US — Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
When we are faced with the impossible, we forget what is possible with Him. We may ask, “Where is God in all of this?”
Mark 4:38 “And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
IN THAT MOMENT OF ASKING QUESTIONS…WE WANT ANSWERS…WE DON’t WANT TO WAIT ANY LONGER…I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE…
Even though words can’t express the chaos and confusion and questions we may have. We serve a God who knows and feels our infirmities
But let me assure you that God doesn’t always have to speak to you to know that He is with you.
In the midst of the storm there is a presence. WE MUST Believe in the power of the presence of God KNOWING THAT HE IS FOR US.
The DISCIPLES DIDN’T TAKE JESUS AT HIS WORDS
A. ARE WE TAKING HIM AT HIS WORD?
ISAIAH 55:11 “ SO SHALL MY WORD THAT GOES OUT OF MY MOUTH; IT SHALL NOT RETURN TO ME EMPTY, BUT IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH I PURPOSE, AND SHALL SUCCEED IN THE THING FOR WHICH I SENT.
IF HE SAID IT HE WILL DO IT!
How many times has God said a word to you and in order to fulfill a purpose. And all the sudden the storm comes in your life and when you get through that storm you look back and think if I had not went through that storm I would not have made it to where I am right now.
If HE LED YOU TO IT, HE WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH IT.
He won’t leave you hanging!
Mark 4:39-40 “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. “But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!””
— It is possible to have peace in a crisis.
— It is possible to have joy in a crisis
He WANTS US TO HAVE AN UNMOVABLE — UNSHAKABLE— UN WAVERING FAITH.
WHAT DOES THIS Living Hope mean for the Believer?
We have this hope as an anchor
We have this hope knowing that He is for us
WE KNOW WE HAVE A FUTURE HOPE –
1 Peter 1:3-4
“He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
WE MAY NOT KNOW THE PLANS or what’s next, “I don’t need to know ‘why,’ as long as I know the One who knows “why.’”
YOU’VE GOT TO LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING BUT LEAN ON THE ANCHOR FOR NOTHING WILL MOVE HIM
Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. — Charles Spurgeon
— To realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the storm.
When we feel the stress of the storm, we learn the strength of the anchor.
The promise of His presence is one of many promises of God, but why is it so important?
In the beginning God walked with man, communicated with His first creation who was Adam and Eve. But the moment they bought into the lie, and sinned,it changed. There was a wall now between God and man that separated them from having that one on one communion with our creator.
2000 years ago, Jesus was born on this Earth, sent from God for Him to restore that relationship that Adam and Eve lost in the Garden. Is God among us? Yes He is, but not in form only through the Holy Spirit that is with every Believer who is born again.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
Just like with someone that we love here on Earth, we can text, call but there is nothing that can compare to that person being in your presence. With God, He longed for that and now through Jesus we are heirs with Christ, but why is His presence so important? There is joy, peace, strength and so much more that God can bestow in us from His presence.
IT’S MORE THAN JUST A “FEELING”
There is none quite like the presence of God, it’s indescribable. It fulfills His promise of Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
His presence is a reminder that He is Emmanuel, “God with us”
I’m 29; hard-headed and very impatient. I like doing things my way and expect it to happen when I want it to happen. This Isn’t how God works and how He does things. While being a Christian for 15 years I still struggle with that thought. He says in His word ” For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
In everything we do, we have to believe by faith. Faith is what activates the impossible, it is the delivery system of God. And without it, no man can please God.
Where are you at with your walk with Christ? Are you like me who is impatient and wants things done instantly? Your not alone. We must do 1 thing and it’s this. Put Him first in all things and trust Him with your life. Don’t waver according to popular opinion or what your eyes see, look into the realm of His spirit. How? By faith.
He is the way, trust in Him and He will show you the way!