Sunday Sermon Notes:
One Hope – Alistar Foreman
Romans 15:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
So the question is what do we put our hope in? God ofcourse… But is it really?
We talk a big game about faith but then secretly hope for the best. God can do all things but I hope I’m not disappointed.
We have faith in God, but secretly tie our hopes to the things we think we can control. Is my hope in hiding my weaknesses. Is my hope in my professional achievements, will I feel fulfilled once I get that promotion? Is my hope in losing weight so I can feel good about myself and then be happy? Is my hope in a new relationship which will take away the loneliness?
Proverbs 13:12 New Living Translation (NLT)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Its easier to put our hopes in the false comfort of what we think we can control like your finances, relationships and weight, than to put our hope and trust in God. Faith is hard.
Most of our decisions come from a place of fear or hurt. We exert our control over the things we think we have power over, but the more we go after what we think we can control, the more we sink into hopelessness when we are still not satisfied and still not in control.
With God we must learn that trust is given and mistrust is earned. Has God ever given me a reason not to trust Him? Erm..
How do I trust when I am scared and actually, I have been hurt before. He said His thoughts towards us are of good and not evil, but I have felt let down by Him. He knew what it meant to me and how badly I wanted it but I still didn’t get it. Was He saving me from myself or did He just let me down?
We have to learn not to confuse pleasing God with trusting God. Pleasing God is easy because we know what to do, praise, worship, pray, serve. With pleasing God, we can pretend so that we continue to do even when we don’t feel. We think we are in control and can manipulate God into loving us because after all we are ‘doing’ what pleases Him.
But without faith we cannot please God and faith requires trust. It is based on our understanding that the Grace of God is given without merit, it cannot be earned. Trusting Him means we have to be honest, we can’t pretend and put on a mask. We have to acknowledge that for every time we slip and fall, He still loves us. Trust means even though I don’t understand why He allowed me to go through that hurt, I must be confident that He knows best.