Heb 6:18-19 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”
Eph 2:12 “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
Hope is not a psychological thing, not a thought, it’s actually theological. It’s not like optimism. Hope isn’t positive thinking. Hope is theological. You can be optimistic. You can positively think your skim milk is really whipped cream, but that doesn’t really work. Optimism works with only things you can control. You can control your attitude. Optimism helps you have a better attitude. Hope is not optimism.
Optimism says, ‘things are not as bad as they look.’ Hope says, ‘Things are horrible, but I still believe God is able.’
Three kinds of hope:
- Wishful hope, the kind that makes you play the lottery and hope for stuff you wish for. It’s not real. It’s like wishing on the moon. If you anchor your thinking in that kind of hope, you’ll be disappointed.
- Expectant hope, this kind works on the idea that if you work for something, you’ll get expected results. This is based on what you see and observe. Architecture works that way or art. It starts as some idea and then is created. You can expect spring to come or the dishes to come out clean from the dishwasher. You expect that if you eat right, you’ll have good health. This doesn’t have a 100% good results. You can’t base your life this or you will be disappointed. This is like experiencing a miscarriage. Life isn’t always fair. You may do everything right, but things don’t always turn out right.
- Blessed Assurance (Hope) in God’s Word, this kind does not have a ‘what if’ attached to it. This kind of hope is based on Jesus’ promises that you can count on. This is an anchor for your soul. It’s non-drifting.
Heb 6:19 “We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seatwhich sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold,”
Where is your hope?
When you allow this anchor to work in your life, you might find yourself drifting, but then hope pulls you back to Jesus.
Driftwood is stuff that is lost, drifting.
Hope keeps you connected to God.
An anchor keeps you steady when the waters and storms come, it stabilizes you in unstable circumstances. When the waters rise and storm winds blow, you’ve got something to keep you stable. People who are calm and steady and stable are grounded and anchored in Jesus. Positive thinking and wishful thinking don’t always work. You can have a great attitude and still be in the hospital, but in that hospital, you can still trust God and trust that anchor.
When crazy situations come, you’ll find where you anchor is.
Jer 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Everything won’t be wonderful. Jesus said trouble would come, but Jesus has overcome the world.
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (KJV) “And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”
Faith is stabilized by hope.
Hope is something that we have to have because storms will come.
Prov 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”
When you ask God, ‘Why do You favor him and not me?’ you’ve got your hope in the wrong thing.
Real hope is based on God’s Word not in your wishes. It’s based on what He said. It’s not based on what your emotions are saying, it’s based on what He wrote in His Word.
Two things to do to increase hope: study God’s Word and pray.
Studying the Word is not just going to church, it’s actually reading your Bible and praying for understanding and then basing your life (your thoughts, attitudes, emotions) on what it says.
God gave Abraham a promise and Abraham waited for that promise. God gave an oath and swore on His own name. There is nothing greater than God’s name.
You ever notice people who aren’t Christians swear and use Jesus’ name more than Christians? Swearing happens when you appeal to a greater power. You can’t swear on your own name. They are trying to become more powerful and therefore use a greater power.
Our comfort and hope are that God doesn’t change and He doesn’t lie. If He said it, it’s true and it won’t change. Build your hope on that. You can’t have hope unless you know what He said. You can’t have hope unless you apply God’s Word to your life. You’ve got to apply His Word in prayer to get it in you. Jesus hasn’t changed and He doesn’t lie. God’s promises are ‘Yes!’ and ‘Amen!’ God said it and that settles it! Get that, ‘Amen!’ in your spirit.
Five things that cause hopelessness:
- A feeling of loneliness, rejected, abandoned, worthless can cause hopelessness. The #1 cause of fear is loneliness and abandonment. (People are afraid of public speaking because they fear rejection.) This can paralyze you.
- Life is out of control.
- Grieving a loss can cause hopelessness. Losing something can cause hopelessness. When you feel like you don’t have time or finances, you might feel hopeless.
- Temptation takes you places where you would never go or a person has done you wrong and you’re there.
- It looks like defeat is all around you.
Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
You’re either in the Spirit of prayer or losing hope. Understanding prayer and hope will help you.
Mat 6:9-13 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
That feeling of loneliness is answered in Mat 6:9, Jesus is with us always. He is our father. Life is crazy, but God’s kingdom come, His will be done. Fear of loss, give us this day our daily bread. Temptation—‘And forgive us our debts…lead us not into temptation…’ Defeat—‘For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen!’
If your hope is in Jesus, go to His Word. When you fall, you shall arise!
Micah 7:8 “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”
When feelings come, hang onto that hope and pull on it. If you aren’t going forward, you’ve lost your hope. Hold onto that hope and keep moving forward. What is your hope in? What is your default setting? If God has delivered you from something, don’t go back to it!
God does not change. If He was good to you yesterday, He will be good to you tomorrow. Get into His Word and pray that and speak it and live and walk it out. Hope is built on Jesus Christ and His victory at Calvary.
Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Substance means a foundation, setting under, an assurance. Faith is the foundation of what we’re anchored in. Faith is anchored in hope. Hope becomes the anchor of faith. They work together. You put your confidence (faith) in Jesus, this is your hope.
Rom 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
God will fill you with hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. Hope keeps you from drifting. God never changes. He never lies.
Heb 10:39 “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Your Resurrection Day is coming. Jesus never fails.
Lam 3:22-24 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- Sunday’s sermon was about hope. What new understanding of hope did you gain and how does this change you?
- Was there anything in Sunday’s sermon that you didn’t understand? What further study and prayer will you do in order to understand it?
- Faith is trusting God, hope is about expectation. How do these two work together? What hinders faith and hope? How do regular Bible study and prayer build faith and hope?
- Read Lamentations 3:21-26. Why does this author have hope? What is new every morning? What does it mean that, ‘The Lord is my portion?’ Why is it good to ‘both hope and quietly wait for’ God’s salvation?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!