Houston Forward Times

05 February 2014 Written by  Rev. Manson B. Johnson II

Lesson 4: What Hope Does For You

Psalm 130:5,6

Bible Fact: God has put a capacity for hope in Him within the heart of all people to use to achieve miraculous goals in life and to receive His blessings and favor in spite of great challenges.

The Big Idea: Hope in God is life’s greatest human asset that is always available to everyone to use.

God’s promises are always stepping in when everything else is stepping out. God’s promises are always seeking solutions when everything else says the situation is hopeless. God’s promises always remain steady when everything else has shaken loose. God’s promises are left standing when everything else is fallen down.

In 1989, an 8.2 earthquake almost flattened Armenia, killing over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. Surprisingly, such tragedies often bring out the best in people. Let me show you the loving heart of a father.

In the midst of chaos and destruction, he rushed to his son’s school. But instead of a school, he found a shapeless heap of rubble. Imagine what went through his mind. In the case of this father, the sight of rubble and ruin made him spring into action. He ran to the back corner of the building where his son’s class used to be and began to dig. Why? What real hope did he have? What were the chances that his son could have survived such destruction? All he knew was that he had made a promise to always be there for his boy. It was this promise that animated his hands and motivated his heart.
As he began to dig, well-meaning parents tried to pull him out of the rubble saying: "It’s too late!" "They are dead!" "You can’t help!" "Go home!" "There’s nothing you can do!" Then the fire chief tried to pull him off the rubble by saying, "Fires and explosions are happening everywhere. You’re in danger. Go home!" Finally, the police came and said, "It’s over. You’re endangering others. Go home. We’ll handle it!"
But this father continued to dig for eight ... 12 ... 24 ... 36 hours. Then, in the 38th hour, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son’s voice. Immediately, he screamed, "ARMAND!" Back came the words, "Dad!? I told them! I told the other kids that if you were still alive, you’d save me! You promised me, you’d always be here for me! You did it, Dad!" (Taken from Max Lucado’s book, "He Still Moves Stones")

I. Hope releases praise within you during difficult times;

II. Hope releases power around you that is outside of human help;

III. Hope releases promises toward you as God’s favor to you;

A. What can be said about God’s promises to those that make Him their hope?

B. God’s promises work with hope:

1. God’s promises at times are often disguised within tests before reward. God’s promises are ready to reward when hope is ready to respond. Esther 4:13-16; Job 13:13-16  

A. In science water seeks its own level but in the spirit hope is looking for unwavering faith.

2. Delays do not mean that God’s promises are denied. Hebrews 10:35-38; John 2:1-11

A. God’s timeline may not be the same as ours; nevertheless, He is able to perform what He promises.

3. God’s promises are the guarantee that promotes the destiny of those who trust in Him.

A. The providence of God is always setting up unseen provisions for His people that trust Him (i.e. Joseph):

1. Joseph did not fight his pit plan; Genesis 37:23-28

2. Joseph did not was loyal to Potiphar; Genesis 39:1-6

3. Joseph was faithful to God in prison; Genesis 39:20-23

4. Joseph was raised to prosper by the Pharaoh; Hebrews 6:10; Genesis 41:33-44


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