“Obtaining A Living Hope”
May 31, 2020

“Obtaining A Living Hope”

{Watch it at: https://youtu.be/CW4cwFu-lsc
{Listen to it at: https://mega.nz/file/2YlChIZS#IaxGnMpzVVeollU-_Ayz3ugQSBgLfVGCP5_x3–bS7k

I liked to introduce a very unusual verse. It was a statement made that very few people would have ever made given the circumstances this person found themselves in. It was Job.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21 NKJV)

This is not what someone would normally say under such horrific circumstances. Not only did Job lose everything that he had, all of his flocks and herds, but he also lost all of his children to a freak storm. Later, he was smitten with a horrendous disease of boils from the top of his body to the souls of his feet. And these were not little boils, but big huge form altering boils.

What we might say, to an extent, is that Job is where many people find themselves today in the midst of this current pandemic sweeping the globe, as they are experiencing the loss of a job, finances, a place to live, family, freedoms, and even their health, or the loss of a loved one.

But here’s the kicker, and what holds this story out amongst so many, and that is in the midst of these horrendous circumstances, Job not once criticized nor complained against God. Instead, we see from our verse that he worshipped God through it all.

And when we look at what Job said, and understand its implications, we wonder ‘how could he say this,’ especially seeing all the horrible things that happened to him and the adversity he had to endure, including his wife telling him to “Curse God and die.”

But Job knew God, and knew the folly of criticizing and complaining against God even though everything had been taken away on the physical side of the equation. But what we see is that Job still possessed a faith and a hope that is far too often missing in our culture and society, not to mention the church.

Today, humanity places its hope upon science and education that these will in some way come up with the solutions to what has plagued our world since the beginning of time. But, in the end, all these things that humanity had pegged their hopes upon have come up empty, and that’s because all the scientists, philosophers, and educators have yet to find the cure for what plagues humanity, which is nothing less than death.

But Job’s hope was not in humanity’s solutions. Instead, Job’s hope was in the Lord. Job knew that death is the inevitable outcome of life, but he also knew that this life isn’t all that there is to life. He knew that one day he would die, and that after death he would be in the presence of the Lord in bodily form.

“And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God.” (Job 19:26 NLT)

Job knew that he only had one shot at this life, and then once this life was over he would stand before God and give an accounting of the life he lived.

This is what the writer of Hebrews brings forward saying, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)

Further, Job knew that this had nothing to do with how good he was, or if he had done enough good deeds to outweigh the bad ones, but rather he knew that it all had to do with his faith in the Lord.

The Apostle Paul knew this same truth when he penned these words,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)

So, in the midst of his tragedy, Job did something that most would never consider doing, and that is, he blessed and thanked God, having faith in Him and Him alone. And it was such a faith that saw Job return to health and even greater prosperity.

The writer of Hebrews wrote of this hope that the men and women of the Old Testament had as they went through horrendous times as well, and that, in and by faith. Why? So that they could “obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35 NKJV).

Consider what it says about Abraham; that he dwelt in a foreign land that wasn’t his own, and by faith Abraham waited, “for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10 NKJV).

Job was able to handle the tragedies of life because he believed in the Lord. Therefore, he had this hope that even after his death that he would still see the Lord, not only in his soul and spirit, but also in his body as well. And for Job, this became a living hope.

It is this same living hope that we can have as well through the tragedies and disappoints of life. And this living hope only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in what he did for us upon the cross, as He took our place and died our death because of our sins, and then on the third day rose from the dead. And it is this hope, that is the hope of the resurrection, that Jesus gives to everyone.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 NIV)

And the reason we can trust Jesus in this promise is because of what He went on to say

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV)

It is this living hope that Jesus talked about, that through faith in Him we will likewise be raised up on that last day to be with Him.

“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:39-40 NKJV)

When we place our lives in the hands of Jesus, we will never need to fear the pain and horror of being forever separated from Him. Nor will we ever have to worry about whether we are good enough. And here is the promise, that no one who places their faith and hope in Jesus would ever be lost, but have that living hope.

“We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV)

And then Paul ends saying, “Comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18 NKJV). It has been, and always will be God’s desire to comfort us in our darkest hour. Therefore, He sent Jesus to take our place and die our death; to be that perfect sacrifice for sin that we can have this assurance that we will be with Him for all eternity.

Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, had asked Jesus to come and heal their brother who is close to death. But Jesus didn’t come when they had asked Him to. So when Jesus finally arrived, the sisters asked why He didn’t come sooner when their brother was still alive so that he could be healed, because they believed that if He did, then Lazarus would not have died.

Jesus, seeing their distress asked them if they possessed this same living hope that we saw in Job. He said, “Your brother will rise again.” And then He said,

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NIV)

He then raised Lazarus from the dead, and when they unwrapped him, the first face Lazarus saw was that of Jesus.

It is when we make this our own belief; when we make this living hope that Job possessed that saw Him healed and restored, when we make that our living hope, then we will also see Jesus.

And this hope, this faith will bring to us new life, which will not only see us through this world full of pain and sorrow, but it will also bring us into an eternity in the presence of Jesus where we will immediately see the His face when these death shrouds are remove from our eyes as well.

So why this message? It is because it is my hope that everyone will find this same living hope for their lives. That through the losses we experience, loss of loved ones, health, finances, or whatever else these losses may be, that we don’t have to grieve as those who have no hope.

Instead we can possess that living hope for our lives through faith in Jesus Christ, knowing that when death overtakes our bodies, that we will be in the presence of Jesus.

This is brought out quite beautifully in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church.

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV)

And so, no matter what tragedy strikes, we can have this living hope, the same living hope that carried Job through a time of suffering that very few have ever, or if ever, experienced.

But that’s not all. There were a couple of other things that Job did that helped see him through these tragedies, and I would like to take this time to share them in order to help us get through as well.

1. Express Our Grief

Job expressed his grief through tearing his robe, shaving his head, and falling down to worship. These were acts performed by those who were experiencing grief. But then he went even further; he sat in the midst of ashes so everyone would know the immense grief he was going through.

We shouldn’t be ashamed or think that it’s a lack of faith to grieve our losses, and I’m not just talking about death. There are other losses that we grieve as well, like the loss of our health, marriages, jobs, finances, security, freedoms, and even possessions. Losses come in all sizes and shapes, and the normal response to these losses is that of grieving. But there is the blessing that Jesus gives to those who express their grief.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

Here is God’s promise that when we express our grief, that is, when we mourn, that He will comfort us through it. And because of that living hope, that is, the hope of heaven for those who believe, there is the comfort knowing that God will wipe away all our tears (Revelation 7:17, 21:4).

2. Acknowledge God is in Control

This was Job’s acknowledgment when he said, “Naked, I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). And at the end of his time spent with the Lord, Job made this same declaration that God is in control.

“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” (Job 42:2 NKJV)

It was such an acknowledgment that the Apostle Paul made as well.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

Knowing that God works all things out to the good brings me to the third thing we should do during these times of loss, and that is to look for the good.

3. Look for the Good

After it was all over, Job received blessings from the Lord, where it says that his latter days, that is, the days following his trials, were more than his beginnings (Job 42:12).

Far too often we get so caught up with what has happened that we don’t look around to see the good, and the good God is bringing into our lives.

To help, Paul gives us this bit of advise,

“I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)

He was looking to the ultimate good that is available to all those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

The Bible’s idea of hope is very different from our normal thinking about hope. The world’s current thinking of hope is more like wishful thinking. Like, “I hope this or that will or won’t happen.” But this is not biblical hope.

Biblical hope is seen in what Peter says in 1:13, “Hope fully in the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” To “Hope fully” means to be intensely desirous and fully confident that Jesus Christ is coming again with grace for his people.

Hope, is then the full assurance, and having complete confidence, that God is going to do good by us through our faith in Him, not only right here and now, but in the future as well as heaven awaits.

Therefore, we obtain that living hope by faith, and it is this living hope that has the power to change our lives.

And so, I’d like to end where the Apostle Peter began.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV)









Search Our Site

Location

211 West First South, suite C&D
Mesquite, NV. 89027
(Behind Ace Hardware)

Service Times

Sunday Service
10 a.m., and 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday Evening Bible Study
6:00 p.m.

Children's and Youth Ministry
available at all services
Call (702) 346-8558 for details
©2022 Living Waters Fellowship   |   All rights reserved