Did you know faith and lasting hope fit together.  They are woven together like a beautiful tapestry.  This only happens when we place our faith, and our hope in the ONE who is able to keep us, and that is The LORD JESUS CHRIST!  It is my prayer that as you read, you begin to understand the importance of placing your faith in and your hope in The LORD.  He is the only One that can fulfill every last promise He has made and the only One that will NEVER fail!  Praise HIS name!

Handout: Hope in JESUS CHRIST

There are many things in this life in which people place their hope.  Some hope they win the lottery.  There are those that hope that their jobs will fulfill them and bring them a happy life.   Others hope in their children or family. Some depend or hope for a leader or government to bring peace, security and stability to the world.  Then there are those who depend upon a drug or in a bottle for their salvation from the turmoil that is in their minds.  Some place their hope in doctors or medication to make them well.  Yes there are many things to hope in, some things are good, and others bad, but the truth is, there is but One who will Never fail and that is The LORD ALMIGHTY, JESUS CHRIST.  First let us ask ourselves, what is hope exactly? 
Hope is looking forward to with desire and trust in expectation that everything will work out for the best.
What are you hoping in?  Where lies your faith and trust?  Is your hope placed on the one and only power that can truly work everything out for my good, or are you clinging to something that will let you down? Is your hope placed in the LORD Jesus Christ? 
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose.”
What is Faith?  The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11 that:
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
In other words, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Faith and hope are knit together.  Those that place their trust and hope in Christ must also put their faith in Him.  How can one hope in something or someone if they do not believe or have faith in?  Therefore, in order to place our hope in the LORD we must have faith in Him and in His holy word.  We hope for the things that God tells us in His word, but by faith our hope becomes alive.  Without faith, hope is dead.  God’s word also tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Now before I made the statement that there are many things in which we can place our hope and faith, some are good and some are bad.  For the one who sick and placing hope in a doctor or in a treatment to make them well, that can be a good thing, and the one with their hopes in an addiction of drugs is terrible.  However good or bad, these things both are not steadfast.  Yes hope helps the human mind and spirit, indeed hope in the good things, but, ONLY after first understanding that our main hope must ultimately be in God because hope placed in anything else will fail apart from Him.  Hope in family, or doctors, or education alone will prove to let you down, but when we Hope wholly in The LORD understanding that He can use those good things, then we will know that HE alone is our surety and our salvation!  All good things come from Him alone!   He is the only one that will never let us down.
Psalm 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.  His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”
Now let me add also that we should not be upset at people so much that we don’t forgive them when they do let us down.  There are some wonderful people in the world who would never hurt anyone on purpose, but we cannot place our full trust in man or woman because we are all human.  I have heard the statement over and over from people who have been hurt.  “I will NEVER trust anyone again.”  Or people don’t care, no one cares everyone lets me down.”  The reason some people get this mentality is because they placed a human being up in the place of GOD.  Yes we can trust some people, not all, but we must trust them in the capacity in which they are.  We can trust humans to be just that….Human.  That is why our hope MUST be steadfast in JESUS CHRIST, so that we don’t stumble and fall apart when a human being can’t be to us what only He can.  It is unfair to expect that from a created being.  Humans just simply cannot live up to that standard no matter how hard we try.  That comes from The LORD alone.
Psalm 146 teaches us a lot about placing our hope in the LORD. 
Psalm 146: 5 – 10Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth forever:  Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry.  The LORD looseth the prisoners: The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: The LORD loveth the righteous: The LORD preserveth the strangers; He relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked He turneth upside down. The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.”
Hallelujah we can place our faith, hope, and trust in Him.  Hope placed in any other one, or in any other thing will eventually let us down.  We must be like the old song lyrics.  My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. 
The word of God teaches us about hope in 121 verses in the Bible and mentions the word hope 130 times.  Hope is important.  Those without hope live in great sorrow.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”
It is the will of God that all people and especially His children hope in Him. 
Psalm 147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy.”
1 Peter 1:18 – 21 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. But the word of the LORD endureth for ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”
Lamentations 3:24 “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.”
Lamentations 3:26 “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”
Joel 3:16 “The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
We live in a world today where there is no stability.  Our economies are failing, our jobs are gone.  Prices are rising and the things that once seemed sure are now shaken.  All over the world people are hungry or homeless.  There is need everywhere.  It is so that only those with riches seem to keep prospering but I will say that those riches too will fail sooner or later.  Folks we are in the last days as Jesus taught about in the book of Matthew chapter 24.  Those things are happening today.  You may be on top of the world today, with health and wealth and anything your heart desires, but all that could be gone overnight.  Do we really realize how fragile life really is?  Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7?
Matthew 7:24-27 “24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” 
We are all building on a foundation, are you building on The Rock, or on sand?
Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.”
This verse is so profound that it is repeated 3 different times.  In Matthew, Mark, and in the book of Luke.  Anything other than the LORD JESUS and HIS Word will fail, will pass away.  We must hope in the LORD, to build upon The Rock!
2 Samuel 22:2-4 2And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour; thou savest me from violence. 4I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
This world is not our home.  We are pilgrims and strangers on our journey Home.  We want to place our hope on The One that will lead us there.  We as humans want to place our faith and hope in things we can see with our eyes.  However, GOD says we must walk by faith and not by sight. The things you can see will fall, but GOD is eternal!  Like Abraham we look for a city whose builder and maker is God.
Hebrews 11:8-10  “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By Faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Sometimes the things we hope for and have faith for, we do not see, but God will ALWAYS make good on His promises and honor our faith. 
Noah built the ark by faith in God.  All those that lived before Jesus came and after, had faith and hoped for the promises that God gave just as we wait. 
Hebrews 11:13 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Faith and hope are mainstays; it is part of God’s plan.  He wants us to hope, trust and have faith in Him.
Romans 8:24 “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
Sometimes God uses the hard times and trials we go through in order to make us stronger and so that God can show his work through us and increase our faith in him when He brings us through it and gives us grace to bear it.
Romans 5:1-5  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. and not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
 1Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.”
We can hope in the LORD because we know that the best is yet to come, this world is not our home.  Christ died so that we could have eternal life.
1Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
Christ rose from the grave and we now have the hope of Salvation and in the Promises of God.  Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, of Mountains and Valleys.  We are on a journey and we are not created to stay here forever.  Forever lies beyond the grave.  It is up to each individual where he or she will spend eternity.  There are only two places to go, Heaven or hell.  Those who place their hope and trust in JESUS CHRIST, who died for the sins of the world, build upon The Rock.  All others will perish. 
John 3:16 “For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His Only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Yes life may get hard here sometimes, maybe even seem unbearable but no matter what you may be going through now or in the future.  No matter how hard it may be to endure or how rough may be the way, keep your faith and hope in the LORD Jesus Christ and He will give you the grace to come through it and He will work it out for your good. We will not be here forever.  Anything that GOD is allowing in your life no matter how hard, is for a reason.  It is for a greater purpose for you to endure it than for Him to save you from it at this time.  When the time is right, He will swiftly fly to your rescue.  Trust HIM!  HE will always do the right thing!  Hope and faith in HIM!

Psalm 31:24 “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Psalm 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy.”
Psalm 33:22 “Let thy mercy, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee.”
Psalm 38:15 “For in Thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O LORD my God.”
Psalm 39:7 “and now, LORD, what wait I for?  My hope is in Thee.”
Psalm 42:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?  And why art thou disquieted in me?  Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

Dear Righteous Father,
We come to You today in praise of who You are and in knowing that You are worthy to be praised.  There is none like You.  There never has been and there never will be.  You are Almighty, Sovereign God and in You we place our faith, trust and our hope.  We know and understand that You alone are worthy of praise and all other things would fail us.
Father we thank You that we can trust You and that You are hope.  We thank You that You are love and that You are mercy and grace.  We ask You to help us to always remember to walk in Your ways.  Teach us to love Your ways and Your laws.  Help us to keep them in our hearts and to always trust, hope and have faith in You because You are a faithful and wonderful Father and Your WILL NEVER fail.  Thank You for Your mercy and understanding.  We worship You today and hope in Your words and in the soon coming of Your Son JESUS.  Help us to listen and follow the instruction of Your Holy Spirit that dwells in us so that Your will be done in each and every life that prays this prayer now.  In the wonderful, precious name of JESUS we ask, seek, and worship You.  AMEN.

May 30, 2021