Monday, December 28, 2009

Understanding the Christian Hope

Christian Hope = expectation, confidence, assurance. Contrast this to the modern usage of hope - yearning, longing, based on nothing

Without rehashing last week's message, In Christ what can we hope for?
What can we expect from Him?

We'll begin with an "umbrella" statement. You can expect God to be God, ie: faithful to His Word, His will, His character.
All of the following will fall under this statement. If you are outside of this umbrella, you can't trust Him for it.

Therefore, there are two points.
I. You can't (legitimately) hope or expect Him to do what is contrary to His Word, will, and character.

II. You can't know His will and character apart form His Revelation (Word). You can't base it on your emotions or feelings. That is empty hope.

So, based on these 2 premises, ie: 1. He wont' act contrary to Himself
2. His Word, will, character are revealed in Scripture.

What can I expect from God? (in/through Christ)
What can I reasonably (and Biblically) expect from Him???

You can expect God...

#1. to see, hear and care. (He's omniscient, concerned, personal) Luke 12:6-7
This is true for all people.

#2. to act, intervene according to His wisdom. Isa. 55:8-9
not necessarily the way you want it done.

#3. to walk with you through any and all situations. Heb. 13:5 Psalm 23:4
Hope that says you won't go through trauma or terrible situations is not Christian hope.

#4. to work in any and all situations Rom. 8:28
We can't be confident that we'll see enough good come out of a bad situation to satisfy you. But God is working and will bring about good. Whether we see it or not.

#5. to hear and answer all your prayers. BUT, can't be confident He will answer according to your desires, your satisfaction.

#6. ultimately and finally to deliver you from all evil and harm. This doesn't mean that evil cannot touch or take you in the physical sense. It means it cannot keep you. 1 Cor. 15:54-55

#7. to reserve your place in eternity. John 14:1-2

#8. to take you to that place. John 14:3 Can celebrate death and the assurance of where they went.

#9. to return in glory. Rev. 19:11-16

#10. to set all things right Rev. 21:1-5

This is the Christian Hope! In this you can trust, be confident. ie: if you are IN Christ.

1 Cor. 15:58

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