TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Psalm 139:7-12; Mark 5:23-34; Matthew 28:20; Lamentations 3:21-26;
BOTTOM LINE: It is God With Us that can bring us HOPE even in our greatest times of crisis and need! Everything else will eventually let us down.
QUESTION: What is HOPE? Where can we discover HOPE when it feels like there is no chance?
ADVENTis actually a Season of HOPE. ADVENT means Coming or Arrival, and it’s this season marked w/ Expectation.
ADVENT is not just an extension of CHRISTmas, it’s a season that connects together the Past, the Present and the Future.
Wherever we are in our own Spiritual Journey, God has invited us into this season. As a church we are walking together in this season, but we’re also doing so in a way that leaves some space for some of the Questions and some of the Struggles that may arise too as we take some time Prepare our Hearts for the Coming of Christ.
Though the arrival of Jesus, the Promised Messiah, HOPE in Israel was alive again! HOPE on earth at its deepest levels was alive again!
And maybe some of us are thinking … that’s great … and that’s all good and well for the Israelites 1,000’s of years ago. But what about for us? What about Me?
- I’m fighting Cancer
- My spouse wasn’t killed fighting in a war on the other side of the world …
- The Israelites didn’t lose their job w/ no warning … w/ bills to pay and debts stacking up and kids expecting CHRISTmas presents … not to mention food on the table.
No matter what kind of problems and struggles we’re facing in this season; no matter how dark it seems in this moment; I’m hoping that from this lens of the CHRISTmas story, and as we walk in this season of ADVENT, that we won’t abandon HOPE.
HOPE is still alive, even in our deepest pain. Times when we feel the most HOPELESS, HOPE is alive because God is With Us!
- HOPE is Based On GOD’S WORD!
Psalm 139:7-12 … “7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
- HOPE is Based On God’s CHARACTER!
Matthew 28:20 … “20I am with you always, to the very end of the Age.”
- HOPE is Based On God’s FAITHFULNESS!
Lamentations 3:21-26… “21Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have HOPE. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ The Lord is good to those whose HOPE is in Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”