Hope Realized

april 30th, 2017

David Sorn



What is it about being a Christian that should allow us to hold on to hope until we see hope finally get realized?



Browse Archives of all Past Renovation Church Messages




TRANSCRIPT


INTRODUCTION

Morning. David Sorn. Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church

We’re in the second week of our Hope Series…and one of our core, cultural deficiencies when it comes to hope…is just simply holding on to it. 

Because holding on to hope…requires…WAITING.  

And nowadays, we’re not so good at waiting.  

I remember when my wife and I first got Amazon Prime…where they ship to you in 2 days.

We got back when I was in seminary…because you could get it for free in those days with a .edu email address. 

And I remember thinking, “2 days! That’s incredible! That’s like…almost right away” 

And now, 10 years later, it’s like, “2 days?! Might as well be 2 years!” 

I need to sign-up for that new Amazon NOW thing…where they ship it to you in 2 hours or less. 

By the way, isn’t that false advertising?

Since when has NOW meant 2 hours…NOW means NOW my friend. 

I’m so impatient, even 2 hours can seem like too long sometimes. 

A few months ago, I was showing some of our staff the YouTube video where Amazon, in England (since our lovely FAA won’t approve this)…they’re starting to deliver by Drone…in 30 minutes or less. 

Now that…would be awesome! 

And it all makes me wonder…how are we supposed to learn how to wait on God…how to not lose hope…when we never have to wait for anything anymore?

Most of us are actually “juvenile” in our experience of waiting…because we just don’t have that much experience in it

And so, nowadays, Christians are losing hope in God…faster than ever…simply because God doesn’t always deliver on their timing

And we all have HOPE for the future. 

Maybe you have a list of things you’re hoping for: 

That God would help restore your marriage to where it once was

That God would help you find the one you’re supposed to marry

That God would help you restore your health

That God would provide for you

And yet, we probably also have a list of things we USED to hope for. 

But they never happened…so we just kind of gave up hoping for them…

Maybe even gave up praying for them. 

Our hope was never realized…it never came to fruition. 

Most of us lose hope when things just take too long. 

I met my wife, Lindsey, when I was 17. 

I thought she was beautiful, so I called her and asked if she’d like to go out with me. 

We had never even had a conversation. 

But, I’m confident, and I was 17…and didn’t know Jesus…and didn’t care about much else. 

She told me she had to ask her parents, and that she’d get back to me 2 day later…on Friday. 

I didn’t hear from her on Friday afternoon right away, so I took matters into my own hand, and I called her again. 

I said, “you still interested in going to see that Nicholas Sparks movie?” 

Listen guys…if you want to attract women…you need to go to what they’re interested in.  

This was 1999…I couldn’t just say, “Hey, wanna go see the Matrix?” 

She said, “let me check again, and I’ll call you back” 

5 minutes go by, and I start thinking, “I bet it’s a no.” 

10 minutes go by, and I’m thinking, “it’s a no. She’s not even calling back.” 

I still remember the Lauryn Hill song I was listening to when she called and said yes.  

But time, has a way of siphoning hope right out of our hope tank. 

Have you been praying about something for a long time and nothing’s happening? 

Are you losing hope because it’s not happening on your timing? 

Keep the faith. 

The Bible teaches us that God’s timing is perfect. 

We also tend to lose hope when things aren’t going as we think they should. 

Imagine with me that you are trapped in a mine.  

It appears though that there is still a narrow shaft intact above you…that someone could maybe fit you through …if they just threw down a super long rope. 

And you start thinking, “It’s okay…I know it’s already been 24 hours, but when they find us…they’ll just thrown down one of those long ropes…that we can be harnessed in, and they’ll pull us up”  

Eventually, they get a radio down to you. 

The first thing you say is, “When are you throwing down the rope?” 

And you hear a man’s voice say, “No can do. That shaft is chalk full of jagged metal pieces and live wires. It would be extremely dangerous to pull you up that way.”  

For a lot of us, we would lose all hope before they even finished speaking. 

And that’s because for too many of us are hope is too specific. 

For example, you might be praying a prayer like this: “God, I believe that you’ll help my sibling meet Jesus”

But in your mind, the only way you’ve ever imagined it happening…is they get saved through a conversation w/ you

And so let’s say you finally get the courage to talk to them, and you say, “Do you ever think about God?” 

And they say, “Do you ever think we should never talk about this again?” 

Right then and there…we assume, “Well, this is never going to happen! They’ll never know God” 

And what’s happened is our “hope” is too specific. 

We’ve told God…I hope you can do this…but we’ve only imagined him doing it one way…our way. 

If you were in that mine, could you give the rescuers the benefit of the doubt…that they knew the best way to rescue you…and that might not be your way? 

If just minutes later, they tell you that they’re going to dig a safer side hole and tunnel in to you…you’d trust them, right? 

I mean, they are the experts, right??

When God doesn’t move as SOON as you want Him to…or isn’t moving just HOW you want Him to…can you hold on to your hope in Him? 

Can you keep up Hope that He can still do this?? 

It’s easy to lose hope…but I want you to keep in mind that “hope” is not even the same as confidence. 

One of the most brilliant and wittiest writers to ever live, G.K. Chesterton, once said it this way: 

“Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all...As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” – G.K. Chesterton

The Bible defines hope similarly

(Romans 8:24-25) – NIV

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

  The Bible is a realistic book. 

It knows that hope is not an easy thing to come by…or hold on to. 

But it also tell us that “hope”…that is “Christian hope” is different than the typical hope the world offers.  

Think about this. 

When you say, “I hope she gets here by 5:00.” 

What you’re really saying is…I don’t really know for sure if she’s going to get here by 5:00…I don’t even have that much certainly, but boy it would be nice if she actually got here by 5:00…for once” 

Same thing if you say, “I hope you feel better today” 

What you’re really saying is: “I don’t really know if you will feel better today...but boy, that would be nice if you did!” 

People typically use the word “hope” to mean something like… “I know it’s random chance, but I’m desiring for the good thing to happen.” 

And the Bible says…that what we should hope in…is not random chance…but in God. 

And so, with our hope…we can have a confident expectation that God is going to move…and if He doesn’t…than even then…he’s the expert…and we should hope and trust in that too. 



REASONS TO ENDURE

And because we put our hope in God (not in random chance), as Christians, our hope tank should be able to last significantly longer and stay significantly more full! 

In fact, the Bible says, that your Christian hope is supposed to be THE thing that keeps you going. 

(1 Thessalonians 1:3) – NIV

3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Endurance…the ability to keep holding on…even when times look grim…is “the fruit of…the result of”…hope in God.  

Christ followers can endure where others cannot…because our hope is in God…not in random chance or desire.  

God gives us plenty of reasons of why our hope tank should be so much fuller because of him, but let me give you three of them. 

Reasons Your “Hope Tank” Can Be Full

1. The Past: God Gave You His SON

Why can you hope?  

Because God has already taken care of you! 

In Paul’s letter to the Romans in the Bible, we’re told that God has already demonstrated his love and care for you…by sending his Son to die on the cross for you. 

A number of years ago, researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. 

Warning, if you’re not a fan of running experiments on animals or rats (if rats are animals), plug your ears. 

If you’ve ever wanted a pet rat A) That’s really weird. B) This illustration is not for you.  

Here’s what the researchers did: 

Two sets of lab rats were placed in separate tubs of water. 

The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour, the rats gave up on swimming, and they all drowned. 

Here’s where it gets even more cruel, yet, the analogy is helpful

The other rats, were periodically lifted out of the water and rescued! 

And then finally, they returned them back to the water to see how long they would last. 

And when that happened, the second set of rats swam not for one hour, but for over 24 hours straight. 

Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!

Do you see the power of hope? 

That’s what the Bible is saying: 

“Your Endurance is Inspired by Hope!” 

But we have a real hope…not in a cruel lab technician…

But in a God who has already rescued us and lifted us up out of who we used to be..

In a God who has lifted us up out of slavery to sin…

In a God who has lifted us up into a new life!


So why should you hope? 

Because you have already experienced “realized hope” through Jesus’ sacrifice. 

You can hope because Jesus has already proven himself to be faithful in your life. 

He’s already shown that He cares for you! 

Reasons Your “Hope Tank” Can Be Full

1. The Past: God Gave You His SON  

2. The Present: God has Given You His HOLY SPIRIT

If we can trust that God has started moving in our lives, we need to maintain hope that he will continue to move in our lives

(Philippians 1:6) – NIV

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Hear God’s Word today!

If He began a good work in you, He will finish it!

Okay? 

The Bible says multiple times that when we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes and lives within us (That’s God in us) 

And one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to serve as a “deposit of the things to come” 

A reminder that God is real…and in the future…that God will be fully known to us!

So we can have HOPE that God will provide…because His Holy Spirit is moving in us, guiding us, and changing us right now! 

God is not some absent idea that we believe in…but a real being who’s changing our lives right now! 

We can trust in Him

(Romans 15:13 – NIV)  

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reasons Your “Hope Tank” Can Be Full

1. The Past: God Gave You His SON  

2. The Present: God has Given You His HOLY SPIRIT

3. The Future: God will give you Himself   

You will fully be in his presence in heaven.  

That amazing day is coming, and should give us incredible hope!

The majority of the time that the Bible talks about hope…it’s talking about this kind of hope.  

Eternal hope. 

That after death, comes life. 

The best life. 

That after death, God will wipe away every tear from our eyes..

That after death, wrong will be made right

That after death, we will be fully satisfied. 

That’s why your hope tank can be full.  

In fact, next week, that’s what the conclusion of our hope series is going to be about. 

I encourage you to keep coming. 

Next week is the 3rd week of the “3 Weeks of Hope Challenge” 

Keep showing up

God is moving! 

We can keep hoping in God…even when things feel hopeless…because of what He did through his Son in the Past, what He’s doing through His Spirit today, and What He’ll do for us in Heaven in the future.  



REMEMBER THE RESUME OF YOUR RESCUER  

And yet, many of us, despite all of that…we still give up…we lose hope…before hope is ever realized.  

Listen, this is not an easy message to live out…it’s hard to hold on to hope until it’s realized. 

And so, this is a truth we must remind ourselves of often

In Psalm 42, you can see the Psalmist wrestling with his own doubts and hopes. 

He’s doing, what we sometimes call, preaching to yourself. 

(Psalm 42:5) – NIV

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

See, even though God has done so much for us…and continues to do so much for us, don’t forget that we’re human. 

And humans are prone to forget…prone to doubt…prone to lose hope. 

And if we want to see hope realized…we have to keep preaching to ourselves…reminding ourselves of the reasons we have in God to keep hoping. 

(Hebrews 6:11) – NIV

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

It may sound obvious, but in order for hope to be fully realized…we have to keep hoping!

And the best way to do that…the best way to hope in God…is to continually remember the resume of your rescuer. 

About 600 or so years before Christ, during the time of the Old Testament, the Jews had to watch as the Babylonians marched into their holy city of Jerusalem…and began to lay it to waste. 

Even destroying their temple which had stood for almost 350 years. 

How can you find hope…in a situation like that? 

And yet, the author of Lamentations, which is basically 5 poems/laments about the destruction of Jerusalem…says this: 

(Lamentations 3:19-24) – NEW LIVING TRANSLATION!!!!! 

The thought of my suffering and homelessness
    is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
    as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

Even when life is falling apart, why is it that you can still hope as a Christian? 

Because you’re not just hoping in chance!!

You’re not, like a secular person, saying, “I’m just trying to stay positive and think happy thoughts…and hope that “chance” somehow makes my circumstances go well in the future.” 

You’re hoping in God! 

Remember the resume of your rescuer!

That He is Good.  

That He is faithful. 

That He has a plan

And He is in control. 

And so yeah, you can hope. 

Even if everything doesn’t work out just when and how you thought it would…you can still have hope…because of who your father in heaven is. 

It’s like the story of the two brothers who opened up their presents from their very kind, yet very humorous father on Christmas morning. 

The first boy opens up a present and gets a fine gold watch. 

But he was a boy who constantly lived in fear and worry. 

He looks at his gold watch, sighed, and said, “I’m just sure this nice watch is just going to break. I’ll find someway to break it…I just know I will…I always do…I don’t know what to do with this. 

The second boy, opens up a present and only finds horse manure. 

Yet, he remembers that his father, while humorous, and his methods sometimes different, he remembers that His father is also good & kind…the boy shouts out, “Daddy! Daddy! You got me a pony! Now I just have to find it!” 

Remember the resume of your rescuer! 

Even if right now, his methods seem strange to you. 

You remember that He is good. 

Let Hope Arise!  

Too many of us look at the gold watches that God is putting in front of us, and rather than letting hope arise about what God’s doing, we just start to worry. 

God gives you a new baby…and yet, all you can do is find yourself worrying about their life

But worry…is just misused imagination.  

Instead…use your thought life to be hopeful…not anxious

May your thoughts about the future…be about you hoping in God. 

And when you can train yourself to do that…you’ll be able to look at even a pile of manure…and say, “Where’s the pony, God?”

“Where’s the pony?”  

Or let’s go back to the mine example

Let’s say you are eventually rescued from that mine…but 5 years later, you tragically, are stuck in a mine again. 

And you think…well isn’t this ironic? 

This is way worse than a black fly in your chardonnay  

And let’s say, after being trapped for 2 days, a radio is lowered down to you…

And you hear a voice on the radio, and it’s the voice of the same man who led your rescue mission out of the mine 5 years ago…the same man who figured out how to safely get you out.  

And yor hear his familiar voice crackling over the radio…and he says, “Old friend, I’m coming to get you out!” 

Would you believe him?! 

Yes, you would!

WHY?!

Because You remember…the resume of your rescuer! 

Do the same with God. 

Remember the resume of your rescuer.  

He is faithful

He is powerful

He is good. 


He sent you His Son

He gave you His Spirit

He has you on the journey of giving you all things in the future.

Hope in God! 

And when you hold on to that hope, you will see many of your hopes realized. 

The more you hold on in hope, the more of the movement of God you will get to see. 

The more you hold on in hope, the greater your faith will be. 

Let me close my message today…with yet one more Scripture

(Hebrews 10:23) – NIV

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  

Let me pray. 


Copyright: David Sorn

Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.