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'Hopeful or Hopeless...Which?'
by Travis Wiginton
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Permit me to paraphrase I Corinthians 13:13.....

Now abides faith, hope and love...these three.
But the greatest of these is faith, hope and love!

I realize that love is the theme of the New Testament and this great chapter,
but for my paper today, I want to emphasize 'HOPE'.

Of the three, it may receive less emphasis than the other two.

For example: John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes (faiths) in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life (HOPE)."

My website paper on May 27, 2005 was entitled 'Things That Last'.
I wrote about these three, but let me share here what I wrote on 'Hope'.
"Hope is the conviction that God is love and that life is going 'somewhere'....
and not 'nowhere'."

The real trouble with the world is not that it is running out of physical resources,
but that it is running out of HOPE .
It is running out of HOPE because it puts it's HOPE in the wrong things....
physical resources for example." (Sam Moffett)

Emil Brunner said, "What oxygen is to the lungs, HOPE is to the life.
Take away oxygen and death occurs. Take away HOPE and humanity dies."

HOPE is the light not only at the end of the tunnel, but while in the tunnel.
It is the sheep with the Shepherd in the valley...
the rainbow after the storm...
the silver lining with every cloud and ....
THE friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Present and future HOPE come because there was THE resurrection after THE crucifixion.
So remain firm in faith, persevere in HOPE and let the gospel of love penetrate and permeate your life.

Remember, God is in every tomorrow...
so do not be afraid for tomorrow, as God is already there!

Therefore, don't be faithless, loveless or HOPEless.
Build your HOPE on things eternal and hold to God's unchanging Hand.

Faith is how you know where you're going...
Love is how you get there...and....
HOPE keeps you going.

I have a list of 30 Scriptures where 'Hope' is used.
You can run references on these, but I'll share these few:
Hebrews 6:18-19:
"That by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie that we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the HOPE set before us. Therefore we have an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."

Psalms 78:1-7:
"Know God's Word, make this known to your children and set your HOPE in God."

Jeremiah 17:7 and Psalms 146:5:
"Happy and blessed is anyone whose HOPE is in the Lord."

I Corinthians 9:10:
"We plant, plow and harvest in HOPE and God gives the increase".

Colossians 1:27:
"Christ in you, the HOPE of glory."

I Thessolonians 2:19:
"The promised return of our Lord is our HOPE, our joy, and our crown".

I Peter 1:3-4:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His mercy has given us new birth into a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance in life and reserved for you in Heaven."

Let us think of HOPE as our anchor and let us once and for all, drop anchor into Jesus (the Incarnate Word) and the Bible (God's inerrant Word)!

Warren Wiersbe says: "The anchor was a popular symbol in the early church.
At least 66 pictures of anchors have been found in the catacombs."

The Cross is a great symbol, but the empty tomb is a better one!
We anchor our beliefs and HOPES for abundant life....and eternal life...in both.

The book of Hebrews depicts a time in the first century when many Christians were tempted to forsake their confession of Jesus Christ, by going back to the old covenant worship.

In Hebrews 10:23, He implores them by writing,
"Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for He who promised, is faithful."
Therefore, build your HOPE on things eternal....and hold to God's unchanging Hand!

You may ask 'why'? Here are some good reasons:
God is love....................God is all knowing
God is truth..................God is all powerful
God is sovereign............God is eternal
God is Holy....................God is infinite
God is just.....................God is unchangeable
God is ever present........God is able and faithful

This 'anchor of HOPE':
Cheers the dying hours of the Saints (John 14:1-3)
Assures of immoratality (Acts 24:15)
Is a Heavenly Treasure (Col. 1:5)
Anticipates Christ's return (Titus 2:13)
Is the soul's sure anchor (Hebrews 6:18-19)
Is grounded on a firm foundation (I Peter 1:3)

HOPE is a factor in full salvation and finds expression in endurance under trials while waiting for Christ's return.

Until then:
I John 3:3:
"Hope is a purifying power to keep us clean vessels for the Holy Spirit to use."

Rev. 3:20:
"Jesus is knocking at your heart's door."
Many people have not opened the door to Jesus.
Let Him in and you get all 3...Faith, Hope and Love!

In my senior year of high school, we were putting on the play, 'Hobgoblin House'
and I played the part of Darius Krupp, the old caretaker.
The play was to start with a knock on the door and in a scary voice, I was supposed to say, "Come in".
However, I forgot to say my lines! The play went on anyway.
In the spiritual Life, it can not happen until we say to Jesus, 'Come in".

The hymn 'Solid Rock' speaks of what this paper is emphasizing:
"My HOPE is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

When darkness seems to hide his face, I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my HOPE and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sounds, oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand."
(words by Edward Mote)


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