Advent: Holding onto Hope

1st Sunday in Advent

This message is our first in the season of Advent leading to Christmas day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the One who was promised, the Savior of the world, Jesus is our hope.  Hope is what we hold onto in the world.  Your grip on hope will be strengthened as we look to God’s word and His message of hope that brings us great joy.

NOTES

Advent: Prepare the Way of the Lord 

Part 1 Holding onto Hope

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Nov. 27th, 2016

 

Intro:

  • Season of Advent – where we look with anticipation to the coming king – the fulfillment of the promise; in which our hopes lie.
  • Hope is one of the three essential elements to living . . . when the essence of life is boiled down– these three remain: Faith, Hope, Love 1 Cor. 13:13 – What do you have faith in? What are you hoping for? What do you love? – the answer to those questions is the essence of who you are.
  • This morning we are talking about one of the essential elements to life; hope.
  • We need hope for places we can’t go. We need hope for things we can’t see.  We need hope for tasks we can’t do
  • If you need to: Get up, get out, get back, get through – the good news is, there is hope for you.
  • Hope gives us strength. Hope gets us through. Hope guides us home.
  • Hope is something we set. Hope is something we hold on to.

 

Choose your anchor

  • What are you going to choose to put your hope in? This is important, because you do have choices.

 

Ps 20:7 ESV

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

 

  • Chariots (the power of our abilities, our plans, our cleverness)
  • Horses (the power of other things)
  • Name of the Lord our God (the power of supernatural source)

o   Name – because I know him

o   Lord – because of his reputation

o   God – because he is powerful and completely other

  • Ill. of rock climbing
  • When you are “on the mountain” – when you are trying to overcome, when you are looking to go over, or reach the top – what you are anchored to makes all the difference. A rabbit or a rock – a turkey or a tree – a space or a stud – something solid or something soft
  • So, choose this day who you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

Set your hope

  • This phrase shows itself over and over in scripture when it comes to hope. Here is a sampling.

 

Ps 78:6-7 ESV

tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;

 

Jer 14:22 ESV

Are you not he, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.

 

2 Cor 1:10 ESV

On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

 

1 Tim 4:10 ESV

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

 

1 Peter 1:13 ESV

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

  • So what does “set your hope” mean? It means to “bind together”
  • How do we do this? Through prayer/study in trust and faith
  • Promises we offer to Him, or the promises He offers to us
  • So how does it work out in our lives?

o   Praying and trusting God – for wisdom (in the future)–

o   To keep things together (marriage)

o   For provision – seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you

 

Keep your grip

  • This is what scripture tells us what to do

 

Heb 3:6 ESV

we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

 

Heb 6:18-20 ESV

we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf,

 

Heb 10:23 ESV

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

 

  • Keeping your grip is harder than you think at times, because there is many, many things in life that will try to knock you off, (and they can’t cut the rope -but try to get you to let go)
  • Doubt, disappointment, discouragement, trials, tests, family, friends, enemies
  • Prosperity has a tendency to conceal idolatry and false faith. Loss reveals what we really love and believe.
  • This is why “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. (Rom 5:3-5 ESV)
  • So we continue to Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Rom 12:12 ESV)

 

Conclusion

  • Choose your anchor, set your hope, keep your grip and remember
  • Ps 33:18 the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.