Ezekiel 37-11:14 (NLT) Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”
There is a common them that runs throughout scriptures and is highlighted in this passage. And it points to one of the most exciting and compelling ideas in all creation. That is hope.
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR HOPE
Hope requires an object, or an anchor for the hope. Hope does not exist without something to fulfill that hope
Misplaced Hope: Relationships, Career, Success, Acceptance/Belonging, Wealth, Health, Drugs & Alcohol, etc.
The entire book of Ecclesiastes is about how nothing but God, satisfies our hope.
He sent His son, Jesus as a guarantee of that hope. Colossians 1:27 (ESV) “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Romans 15:13 (ESV) May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
HOPE IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR DISAPPOINTMENT
Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:24-25 (NLT) We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
“Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
3. HOPE ENCOURAGES
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Psalms 3:2-6 (MSG) God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms, Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God! “But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain. I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, Fearless before the enemy mobs Coming at me from all sides. ROCKY THEME SONG!
Isaiah 43:1-2 (ESV) But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 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.
In all of the passages there is an acknowledgement that the situations that you face will not always be ideal but, take courage! We will overcome!
HOPE POINTS US INTO OUR FUTURE
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV) For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) 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. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV) But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
You may feel like you are without hope or that hope has been lost. But, despite how it may look or feel, hope is never really gone. When it looked like Jesus was defeated, he rose from the dead proving that nothing is impossible for him. Attach your hope to someone that will not fail.