In a world where it seems all hope is lost… one truly loves your soul. He gives an anchor for the soul, deeper than the deepest pit and beyond the veil of death. It looks heavenward for the blessed hope – the return of the Lord Jesus. The scope of this hope reaches humanity-wide to every willing soul. In the extremity of the cross we see our reason for hope is found in Christ alone.
Have you ever LOST HOPE?
- It can be hard to REGAIN it.
- To REBUILD trust in people.
- To make A FRESH START.
I want to tell you – you can.
The OPPOSITE of HOPE, I suppose, is TERROR. How we desperately need HOPE in our world today! A world where it seems all hope is lost – a world where many people have only a vain hope.
Even when it seems hopeless… I want to tell you there is HOPE today. And YOU CAN FIND HOPE.
I want to tell you of AUSTRALIA’S ONLY HOPE.
Sometimes it can sometimes feel like all hope is gone.
We have had our hopes dashed. Smashed.
From time to time. There’s been…
Life’s hard knocks can leave people feeling HOPE-LESS. Lost.
WHERE CAN hope be found?
Some try and find hope by escape, by drugs or drink, but end up empty and lost…
Some try to fill their lives with busy-ness or maybe some worthwhile endeavour, but it still cannot fill the void in the soul. They still lack this certainty of a sure hope.
If you go searching for Hope on the internet you come across this image. A man whose slogan was hope. A president. But did he really deliver hope?
Some look for a guru or a mantra that they can say, or pray. I have heard it said there’s no hope in the Pope. Really, there’s no hope in a person, or a prophet, or a president… Hope is not found in a religion. A philosophy. A secret society.
It is in none of these things.
All the claims and promises fall flat. The slick marketing and the promises of presidents and politicians often don’t materialise in the real world.
Watch what happens…
Now watch carefully and see if you notice anything different…
There are all kinds of unflattering things people have done with President Obama’s image and his slogan of hope. Hope is more than a marketing ploy or a claim made by men.
There is One who promises hope. Who delivers.
Our Lord Jesus.
He gives us reason for hope.
There was a woman a while back we invited along to church. She had contacted our church and we kept in touch and she thanked us for keeping in contact with us and inviting us.
One time she jokingly texted us with: “Have you got a single man lined up for me or something lol!”
I joked with her that he was coming to church next week. She texted me back with “LOL stranger things have happened! Thank you again for loving my soul!”
Now I know sometimes churches can be like a matchmaking centre.
I must confess that I found the catch of my life in a church and we have been attending church together ever since I laid eyes on her.
But what drives us – why we are here and reaching out to people is because we love their souls.
I would like to think that we are known as a church that loves souls.
And there is one who truly loves your soul.
He is… Jesus, lover of my soul. The true giver of hope.
I’m going to break tradition today and not have a three point sermon, but a four point one…
Hope in four dimensions if you like – we will look at the Depth, the Height, the Breadth, and the Length.
Firstly, the Depth of hope…
The Lord Jesus is the one who can give you an anchor for your soul.
He can ground your life and setlle you. He gives us a solid foundation to build our lives upon.
This is the DEPTH of this Hope. This Hope goes deeper than the deepest pit you could ever be in.
This hope reaches to the guttermost, to the uttermost. There is no one out of reach of this hope. You can’t go low enough that His arm cannot reach you.
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
We read about a hope that we have that can hold us steady in all the storms that we may ever have to face.
This Hope is deep. As deep as the deepest sea. Yet your anchor can hold fast.
This sure and steady Hope is described as an anchor of the soul.
The Word of God tells how that we can flee to Jesus for refuge and find this life changing hope in Him.
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
This tells of a hope that goes beyond this dimension.
One day we will step beyond the veil of this earthly time – into the great beyond. And this hope is timeless. The hope that we have goes beyond the curtain of this life – into the life beyond the veil.
This ray of hope can lighten your darkness and give you a radiant hope. In the here and now, and in the hereafter…
We can find hope in the promises of the Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus tells us of a living Hope.
Even in the depths and dread of death. This hope is deeper still.
This is Hope that stays alive beyond the grave:
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
The empty tomb give us hope.
There is hope. If God can take a body that had been dead for three days, and give life, make it a glorified body, then He can and will change us.
For the ones who have been born again…
It says to us that our hope is eternal.
The hope we have as an anchor of the soul.
The hope we have is cause for true blessing and joy deep down in our soul.
Now let’s consider the HEIGHT of this hope…
It reaches to the heights of heaven, because that is where this hope comes from.
It is a joyful hope that our Lord will return. When He comes to take rightful rule – when He comes to take charge of planet earth and overthroe the one who is the so-called god, little g of this wolrd.
The Lord Jesus will right the wrongs when THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS.
He is with us now and He can fill our hearts with HOPE THAT TRANSFORMS US:
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
We read of A BLESSED HOPE.
This is high and holy hope. Hope that reaches to the highest, to the very heavens from whence our Saviour will return. This hope is deep as death and this hope is high as heaven.
Our blessed hope is found in Him. In other words this hope is a blessing – it brings us joy and gladness. Our glad hope is that the Lord Jesus is returning as King and Master. It fills our hearts with joy to know this.
And we are looking for that with a confident hope.
The hope we have as an anchor of the soul is one we want to share:
1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
This hope that we have as an anchor of the soul is in us. It is deep in our soul. And it is heavenly hope, found in our soon coming King – the Lord Jesus.
So we have good reason for it.
So we want to set apart the Lord God in our hearts. We want to honour Him with our hearts and our lives.
We CAN find HOPE.
God is THE AUTHOR OF HOPE.
He wrote the book.
He fills us with all joy and hope in believing, through faith. Through His Holy Spirit’s power.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus, the Christ blood and righteousness. We should not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean upon Jesus name.
Upon Christ, the solid rock we stand because all other ground is sinking sand.
The scriptures give to us hope.
We have a book filled full with His promises that can bring us hope and healing:
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
This book of Hope is filled with stories of God at work in the lives of men and women. People just like you and me.
We have seen the depth of this hope. It is as deep as the deepest pit we can ever be in, and hope that will not abandon us in the depths of even death.
It is a heavenly hope, a blessed hope, reaching to the very heights.
The depth, the height, and now the breadth. This hope is as broad as the human race.
The scriptures bring us hope.
They tell the stories of lives, of peoples, that this hope can reach every one who will believe.
Our problems are not unique to us.
We catch a glimpse of Heaven’s worship in…
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy … for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
The BREADTH of this hope is universal, to every kindred, tongue, people, and nation…
And this hope reaches humanity wide to all who will believe.
People down through history have faced much the same trials and tests we have. And some worse!
God ministered to them in their situation and He will do the same for us.
The same God who was with with those saints of old, is with us today.
Even when everything seems LOST.
David lost everything that he had at Ziglag. The Amalekites came and raided and destroyed all, and took everything that he owned. What did David do?
1 Samuel 30:6
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,
It looked hopeless…
every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
“David encouraged himself in the Lord God”.
He asked the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this troop, shall I overtake them?
God said, “Pursue, for thou shalt surely overtake them and without fail, recover all”. God promised VICTORY and David won the battle.
Right through this Book of Hope, we read how God ministered to the needs of people, just like you and me, and He can and will minister hope into our lives as well.
Here’s how someone put it…
Are you lonely and depressed? Look at Elijah, he thought he didn’t have a friend in the world. He thought he was the only one who still loved God. He was alone and depressed. But Elijah found that God was still with him, that God was there. God showed Elijah that things were not as bad as he thought.
Are you frightened? Something in your life has got out of control? Look at David, he fought a 9 foot 6 inch giant and beat him. God was with David, no need to be afraid when God is on our side. As the Bible states, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
Are you being treated unfairly? What about Joseph? He was treated unfairly. He was treated unfairly by his family, by Potiphar’s wife, and by Potiphar himself, and the list goes on. Yet His hope was in God.
Joseph went from the pit to the prison to the palace – to be the second most powerful man in Egypt.
Are you in some sort of crisis? How would you like to be facing a group of hungry lions with nowhere to run! That’s were Daniel found himself. What did Daniel do? He prayed, because he knew where his hope was. It was in God.
The scriptures are given to us that we might have hope.
Let your conversation be without covetousness;
In other words, don’t let your life be all caught up about material things and making a living. and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Jesus will not leave us.
Hope in God. Know that He is still with you. He cares for his children.
None of our problems are new.
God can give us hope and we can overcome.
This hope is DEEP as death, as HIGH as the heavens. Its BREADTH is as wide as the human race. And it LENGTH is as far as Christ went for us.
He went to the extremity of the cross. He went all the way to the cross. He did not stop short.
We can know where to find hope.
We can know where our hope is!
God’s love is as extreme for us, as extreme the cross was to Him. And His love does not stop short it took Him all the way to the cross.
He is always with us.
No matter what our situation, hope is there.
And this hope is with us wherever life’s journey takes us. Along life’s long and winding road.
That Hope we have is Jesus Christ.
And He is with us every step of the way, if we will but trust Him.
We have reason for hope because God has demonstrated His love towards us.
The cross reminds us that someone loves us.
The master of the universe, and He is Lord of all, the Lord of lords, the King of kings. And most of all, we can know His hope when He is our Lord, our King.
Listen to His words:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
He is the lover of your soul.
You can rest your anchor in this hope. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul.
Paul cared about souls, and he prayed…
(17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Here is where hope is found, Christ dwelling in human hearts by faith, knowing the great love of God…
(18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
(19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Here is love.
You can find Hope here.
Here at the cross.
Back to verse 18:
(18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
You can find Hope, in these four dimensions…
The DEPTH of hope – even in the pit, even in the shadow of death.
The HEIGHT of hope is as high as the heaven, whereto we look, for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Lord.
The BREADTH of hope – it encompasses all who will believe, no matter where they hail from.
And most of all, the LENGTH of Hope – what our Lord went through. He went to the extremity of the cross to redeem us from our sin, to set us free, and to bring us eternal, everlasting, never ending hope.
Are you searching but have yet to find this hope?