Abound in Hope

Last Sunday, Chad Ferrell preached the sermon, “The Kingdom Is Better,” from Matthew 13:44-46. We learned that the Kingdom of Christ is better than anything this world has to offer because it is worth more than anything else, and it alone fills us with true joy. At the end of his sermon, Chad gave us two goals: 1) Talk with another believer about how the kingdom is better than anything else in your life. 2) Pray and look for an opportunity to share how the kingdom is better than anything else in your life with an unbeliever. Have you been able to do these yet?

Read: Daniel 1:1-7

This Sunday, Jeremy Chasteen will begin our new series, Daniel: Hope that Motivates Faithfulness, with a sermon called “Prepared to Serve the King,” from Daniel 1:1-7. Here, Daniel and his friends find themselves uprooted from their homeland and taken captive to the land of Babylon. Further, King Nebuchadnezzar has hand selected them for the purpose of re-identifying them as Babylonians. Therefore, he isolates them and inundates them with the best of his provisions and Babylonian education in effort to “reprogram” them for service in his kingdom.

Does this sound familiar? Like Daniel and his friends, we too find ourselves as sojourners in a foreign land that is ruled by a foreign king who wants to “reprogram” us for service in his kingdom. Satan’s attacks upon our identity are relentless; therefore, we must strive to be prepared to serve the true King in the midst of attack. Pastor Jeremy will lead us to specific ways that we can ensure that we are always prepared to serve our King Jesus as we await his return.

As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let this devotion from Paul Tripp bolster your hope in the God of endurance.

Reflect: “Abound in Hope”

I love these hope-filled words from Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (ESV)

Read back a few lines. In verse 5, Paul calls your Lord “the God of endurance.” This title really gets at the center of where your hope is to be found.

Let me state it plainly: your hope is not to be found in your willingness and ability to endure, but in God’s unshakable, enduring commitment to never turn from his work of grace. Your hope is that you have been welcomed into communion with One who will endure no matter what.

Why is this so important to understand? Because your endurance will be spotty at best. There will be moments when you forget who you are and live as a grace amnesiac. There will be times when you get discouraged and for a while quit doing the good things God calls you to do. There will be moments, big and small, when you willingly rebel.

Perfect endurance demands just that—perfection—and since none of us is there yet, we must look outside ourselves for hope. Your hope of enduring is not to be found in your character or strength, but in your Lord’s.

The only hope,
the only help,
the only rescue,
the only healing,
the only solace,
the only balm,
the only redemption,
the only restoration
for a broken,
dysfunctional,
sin-scarred,
evil-infected,
morally fallen,
dark, and dangerous
world
isn’t found in
information,
socialization,
education,
political solution,
psychological insight,
or personal reformation,
but in the willing
birth,
righteousness,
humiliation,
suffering,
sacrifice,
and resurrection
of a God-man Redeemer.

No idea can liberate,
no power can save,
no institution can redeem,
restore,
resuscitate,
or recreate
what sin has destroyed.

So a Son had to come.
Son of God.
Son of Man.
The Creator
came to recreate.
The Savior came to be
the sacrifice.
The blessed one
came to suffer,
and in suffering
to bless the world with hope,
help,
rescue,
healing,
solace,
balm,
redemption,
and restoration.

The cost of it all was
his life.
It was his birth mission,
his resurrection victory.
History marched toward his coming;
there was no other way.

Because God will ever be faithful, you can bank on the fact that he will give you what you need to be faithful too. Your perseverance rests on him, and he defines what endurance looks like.

It is the grace of endurance granted to you by the God of endurance that provides you with everything you need to continue to be what he calls you to be and do what he calls you to do between this moment and the moment when you cross over to the other side.

When difficulty exposes the weakness of your resolve and the limits of your strength, you do not have to panic, because he will endure even in those moments when you don’t feel able to do so yourself.

Now that’s a reason to be hopeful today!

“Wednesday Word: August 14, 2019,” by Paul Tripp

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “Praise the King,” arr. Shane & Shane [Corey Voss]
2. “The Lord Our God,” by Passion
3. “Hallelujah, What a Savior,” by Breakaway Ministries
4. “You Never Change,” by Austin Stone Worship
5. “Reign in Us,” arr. Shane & Shane [Starfield]

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