I can’t jump into the lesson with honoring that great Man of God who got to go Home to be with the Lord last week.
It is said that when a father dies a son comes into his own.
Billy Graham has many spiritual children all over the world. As he passed into glory his legacy did not die. It was activated.
Billy Graham was a great man of God. His presence on earth will be missed.
Does anyone have a memory of how their life was touched by him that they want to share?
I remember as a child when we were at the beach with extended family my aunt would always listen to him preaching on the radio. I always wondered why. Then later a number of years ago, Billy Graham came here where I live to do a Crusade and I got to go to the trainings to be a prayer counselor on the field. Those trainings went on for weeks and were very very powerful. They helped me grow up in the LORD. Then being able to be at the stadium for several of his talks. WOW.
Later in the last 3 or 4 years his son did an event here and as a result of training I got an email inviting me to be part of his online evangelism ministry. There are chat coaches, email coaches and Discipleship coaches.
There has been an increase in response since he died.
SearchforJesus.net and PeacewithGod.net are two active ones.
Father thank you for the life of Billy Graham and for all the lives he touched. Be with his family during this time and may many hearts be drawn to you as a result of his continuing ministry. In Jesus name amen.
Our topic is: HOPE
What is hope?
There was a time when I would and did say I had no hope.
In some ways I would still say that.
How would you finish this sentence…”I hope…….”
Would you describe yourself as hopeful? Why or why not?
What if I changed the question a bit and asked who is our HOPE?
Are we filled WITH Hope?
Does that change your thinking?
As part of a Bible Study at church we were supposed to ponder “hope” this week. I want to share what I wrote when I asked Abba to tell me about hope. Some of you may have seen this on FB or Wordpress. The picture verse is posted in the Photo Forum here.
Beloved Hope is a person.
Hope is a position.
Hope is the glue,
That holds your life together.
You think, you have no hope,
Yet each time you “live and move and have your being in Me”,
You are living in Hope.
Hope truly is the sure and certain knowing,
That no matter what life brings,
Or doesnt bring,
You are safe .
Safe to live and move and “be” in My Love.
So Hope is the anchor.
Which holds life steady,
During every single storm.
Now we are going to validate this writing by looking into the Word to see what God says to us there about hope. I hope when we are finished…you have a different concept or a deeper one about Biblical Hope.
The first one is about Hope as the anchor.
Hebrews 6 18That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us: 19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; 20Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Once a few years ago I read a little devo about Hope as the Anchor. It was then I began to realize that Hope is a person. The person of Jesus. And we know that Jesus will never leave us and has given us the Holy Spirit who is always with us to teach, guide, convict, direct. Right?
I found out some interesting information at soulnourishing.com about the anchor metaphor. The anchor has been interpreted in different ways throughout history. The Anchor is the Victorian symbol for Hope. Early Christians used the anchor as a disguised cross, and as a marker to guide the way to secret meeting places. The anchor was a key Christian symbol during the period of Roman persecution. The first century symbol wasn’t the cross; it was the anchor. Christians were being burned at the stake and thrown to the lions, so hiding their faith was important at that time.
Did you know that? I never knew that before.
The word ‘Anchor’ is also defined as “something that serves to hold an object firmly in place.” An anchor keeps you from drifting. Hope can keep our soul – which is made up of the combination of our heart, mind, and body – at rest, safe as if anchored in the harbor.
So if JESUS is our anchor and our hope…are we safe no matter what storms come into our lives?
One of my favorite “go to” sources is a site called “gotquestions.org.“ I went there to get more clarity on what professional Biblical scholars say about hope and found this:
Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in "I hope something will happen." This is not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition of hope is "confident expectation." Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1, 7).
Hope is a fundamental component of the life of the righteous (Proverbs 23:18). Without hope, life loses its meaning (Lamentations 3:18; Job 7:6) and in death there is no hope (Isaiah 38:18; Job 17:15). The righteous who trust or put their hope in God will be helped (Psalm 28:7), and they will not be confounded, put to shame, or disappointed (Isaiah 49:23). The righteous, who have this trustful hope in God, have a general confidence in God's protection and help (Jeremiah 29:11) and are free from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3).
The New Testament idea of hope is the recognition that in Christ is found the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (Matthew 12:21, 1 Peter 1:3). Christian hope is rooted in faith in the divine salvation in Christ (Galatians 5:5). Hope of Christians is brought into being through the presence of the promised Holy Spirit (Romans 8:24-25). It is the future hope of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6), the promises given to Israel (Acts 26:6-7), the redemption of the body and of the whole creation (Romans 8:23-25), eternal glory (Colossians 1:27), eternal life and the inheritance of the saints (Titus 3:5-7), the return of Christ (Titus 2:11-14), transformation into the likeness of Christ (1 John 3:2-3), the salvation of God (1 Timothy 4:10) or simply Christ Himself (1 Timothy 1:1).
The certainty of this blessed future is guaranteed through the indwelling of the Spirit (Romans 8:23-25), Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), and the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:26). Hope is produced by endurance through suffering (Romans 5:2-5) and is the inspiration behind endurance (1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:11). Those who hope in Christ will see Christ exalted in life and in death (Philippians 1:20). Trustworthy promises from God give us hope (Hebrews 6:18-19), and we may boast in this hope (Hebrews 3:6) and exhibit great boldness in our faith (2 Corinthians 3:12). By contrast, those who do not place their trust in God are said to be without hope (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Along with faith and love, hope is an enduring virtue of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13), and love springs from hope (Colossians 1:4-5). Hope produces joy and peace in believers through the power of the Spirit (Romans 12:12; 15:13). Paul attributes his apostolic calling to the hope of eternal glory (Titus 1:1-2). Hope in the return of Christ is the basis for believers to purify themselves in this life (Titus 2:11-14, 1 John 3:3).
We are going to break those down and look at or read each scripture. Because as we fill our mind and hearts with The Word we are changed and I imagine all of us could use a booster shot of hope. At least I can.
Father God, would you open our hearts to receive whatever YOU have for us? Help us to tune out distrations and what we think we know in order to have a deeper understanding of Hope. Thank you God, in Jesus name amen.
Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown
Romans 8:24-25; For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Dodi Note: Hope in Salvation. Hope that God does love us, did die for us, does and will forgive us and does actually want us. He does:) And so we wait for the outworking here on earth but also in heaven.
Hebrews 11:1, 7 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Dodi Note: Can you imagine what his friends and neighbors thought? Or even perhaps at times what Noah himself thought. And yet…. he had hope filled faith, didn’t he? And built that ark and the RAIN did indeed come.
Hope is a fundamental component of the life of the righteous (Proverbs 23:18. Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Dodi Note: We have eternal life with God in heaven. But we also have God walking with us during our time on earth as well.
You all please feel free to add any observations as we go along tonight.
Without hope, life loses its meaning
Lamentations 3:18; so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the Lord.”
Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle
and come to their end without hope.
Dodi Note: Not sure this is encouraging except that in a way it is… God did not strike them dead on the spot for lack of hope (which is in a sense faith as well).
In death there is no hope
Isaiah 38:18;For Sheol does not thank you;
death does not praise you;
those who go down to the pit do not hope
for your faithfulness.
Job 17:15). where then is my hope?
Who will see my hope?
Dodi Note: So hope is a gift, a mind-heart attitude and maybe a choice for the LIVING. Because hope, especially hope in the goodness of God would certainly make people wonder how we endured.
The righteous who trust or put their hope in God will be helped
(Psalm 28:7), The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Dodi Note: I like this and other examples that show us that we can choose to TRUST in God. We can choose hope in knowing God will do as he has promised.
And when we look for God in the midst of hard times, we will notice him and our hearts will become filled with joy. Like we talked about.. joy even during times of sorrow.
When my husband was so ill and life was so hard… that was when I began to look for “little gifts” scattered by the loving hand of God throughout my day. A flower in a crack in a walkway. A glimplse of sun on a cloudy day or a cloud covering the sun on a too hot day. A friendly smile etc.
We/they will not be confounded, put to shame, or disappointed
Isaiah 49:23. Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”
Dodi Note: Often waiting on God is linked with hope. For hope to be activated, we must “wait” on God. Serve God, look to God. Remember the old term used in British Royalty? The “Ladies in Waiting”. Which meant the servants who were always avaiable to do the bidding of the Monarch? We are referred to as Jesus’s Bondservants. Kind of the same thing. But for us the reward is way better than being a servant of an earthly ruler.
Often poor children were sent to be servants in order that they would be well fed and have safe housing. Our heritage and our safety in Christ is way better isn’t it?
Monday night Bible study discussion archive. Feel free to view and comment on the studies posted here.
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