Hope is a very precious thing…with hope anything can be accomplished
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Without hope everything can be lost or destroyed
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,……..but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
In the Bible you can’t get away from the idea of hope, God is love, peace and he indeed is hope
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The word hope in the Bible is from the Greek word “Elpis.” “It means a desire of some good with an expectation of obtaining it.”
Let’s be honest, in most cases hope is required because we are going through some great difficulty. If that is that case then in America and the world, today we need hope!
In 1927 a Coast guard destroyer accidently rammed and sank the USS S-4 submarine off of the coast of Massachusetts.
Every effort was made to rescue the six members of the crew, 34 had already been lost.
The accident occurred because the weather was awful with storms all around. But divers risked their lives hour after hour diving trying their best to rescue the crew. Several of the rescuers had to be rescued themselves because of the hazardous conditions…After hours of rescue attempt communicating through the use of morse code tapping on the side wall. LT Graham Fitch one of the trapped men tapped out this message…”Is there any hope?” Captain Earnest King of the rescue boat responded, “There is always hope, we are doing everything possible!”
We are told you can live…
50 days without food, 8 days without water, 5 minutes without air, but only a few seconds without hope
We read the hope deferred makes us sick but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life!
How do we get from a sick heart to a tree of life, to a place where despite the battles and the circumstances we can find hope?
Let’s take a look at Psalm 13
O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
3 Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
David wrote this psalm in a very and obviously desperate time. How does this bring hope? Just hang with me today and let’s see if we can relate and find the hope we need today.
David cries out “how long will you forget me, turn your back on me?”
Can you relate at times to the sense of anguish and just plain being agitated at God for seemingly not being there for you at times?
As we go through this Psalm today, I want you to think of it as climbing a mountain. David is at his lowest valley…he is feeling that God doesn’t care, that he is not important and that somehow God has forgotten about him.
It is easy to believe these lies because the world is hopeless and reinforces the idea of there being no hope because they do not have God’s word nor his promises to rely on by faith.
If you forget how important you are to the Lord, if you forget that Jesus died for you, if you forget you are the one the Lord loves the most it is easy to lose all hope.
We get hit with bad things and most times we can shake them off but there are times when we are weary, or times when things just seem to pile on that we come to that place… God where are you? Don’t you care? God, I guess I’m just not that important to you! Once again, we need to remember always who God says that we are.
Just get honest with God
Again David cries out with “how long” this time still feeling abandoned without hope.
David felt ignored by God that every day, more and more he was abandoned by him…that he was utterly hopeless with nowhere to go because God has so forsaken him that even his enemies are being victorious over him at every turn…he is backed into a corner, God is not there for him and his enemies are just running over him constantly.
Have you been there? Have you ever felt God has abandoned you? Have you ever felt God was playing favorites and that others were being blessed and God was just allowing you enemies or even friends mock you and tear you down.
Jesus felt that way on the cross…he said My God why have you turned your back on me as his enemies sat around and mocked him feeling glee at his predicament and imminent death.
God allows us to get it all out…sometimes that is all he is waiting for, for us to realize the depths of despair and lack of faith we have in God, to be honest with ourselves and God rather than playing a religious game so we can see what he sees.
It is in this place, that David’s attitude begins to change…he realizes where else can he go…he begins to climb the mountain to begin to believe that God does care.
God will always give you what you need to overcome!
13:3 Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
There is the beginning of expectation…he has gone from feeling hopelessly abandoned to know he is talking to God….the phrase restore the sparkle is David saying OK God I don’t understand why things are happening but give me light (wisdom and understanding) why I am in this place, why I feel this way….he is looking to God for the answers…no longer blaming him for the situation but understands that God is the one who can give the answers that he needs.
The enemy and the world’s big game with people of faith is to get them to try, with futility, to solve their problems by themselves…there is a whole self-help industry built on this premise! You are powerful enough in yourself, if you just think positively enough you can solve all your problems…with minor situations, minor corrections can be made that do work but for the reality of the general hopelessness our world is in, when you feel the family failures crushing you, the business difficulties crushing you, when the health crisis keeps hitting you hard….the world doesn’t have the answers.
We need to come to the Lord and expect him to give the very clear, very direct, wisdom and understanding that we need and he will give it…he will not fail us…James tells us if anyone lacks wisdom to ask and the Lord will give it in abundance
God always protects his own
13:4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
As David climbs the mountain further coming out of his hopelessness, David is basically reminding the Lord that he is his and any failure would be something that would be against the Lord. David is inferring here that if the enemies of David proclaim their victory of him they are proclaiming a victory over the Lord and that never happens.
As you climb your own mountain of hope you need to remember that you are a child of God. It does not matter how you feel, if depression is overwhelming you, hopelessness is all around you, you are a child of the King….no weapon Isaiah tells us will prosper and every wagging tongue you shall condemn in fact David will say later Psalm 37:25
I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
God will always defend, protect, supply for, guide, help, rescue all who are His! We need to simply remember who we are to God, who we are in Christ….we are never hopeless because the God who is hope, is in us
AS we climb this mountain coming from utter hopelessness, being surrounded by despair and impossibilities to where we begin to get honest with God tell him how we feel where we are, getting it all out. Expectation begins to build, we realize God always has a way out and we cry out to him for answers even in our woundedness and abandonment we know he has the answers….God will begin to remind you who you are and that he will never turn his back on you, never forsake you, even in your darkest hour you are still his child and he will defend and protect you….there is no darkness dark enough to hide his light. Then you will be ready to receive his love feel his presence again despite the despair you are coming out of and he will begin to show you…the truth! David found that at the top of this mountain he climbed from despair and hopelessness to victory!
Let’s look at these last verses of chapter 13
God loves you
But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. 6 I will sing to the LORD because he is good to me.
Can you believe it the man who thought God had turned his back on him, forgotten him as he dealt with his stuff God met him and reminded him…God’s love never fails thought heaven and earth will pass away, His love will never fail, it is from everlasting until ever lasting
David made a choice to believe God’s word over his feelings over the enemies voices around him over the nay-sayers that would hold him down…he made a choice over even the possibility that he was not well physically or emotionally. This psalm could be dealing with a very physical struggle he was having. He chooses to believe God at his word to remember who God is in his life to remember all the Lord has done for him….he says I trust (I choose) to believe in your unfailing love…I may not be seeing it with my own eyes right this minute but I know my hope is restore because I know God has and is in the process of rescuing me….my heart is so full of expectation that I will sing of his goodness and because he is good to me!
I started out today with the question, “Is there hope?”
When we feel hopeless like we have been abandoned be honest with yourself and God…get it all out
Realize no matter how bad the situation may be whether personal, corporate, or national, God is supreme and he has an answer and will gladly give it if we stop, ask, and wait
Remember you are his and he protects his own, you are never alone you are his and he loves you!
I need to repeat this because it is truly the three word answer to all hopelessness “God loves you!”
His love is not conditional it is eternal, it is not limited or controlled by circumstances it is real, powerful and always!
Yes there is hope….God is hope work it today, believe it today, and let’s restore your hope today!