Finding Hope - ABF Year Review

Faith Church December 26, 2009 Psalms 42:5, 11

 

Introduction:

1.  Today is a different day in our ABF’s –we’re wrapping up our series on … “Finding Hope”

- we all need hope at various times in our lives . . . every day!

- the issue is: Where are you going to go to get it?  OR Who or what are you going to look to in order to get hope?

2.  Review the definition of HOPE: 

  • hope = the anxious anticipation of good – from a (biblical perspective)

- while we don’t know what God in His sovereignty will ULTIMATELY do, we know that He will do whatever He pleases to do for His glory and our good!

- this definition comes from Romans 8:18-25 [READ!!]

> especially note:  v. 24-25

  • Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

3.  We are not always able to SEE all the ways God can be GLORIFIED or we can GROW as a result of the situation we are facing

- but we can consider the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and ask the question: [Gal. 5:22-23]

  • How can this situation help me to growing in the fruit of Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self-control?

4.  But we know we have HOPE because of Who God is, what He can do . . . and what He promised He would do!

- the world (as it responds to various situations) defines hope a lot differently

  • hope = more as an uncertainty of the outcome (world’s perspective)

Example: “Well, I hope everything turns out OK” – but with a high degree of uncertainty

- there is no real confidence . . . just more speculation and uncertainty

- we need to remember a very important principle:

5. The definition you hold to will be based on the SOURCE of your hope!

a.  Just like every person has a SOURCE OF TRUTH, everyone has a SOURCE OF HOPE

> either one’s own personal thinking & reasoning (which is cursed by sin/can’t trust it)

> or another source cursed by sin and untrustworthy

> or the Word of God – a book inspired (God-breathed), sufficient, inerrant, eternal!

b.  The OT (especially in the Psalms) gives a clear picture of the real source of hope

[READ Psalms 42:5,11 and Psalm 43:5]

- we can learn from these passages and others that . . .

* There is only one TRUE source of hope . . . and that is God!

- remember what the Psalmist wrote in the following passages:

  • Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
  • Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

- these verses give us hope because God is SOVEREIGN and He is in control and will do WHATEVER He pleases

- and because He is HOLY, we know that He CANNOT make a mistake!

- that is the basis of our HOPE – His perfection

Input: What other attributes of God give us hope?   [various answers]

A:  Grace, mercy, love, patience, OMNIPOTENCE, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT, …immutability (never changing – He is consistent, always the same!

Point:  Our hope is in God (not our circumstances, abilities, the skill/knowledge of others) . . .it’s in God alone!

6.  Let’s look back over this year’s ABF studies and evaluate how we (you) are doing in Finding Hope

Q: Why is it good to evaluate?  (to look back & access the progress, what was accomplished)

- there are a lot of reasons, but I’d like to mention a couple very important one:

#1: Looking back gives us reason to PRAISE God for the good things accomplished!

- God is our helper -- He gives us that grace, mercy, wisdom, etc.

- Jesus said in John 15:5 “without Me, you can do nothing”

#2: Looking back can reveal the WEAKNESSES

- and we are able to see the lessons we need to LEARN from mistakes

- reveals areas where we need to change and grow

- one of the biggest reasons it good to evaluate and consider the past:

#3:  One day, we will all be JUDGED by the Final Judge, Jesus (John 5:22)

  • John 5:22"For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.
  • The Judgment Seat of Christ for believers (2 Cor. 5:10)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
  • The Great White Throne for unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-15
  • Revelation 20:11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Point: * Since God is holy (and just), there is accountability for EVEYRBODY!

7.  Let’s think back over this year of ABF Ministry and ask: Did we find hope in . . .

  • The Basics to Help (spiritual growth) – this is the doctrine of progressive sanctification

- the put off/put on process

- the need for the Word of God which can ‘sanctify’ (set us apart)

- it takes time, but should always be making progress

- evidence of changing and growing?

  • The 4 Rules of Communication

(Review Rules 1-4)

  • World View:  How Christ engaged in the world but was not ‘of the world’

- we are told not to ‘love the world’ (1 John 2:15) – but that is the world SYSTEM – not people!

IMPORTANT QUESTION:  Are you growing in building relationships with others who do not know the Lord as their Savior?

  • Big Words:
  • Salvation – our redemption, rescued from the eternal punishment
  • Justification – legally declared righteous on the account books of heaven
  • Sanctification – being ‘set apart’ in Christ (positionally and progressive)
  • The Promises of God
  • 1 Cor. 10:13 – God is faithful
  • 2 Cor. 12:9 – Grace is sufficient
  • Matthew 7 – Ask, Seek, Knock [DOING A WHOLE SERIES ON PRAYER 2010]
  • James 1 – The process of temptation
  • Heb. 13:5 – Never leave you, nor forsake you
  • The Wonderful Counselor – Did you get hope in …
  • Questions He Asked
  • Defining the Problem – the way He defined them – no excuses
  • Relationships – Are you better are REACHING OUT TO OTHERS?
  • Hope – Do you HAVE Hope? If not, you’re not like to give hope to others – and you will get bitter and anger!
  • Instructions – Are you a LEARNER? Do you really WANT God’s Word to tell you what to do?
  • Expectations (Homework – we have to do our part though obedience)
  • Disciples He Choose (ordinary guys – just like us!) – Do you see areas you need to grow?
  • Helping Others (looking for ways to serve other people) – Are you serving others or is FBC for what you can get out of it?

Note: Some want the benefits of a church, but they do not want to take on any responsibilities of the church!

Note:  ABF’s helping with Church Family Nights in 2010!!

Conclusion:

- Let’s think about these areas on 4 levels – where is your HOPE on the following levels:

 

  • Personal Level – how are YOU doing in your relationship with Christ? His Word? Prayer?
  • Marriage Level – Is your marriage growing stronger? Do you have more hope that you can be what God wants you to be in your marriage?
  • Family Level – Is your family growing stronger? Problems being solved?
  • Church Level– How are things with your brothers/sisters in Christ? Are you taking on any responsibilities to help advance the cause? Relationships being built with people you don’t know?
  • Community Level – Do you have hope that people can be reached with the Gospel? What are you doing to spread the message of the Gospel?

Faith Church