Thus, the message below:
Title is “HOPE.”
1 Peter 3:15:
“Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”
“Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed;”
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
I heard a teacher once say that we, when speaking, should tell what we will consider; then share that considered subject, and then summarize what we’ve told. I’ll try to do that.
In thinking of HOPE:
1. What IS hope? It is the EXPECTATION of something GOOD or DESIRED.
2. WHY hope? We hope, because the Bible commands us to hope as in the above Romans chapter 5 and chapter 8 passages ssay.
3. In WHOM to hope?
In some of my favorite Bible passage, Isaiah 43:1-7: we read:
“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”
How reassuring that we are PRECIOUS to God!
Continuing to verse Isaiah 43:5-7:
This is the passaghe to which the Bible had been opened, and to which Mr. Holt’s eyes landed in mid-1950s, after Korean War. He left his home in ORegon and was headed to Korea to adopt some more orphans. While overnighting in Tokio, he wondered, “What if this isn’t the Lord’s will? Am I doing the right thing?” He asked the Lord to show him.
After praying, he turned on the light, and his eyes landed on this passage of Isaiah 43:5-7:
Again, notice God repeats the command of not fearing.
“Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west: I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Based on the above Isaiah 43:1-7, we can see that God speaks to us through the Bible, addressing the QUESTIONS, the rivery floods or storms of this life.
He did that when my Korean father literally threw me into a river during the Korean War, when we had NO HOPE, no home, no food, and no seeable way of finding any. Although I at that time did not know there was a Bible, did not know that God had spoken these words, because He helped me not to be afraid of the water, instead of sinking into the water and drowning, God helped me to STAY on TOP.
This principle of not fearing the troubled times of life will help us to stay afloat, whether our river may be:
lack of money, or bad health, or troubled personal relationships, etc.
Verses 1-3 of Isaiah 43 above is also the same passage that had been set to music by Mary Hill, composed for her master’s degree in music and published in 1916, right before the Hills married and went to Korea as missionaries.
After the Korean War years later, they founded the orphanage where I lived. At the time of her setting this to music in 1916, I was born not until 1947 or so; however, God, who knows the end from the beginning about us all, had it ready for fitting my life’s story and singing.
Although I was in Hill’s orphanage, and not in Holt orphanage, some missionaries, who heard my singing, gave my name to Holt Adoption Agency to have me go to America for Music training.
Through the Holt Agency, countless orphans have been adopted from the east (Asia) to this great land of America.
Yes, we can hope, because God has PROVEN to be with us
through the troubled waters of life in the PAST. Since He has already demonstrated this truth, or has a track record, we can confidently hope that He will be with us in the deep waters in our FUTURE, and through hot fires, heart-breaking experiences of life, even though we may weep rivers of hot tears, burning our heart and face like fires do.
What to do in such times?
In such times, we must ENCOURAGE ourselves as did David in Psalm 42 and 43, three times in just 12 verses!
Psalm 42:5, 42:11, and third time in Psalm 43:5:
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
Then for the second time in the same Psalm in Psalm 42:11:
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the HEALTH of my countenance, and my God.”
Then the THIRD time just five verses later in Psalm 43:5:
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the HEALTH of my countenance, and my God.”
This earthly life is a journey sometimes over sunshiny mountains and sometimes through dark valleys. Yet, knowing that hope maketh not ashamed as Romans 5:5 said, we obey the command of “HOPE in God” through even the lowest valleys or the deepest rough waters.
Proverbs 4:18 says “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
Sometimes we think it is not very bright for a long period of time, but we must not LOSE hope.
The culmination of this life of hope is when Jesus will return to take us as His Bride to heaven. We read of this climactic hope in
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.”
Iniquity is the bad result of consequence of sin. Examples of iniquity are:
Disorder or chaos,
confusion, hating the good and loving the evil,
misunderstanding between us in personal relationships,
misunderstandings between nations that cause wars that result in millions of deaths.
Death is the last enemy.
How I so YEARn for Jesus’s appearing!
That indeed is the biggest and most blessed hope.
1. Whenever asked, I give answer for the hope in me,, and it is because Jesus is my HOPE.
2. Why hope?
Because God has a good track record of going through rivers and fires of this life WITH us.
3. HOW to continue in hope?
By talking to ourselves the Bible, which repeatedly tells our soul to HOPE in God, because I shall yet praise him, who is literally the health of my countenance, and my God.
As Romans 8:24 said, “We are SAVED by HOPE.”
Jesus, who gave Himself up for us, is the ONLY way to God. If you aren’t sure that you’d go to heaven WITH Him at His coming, or when you die even before His coming, please ask hIm to come in your heart right now as your personal Savior. Then by faith, believe that He has come inside you and made you His own.
In closing, Psalm 39:7:
“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in thee.”