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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Words of Encouragement March 11, 2012

This morning we had a lovely communion service. Then our Pastor gave a sermon on Hope.  He stated that there are three stages of Hope.

1.  Unseen Hope. Faith is our action on the God given hope that something will occur. "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1.  Job saw disaster and said “What strength do I have, that I should still hope?  What prospects, that I should be patient?"  Job 6:11.  Job recognized that he could only have hope in God. Enthusiasm is contagious when placed in God.  It is part of your testimony. Unseen Hope directs us to do what God commands us to do and wait with assurance for Him to act.

2.  Emerging Hope.  Hope increases as we start to see fulfillment. But we must be careful not to try to rush with our own plans and pushing.  There may be suffering or persecution while we wait but we can have comfort in our assurance that God knows the best timing and plans. 2 Cor 1:7.  We must wait till God brings the promise to pass and not allow words of doubt to discourage us. Emerging Hope should encourage us to be like Nehemiah who,when others grumbled, prayed to the Lord: “Now, strengthen my hands.”  Neh 6:9.

3.  Realized Hope.  This is the stage when the promise comes to pass; it is fulfilled and fulfilling. Yet this is not an end. Acts 4:32-33. We must still be careful as many people may drop the baton at this stage and proceed on their own with arrogance and pride…like Solomon.  Stay humble; don't take credit for what God brings to pass. Realized Hope should cause us to remember that when God gives favor we need to give Him thanks. Isaiah 49:23.


Verse for Today:
part of Isaiah 49:23
"... Then you will know that I am the LORD;
   those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

I pray today that I will remember these stages of hope; that I will obey, wait, give thanks ... and pray as Nehemiah prayed.

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